This is the third installation in a new aspect of MN Mic called “MN Speaks”, highlighting pieces written by Minnesotan spoken word performers. Spoken word performers are asked to send a link to the text, video, or audio of the poem; a brief discussion of the piece and its inspiration; and a bio of themselves including where in MN they’re from.
This piece by Wonder Dave is the third in a series featuring “political pieces”, which will run for the rest of June and for July. Writing is a powerful part of recording and also impacting history, and the spoken word medium is no exception. There’s a whole lot going on in the world right now, and we’re also looking at pieces that address political action from the past.
Read 7,000 at Wonder Dave’s site.
7,000 a poem about the torture and murder of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) people in the Middle East.
I wrote 7,000 after reading an article about the torture and murder of a gay man in Iran. I had also recently read a quote from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claiming there were no homosexuals in Iran. He reffered to homosexuality as a, “western problem”. Much of the torture/killing of LGBT people in the middle east is either sponsored or ignored by the government.
The Piece was written in roughly 3 hours and has had very few changes from the initial draft. This quite unusual for me since typically I spend a long period of time making edits to pieces (some poems I’ve written have undergone drastic changes over a year after their initial draft).
I remember feeling incredibly sad and furious at the same time when I read about what was happening to LGBT people in the middle East. I think that comes across in the piece. Interestingly I think this piece is the first thing that really made people stop thinking of me as a funny poet despite the fact that I’d written a few serious pieces prior to it.
I still perform the piece regularly. I often start by telling people about Iraqi LGBT. Iraqi LGBT is an organization that does advocacy work around the treatment of LBGT in the middle East. One of the most important things they do is help support safe houses for LGBT people still living in in Iraq. Effectively they run an underground railroad of sorts to make sure that LGBT people are kept safe. You can find them online on blogspot and facebook.
One of the saddest things for me is that I can’t help in the way I talk about doing so in the poem but my hope is that by writing and performing this piece that more people will learn about the horrible things happening in the middle east and be moved to help by writing to their senators about the issue and donating funds to the cause. Donations to the organization can be made via pay pal.
For more information on LGBT rights and events in Iran, a simple google search will come up with overwhelming amounts of information, including news articles as well as discussions of the climates that led to this situation. A thorough discussion can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Iran, with lots of links towards the end of the article.