Sacco E Vanzetti, Music, and William Carlos Williams (1883-1963), Poetry.
As one review noted, William Carlos Williams of Rutherford, New Jersey was "one given to discoveries, short sharp explanations, single insights, intuitive correspondences and aphorism. His focus on sensory detail and spoken immediacy made it hard for him to carry off extended analysis...yet suited him to political rant, nowhere more so than in ‘Impromptu: The Suckers’ (1927), a triumph of venom and sarcasm which blames all of America, himself included, for the execution of Sacco and Vanzetti."
Take it out in vile whiskey, take it out
in lifting your skirts to show your silken
crotches; it is this that is intended.
You are it. Your pleas will always be denied.
You too will always go up with the two guys,
scapegoats to save the Republic and
especially the State of Massachusetts. The
Governor says so and you ain't supposed
to ask for details —
Your case has been reviewed by high-minded
and unprejudiced observers (like hell
they were!) the president of a great
university, the president of a noteworthy
technical school and a judge too old to sit
on the bench, men already rewarded for
their services to pedagogy and the enforcement
of arbitrary statutes. In other words
pimps to tradition —
Why in hell didn't they choose some other
kind of " unprejudiced adviser " for their
death council? instead of sticking to that
autocratic strain of Boston backwash, except
that the council was far from unprejudiced
but the product of a rejected, discredited
class long since outgrown except for use in
courts and school, and that they
wanted it so —
Why didn't they choose at least one decent
Jew or some fair-minded Negro or anybody
but such a triumvirate of inversion, the
New England aristocracy, bent on working off
a grudge against you, Americans, you
are the suckers, you are the ones who will
be going up on the eleventh to get the current
shot into you, for the glory of the state
and the perpetuation of abstract justice —
And all this in the face of the facts: that
the man who swore, and deceived the jury
willfully by so doing, that the bullets found
in the bodies of the deceased could be
identified as having been fired from the pistol
of one of the accused — later
acknowledged that he could not so identify
them; that the jurors now seven years after
the crime do not remember the details and
have wanted to forget them; that the
prosecution has never succeeded in
apprehending the accomplices nor in connecting
the prisoners with any of the loot stolen —
The case is perfect against you, all the
documents say so — in spite of the fact that
it is reasonably certain that you were not
at the scene of the crime, shown, quite as
convincingly as the accusing facts in the
court evidence, by better reasoning to have
been committed by someone else with whom
the loot can be connected and among whom the
accomplices can be found —
It's no use, you are Americans, just the dregs.
It's all you deserve. You've got the cash,
What the hell do you care? You've got
nothing to lose. You are inheritors of a great
tradition. My country right or wrong!
You do what you're told to do. You don't
answer back the way Tommy Jeff did or Ben
Frank or Georgie Washing. I'll say you
don't. You're civilized. You let your
betters tell you where you get off. Go
But after all, the thing that swung heaviest
against you was that you were scared when
they copped you. Explain that you
nature's nobleman! For you know that every
American is innocent and at peace in his
own heart. He hasn't a damned thing to be
afraid of. He knows the government is for
him. Why, when a cop steps up and grabs
you at night you just laugh and think it's
a hell of a good joke —
This is what was intended from the first.
So take it out in your rotten whiskey and
silk underwear. That's what you get out of
it. But put it down in your memory that this
is the kind of stuff that they can't get away
with. It is there and it's loaded. No one
can understand what makes the present age
what it is. They are mystified by certain
Sacco E Vanzetti, Music, Li Bai (701 - 762) and T. J. Tsiang, (1899 – 1971), Poetry. Hsi Tseng Tsiang was born in China and came to America as a child. He was involved with the Greenwich Village literary scene in the 1920s and 1930s, and self-published a number of books that he would hawk at downtown political meetings. Tsiang also appeared as an actor in Hollywood, most notably in the film Tokyo Rose. This poem portrays the drudgery and discrimination that were the daily lot of Chinese immigrants.
Don't call me "man"! I am worse than a slave.
Wash! Wash! Why can I wash away the dirt of
others' clothes, but not the hatred of my heart?
My skin is yellow, does my yellow skin color the clothes?
Why do you pay me less for the same work?
Clever boss! You know how to scatter the seeds
of hatred among your ignorant slaves.
Iron! Iron! Why can I smooth away the wrinkle of
others' dresses, but not the miseries of my heart?
Why should I come to America to wash clothes?
Do you think Chinamen in China wear no dresses?
I came to America three days after my marriage:
When can I see her again?
Only the Almighty Dollar knows!
Dry! Dry! Why do clothes dry, but not my tears?
I work twelve hours a day.
He pays fifteen dollars a week.
My boss says: "Chinaman, Go back to China, if you
don’t' feel satisfied! There, unlimited hours of
toil: Two silver dollars a week.
If you can find a job."
Thank you, Boss, for you remind me I know bosses
are robbers everywhere?
Chinese boss says, "You Chinaman, me Chinaman,
come to work for me.
Work for your fellow countryman!
By the way, You 'Wong', me 'Wong', Do we not
belong to the same family! Ha! Ha! We are cousins!
O yes! You 'Hai Shan', me 'Hai Shan'
do we not come from same district?
O come work for me, I will treat you better:
Get away from here! What is the difference
when you come to exploit me:
"Chinaman!" "Laundryman!" Don't call me Chinaman
Yes, I am a "Laundryman"! the Workingman!
Don't call me "Chinaman," I am the Worldman.
"Chinaman!" "Laundryman!" All of you workingmen!
Here is the brush made of study,
Here is the soap made of action.
Let us all wash with the brush!
Let us all press with the iron!
Wash! Brush! Dry! Iron!
Then we shall have a clean world.
James Joseph Eichinger (1952-2004) Music, and Jack Kerouac (1922 - 1969), Poetry. Jim Eichinger, a progenitor of the "free jazz" musical component of central New Jersey, composed the melody of this piece. It is overlaid with Kerouac's 211th Chorus, one of 242 "choruses" published in 1959 in his poem Mexico City Blues. Jim was fond of Kerouac's poetry and free spirit. Kerouac experimented with music accompaniment during his recitations. He was quoted as saying, "The only truth is music."
211th Chorus, from Mexico City Blues:
The wheel of the quivering meat conception
Turns in the void expelling human beings,
Pigs, turtles, frogs, insects, nits,
Mice, lice, lizards, rats, roan
Racinghorses, poxy bubolic pigtics,
Horrible, unnameable lice of vultures,
Murderous attacking dog-armies
Of Africa, Rhinos roaming in the jungle,
Vast boars and huge gigantic bull
Elephants, rams, eagles, condors,
Pones and Porcupines and Pills-
All the endless conception of living beings
Gnashing everywhere in Consciousness
Throughout the ten directions of space
Occupying all the quarters in & out,
From super-microscopic no-bug
To huge Galaxy Lightyear Bowell
Illuminating the sky of one Mind-
Poor! I wish I was free
of that slaving meat wheel
and safe in heaven dead
Donald Ayler, Music (1942 – 2007) and Pablo Neruda, Poetry (1904–1973).
The theme provided by jazz trumpeter Donald Ayler (younger brother to
saxophonist Albert Ayler) serves as the opening and closing motive. Neruda, a Chilean poet, political activist, and diplomat, began writing poems at the age of ten. His use of words to express
the intimate relationship of a man and his dog, combined with the sensitive Ayler theme, intimate a tender emotional bond.
Neruda, never fearful of controversy, was quoted during a search of his house at Isla Negra by Chilean armed forces: "Look around—there's only one thing of danger for you here—poetry."
My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.
Some day I'll join him right there,
but now he's gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I'll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.
Ai, I'll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.
No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he'd keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.
Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea's movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean's spray.
Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.
There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don't now and never did lie to each other.
So now he's gone and I buried him,
and that's all there is to it.
Sacco E Vanzetti, Music, and Jayne Cortez, Poetry (1934-2012). African-American poet, activist, small press publisher, wife of Ornette Coleman and later, sculptor Melvin Edwards, Cortez was a leading progenitor of spoken-word performance. She was also an activist in the Civil Rights movement, an organizer of Watts writing and drama workshops, founder of the Watts Repertory Theater, and co-founder of the Organization of Women Writers of Africa. This version of "There It Is" is an interpretation from an excerpt recorded on her 1985 audio release by the same name.
And if we don’t fight
if we don’t resist
if we don’t organize and unify and
get the power to control our own lives
then we will wear
the exaggerated look of captivity
the stylized look of submission
the bizarre look of suicide
the dehumanized look of fear
and the decomposed look of repression
forever and ever and ever
And there it is…
Sacco E Vanzetti and Consuelo Velázquez, Music (1916 – 2005), and Kip Hanrahan, Poetry (b. 1954). This is an amalgam of three songs, Bésame Mucho, by Velázquez and Two Heartedly, To The Other Side and Chances Are Good, from Hanrahan's 1984 recording Vertical's Currency. Velázquez was a Mexican concert pianist, songwriter and recording artist. Bésame Mucho is considered one of the most famous boleros, and has been recognized as the most sung and recorded Mexican and Latin American song in the world. Velázquez said that she wrote this song even though she had never been kissed at the time and kissing, she had heard, was considered a sin. Hanrahan, a producer, composer, percussionist and facilitator, has managed several collaborative efforts involving Don Pullen, Steve Swallow, Milton Cardona, Sting, Jack Bruce, Ishmael Reed, Jerry Gonzalez, David Murray, Arto Lindsay, and Ástor Piazzolla.
He Fells Her Too Closely. He loves Her Too Fistedly.
He Moves Her Two Mindedly. He Hurts Her Too Consciously.
He Needs Her Too Finally. He Had Her Too Deeply,
He Bought Her Too Heatedly. He Finds Her To Syncopatedly.
He Kisses Her To Fraternally. He Eased Her Too Cheaply.
She Curses Him Too Solidly. She Cuts Him Too Distantly, Too Bitterly.
She Finds Him Out Two Sidedly. Each Paradox Needed Attention.
She Licks Him Too Rhythmically. Describes Him Too Generally.
Undresses Too Cautiously. He Trips Her Up Too Apparently.
She Touches Him Too Negotiably.
She Goes With Someone Else. Someone Who Drinks Rum At A Bar.
Someone A Little Older, With A Better Taste In Clothes.
Someone Who Makes Love Almost As Sharply,
Plays The Flute Just As Well.
They Met Twice and In A Well-Lit Room He Whispered In Her Ear
That Melancholy's Face Is Solitude.
He Swears He'd Never Turn On Her.
But In His Room At Night He's Lost Your Phone Number.
He Forgets Your Name, But Remembers Your Kisses Up On The Stairs
Chances Are Good My Love That He's Also With Someone Else.
Someone Almost Like You. Someone Who Walks Down Parallel Streets.
He Sees Her Getting Her Mails Sometimes. She Passes By.
She Walks With A Similar Gait and Has Similar Eyes.
But She's Friendly With Sounds He's Never Heard.
Freddie Hubbard (1938 – 2008) and David Murray (b. 1955), Music, and William Parker (b. 1952), Poetry. Jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard served as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and participated in the 1960s jazz avant-garde on Ornette Coleman’s “Free Jazz” (1960), Eric Dolphy’s “Out to Lunch” (1964) and John Coltrane’s “Ascension” (1965). David Murray is a jazz musician who plays tenor saxophone and bass clarinet. He has recorded prolifically for many record labels since the mid- 1970s, releasing over 150 albums under his own name. He is an alumnus of Horace Tapscott's Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra In Los Angeles, itself an outgrowth of the Underground Musicians' Association (UGMA), formed in 1961. While he was with the World Saxophone Quartet, Murray recorded Flowers for Albert (June 1976), elements of which are contained in Visions Suite. William Parker, a free jazz double bassist, multi-instrumentalist, poet and composer, has worked with pianist Cecil Taylor, David S. Ware, and Peter Brötzmann. Together with his wife, Patricia Nicholson Parker, he organizes the annual Vision Festival in New York City.
The world had two voices
One voice cried out, “Save me, save me.”
I tried to save the world but it did not respond
Because the other voice cried out, “Stop that singing ! Stop that dancing!”
Still the world was dying
Then I realized the act of seeing was called vision and
the difference between those who could see and those who could not was
Greater than the distance between the sun and the furthest planet while
At the same time being
Smaller than the width of a strand of hair
Those who did not see were not blind
They were just not seeing
Those who could not hear were not deaf
They were just not hearing
Death was a part of life
A part of life I did not like or understand
All I knew was that life itself was so beautiful
I didn't want it to end
After all these years it was still a mystery
I had not come one step closer to understanding it
I resisted acceptance of death
How did it fit in ?
Looking around it is obvious everything that lives begins to die the minute it is born
So this life must be not life
Life must be somewhere else
Deep inside our souls
In a place we don't really know
How do we get there ?
Where is the road ?
Who is in these fields ?
Flowers have always told me it is ok to cry
Because compassion lives inside tear drops
So I made an agreement with a friend
I would sing, I would dance, and I would paint a
sky so majestic it would make the clouds dry
I would shout poetry from the rooftops
Wake up ! Wake Up ! Feel ! Be !
Later on I found this process was called vision
When death comes I will accept it
But I will continue to see rainbows
Where they are not
This is my obligation
As He Comes Over To Our Side
The Side of Human Being
The Side of the Unnoticed Possibility
Vote For Me
My Politics Speak For
All The Forgotten Angels
The Young and The Old
Vote for Sound
Vote for Music
Vote for Life … For the Living
Don't Let The Madmen Win Again
They Have Controlled The Earth
Sacco E Vanzetti, Music, Carl Sandburg, Poetry (1878 – 1967), and Michel Mockers, Voice (b. 1922). Sandburg published The People, Yes, a 300 page book-length poem, at the height of the Great Depression in an effort to reassert his faith in the common people and to encourage them to regain confidence in themselves. Michel Mockers recites the segment Wave After Wave. Mockers is an artist, author, and publisher who is one of the last surviving and decorated members of the French resistance in WWII. He graciously agreed to direct his No-Pennies Love Orchestra and recite this verse from Sandburg's work. The original Sandburg verse is preceded by these words: In breathing spells of bloody combat between Christian nations the order goes out; “ Don't let the men in the front line trenches fraternize! “
The Sea has fish for everyman
Every blade of grass has its share of dew
The Longest Day must have its end.
Man's life ? A candle in the wind, hoar-frost on stone
Nothing more certain than death and nothing more
Uncertain than the hour.
Men live like birds together in a wood
When the time comes each takes his flight.
As Wave follows wave, so new men take old men's places.
Pan Rui and Dá Bong Gôu
Dean and Clora Acquaviva, Jeannie Becker, Pierre Bellocq, Lee Breuer, John Burkhalter, Dan Butt, Juan del Castillo, Ming Chang, William Constantine Sr., Brian Cowell, Brian Daly, Roeland Jacob van Dommelen, Gary Eisenberg, Jason Fewings, Fu Lang, Ann Gazzard, Max Geiger, Joseph Falcey, Jerry Gordon, Sandy Hague, Eric Haltmeier, Mark Henasey, Evangelina Recio Hernandez, David Homan, Hunterdon Music, Vin Jule, Catherine Kress, Michel Mockers, Craig Monteleone, Robert Margolis and Lisa Grunberger, Daniel Mulvey, Shane Navoy, Rose Marie Nemeth, David Neumann, The No-Pennies Love Orchestra, Steven@Nyamuziwa Marimba, Martin Oppenheimer, Lorraine Pantaleo, Louise Pantaleo, Pan Rui, Marcial De La Peña y toda la familia, Amanda Phillips, Agenté Shooz (the doglet), Small World Coffee, Sophie, Angel Resto, Ringo, Francisco J. Rodriguez, Marvin Rosen, Teri Towe, Freddie Van Gelder Jr., David Weiser, Willard Wright, WFMU, WPRB.
Force Of Right by Sacco E Vanzetti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work for educational purposes at https://sv.mjcmag.org.
Sacco E Vanzetti are two composers and educators that combine spoken word, music, multi-media, and a brief whiff of theater to stimulate and induce a global unified musical consciousness and human political awareness.
"To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now." ― Samuel Beckett, 1961
“Good sense is of all things in the world the most equally distributed, for everybody thinks he is so well supplied with it that even those most difficult to please in all other matters never desire more of it than they already possess.” ― René Descartes