Brainerd, Minnesota has been one of my favorite places to perform over the past few years. That's mostly thanks to Matt from the Moonshine Lounge, who has done an amazing job organizing these shows. These three videos were filmed at that spot (by Creative Jinx), and I'm really happy with how they turned out.
There are two or three other versions of this online, but this is definitely the best performance of this poem, a poem that means a lot to me. Aside from being about educators and schools, this is really a poem about the tension between engaging in on-the-ground direct service work and the need to work for large-scale, institutional change. Obviously, we need both; but it can be hard to figure out where you fit in as an individual. I think that's a really important question that activists-- and people in general-- need to keep asking themselves.
This is an older poem, even though it's just now finding its way online. It's always been kind of a second-tier poem for me, but listening to it again, I like it (for the content, but also for its structure and arc). On the surface, it's about military recruitment, but I think it's really about mothers, and the lack of respect afforded to them by the powers that be. With that in mind, this poem is a companion piece to this song in a lot of ways.
This is another version of "Lightning," an a capella performance of a song that's going to be on the next Guante & Big Cats! album. There's already a good version of this online, but it's on Vimeo so I wanted to get it up on YouTube too. And I can't wait for people to hear the actual album-version of the song.