Memorial Day, 2003
those brave souls who gave their lives for freedom.
— Dear Abby
Remember Sacco & Vanzetti
Remember John Brown
Remember the slave revolts
Remember Huey & Little Bobby Hutton
Remember Crazy Horse & Chief Joseph
Remember the Modoc & the Algonquin Nation
Remember Patrice Lumumba
Remember the dream of Africa
Remember Tina Modotti
Remember Makhnov & Tsvetaeva & Mayakovski, Essenin
yes, goddammit, even remember Trotsky
Hey, do you remember Hypatia?
Socrates? Giordano Bruno?
Remember my buddy, Esclarmonde de Foix
Remember Seton the Cosmopolite
Remember Edward Kelly, murdered in prison
Remember to take yr life back into yr hands
It’s Memorial Day, remember
what you love
& do it – don’t wait.
Remember life hangs by a thread —
& then remember the poets:
Shelley & Bob Kaufman
Remember Van Gogh & Pollock
Remember Amelia Earhart
Remember it’s not a safe time & all the more reason
To do wholeheartedly what you have to do
Remember the women & men of Wounded Knee,
Kent State, remember where you stand:
in the midst of empire, & the Huns
Remember Vercingetorix, Max Jacob
Apollinaire & Suhrawardi, remember
that all you need to remember is what you love
Remember to Marry the World
Diane di Prima is a poet, teacher, psychic, playwright, healer, magician, anarchist, student of alchemy and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism. She is the mother of five, grandmother of three and a great-grandmother. An new edition of her Revolutionary Letters with thirty new poems is being published by Last Gasp Press this Fall, and Penguin is publishing Opening to the Poem (essays and exercises for beginning poets) next Spring. Her recent books include an autobiography, Recollections of My Life as a Woman, and her epic poem Loba: Books I and II (both from Penguin), and two chapbooks: Towers Down and The Ones I Used to Laugh With. She lives in San Francisco where she teaches privately.
Photo of Diane di Prima & Allen Ginsberg by Sheppard Powell.