Every single one of these people had a navel and a name. They occupied space and time, somebody's and eventually their own. A fact that is so simple it's almost unremarkable except that I think its plain-ness makes it remarkable. A navel and a name. Today, marks the anniversary of their end in 1978. The [...]
In early 1979, when Eugene Smith returned “back to the world” from the Guyanese jungle, my father had made his return “back to the world” more than a decade before, following his completion of a tour in the Vietnamese jungle. When he first returned, my dad was a 22-year-old husband and father of one – like Smith upon his return. Smith’s wife and one child, however, were not waiting for him, nor were they with him; along with Smith’s mother, they had died in the jungle with over 900 other members of Peoples Temple.
I'll be reading poems from Marrow, my manuscript about the Peoples Temple, a congregation of Americans who emigrated to Jonestown Guyana and were coerced into suicide by their spiritual leader.
I'll be on a panel called "Written By Ourselves: The Craft of Immobile Corporeality" on Friday, April 1 at 12 noon (Rm. 51o of the L.A. Convention Center). Stop by and hear me talk about the lovers of Jonestown and how they use the stillness of intimacy in defiance of their circumstances in that Guyana [...]