"Robot Cosplay" and "Letter from Sarayaku"

Robot Cosplay

Contrary to popular belief, many cosplayers (well over 98%) do not believe they are the characters they are "cosplaying" as.
—Urban Dictionary: “cosplay”

 

Occasionally, be sure to wear a hat
          with color
          the occasional feather
It’s not just the presence that matters
          It’s the putting on and taking of
          the color, the feather
          that will soften your steel

Break the straight line mimicking lips
          into three, the better
          to shift corners into smiles
          or (but rarely now) frowns
It’s a visual metaphor for an emotion
          that, yes, doesn’t exist for you
          But metaphors are better than
          nothing for softening your steel

Insert the necessary screws
          about your waist
          to allow you to bend
          forward and backward
To be human is to respond
          with attraction (bend forward)
          and repulsion (bend backward)
          thus, softening your steel

Replace the steel plate insides of arms
          with wire mesh
          better for cushioning
          a human you might need
          to embrace
Hugs reduce wars—
          a knowledge whose effects
          include softening your steel

Insert light bulbs behind eyes
          that can flicker on and off
          with light
Humans associate light with
          comfort viz warmth
          empathy
          understanding
          and their so-called “Biggie”: Love
          which can soften, nay, melt! steel

Last but not least, don’t forget
          what Bill Gates advocated:
          Pay taxes!
Don’t ever reveal your expertise in
          international tax havens
          capital expenditure amortizations
          cash flow deferrals or accelerants
          Knowledge hardens steel

To successfully take over
is to hide process

To successfully take over
requires immediate fait accompli!

 


 

Letter from Sarayaku

Ecuador’s government ignored the community’s refusal to sell oil-drilling rights and signed a contract in 1996 with the Argentinian oil company C.G.C. to explore for oil in Sarayaku. In 2003, C.G.C. petroleros—oil workers and private security guards—and Ecuadorian soldiers came by helicopter to lay explosives and dig test wells. // Sarayaku mobilized.

 

Brown as the earth from which you surfaced
we relished your skin as we washed each of you
earth
We relished your skin as we peeled it off
each of you to reveal the color of the sun
skin
We relished sunlight’s complexion as we sliced
your mud-kissed body into strips for our teeth
sunlight
Our teeth chewed and chewed the slices
of your body, mixing them with our saliva
teeth
Our saliva was our contribution and warning
for those to whom we served your bodies
saliva
Knowing who we would serve, we spit enzymes for
your bodies into a bowl. Your bodies then fermented
enzymes
for hours until your flesh became juice looking like
“defatted milk,” a surface evoking the sheen of cataracts,
flesh
apt for hearkening the blind men who sought oil from
our ground by destroying the source of the treasure
oil
they desired. We chewed and bathed your bodies with
our saliva—we gave freely from our own bodies for we
bodies
should not protect from a distance. You are the source
of our lives: water, fruits and vegetables, insects, animals—
source
a jungle that deserves harmony from those to whom you
give life. So we thank you, Nature, for donating the cassavas.
jungle
With our spit, we created chicha for the petroleros. They
partied all night with your cassavas and our saliva.
chicha
When they woke, they woke to the muzzles of their guns
held strongly in our arms. Warned off our ancestral lands,
guns
they never returned.  An ocean away, several years later,
a poem surfaces without addressing the torture, rape
ocean
and other suffering of the people, “especially mothers
and children.” Instead, focus alights on how nature and
mothers
humans cooperated for “sumac kawsay,” the presumption
one must live peacefully with the natural world and insist
humans
nature has rights deserving of protection. Not only is this
a law of the jungle, it holds the key for the planet’s survival. 
nature
“It’s not a big thing,” says a Sarayaku elder, his hair decorated
with blue bird wings. “It’s just                     to continue living.”
Sarayaku

 

In 2008, Ecuador’s constitution became the first in the world to codify the rights of nature and specifically sumak kawsay. Bolivia’s constitution has a similar provision, and rights-of-nature ordinances have been passed in communities in the United States.

 

 

[after “Deep in the Amazon, a Tiny Tribe is Beating Big Oil” by David Goodman, Yes! Magazine, Spring 2015]

 

 

Eileen R. Tabios

Eileen R. Tabios loves books and has released about 50 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in eight countries and cyberspace. Her most recent include The Opposite of Claustrophobia (Knives, Forks and Spoons Press) and Amnesia: Somebody’s Memoir (Black Radish Books). Forthcoming poetry collections include Manhattan: An Archaeology (2017) and Hiraeth: Tercets From the Last Archipelago (2018). Inventor of the poetry form “hay(na)ku,” she has been translated into eight languages. She also has edited, co-edited or conceptualized twelve anthologies of poetry, fiction and essays as well as served as editor or guest editor for various literary journals. See http://eileenrtabios.com.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 22:36