Dear Mars, I See You There So Far Away

Two events this week and a poem in service to abolition.

Image description: A virtual flyer for a monthly Birthday Card Writing event I host for ABO Comix. It is on the SECOND THURSDAY (the next one is tomorrow 4/8/2021) of each month, starting at 6:30pm PT. Each month we give out names and address to ABO Comix artists, share tips for how to send them a birthday card, and read a chapter from Captive Genders. Email me at queerlycomplex [at] gmail [dot] com to get the invitation.

I wrote “Dear Mars” in October 2020. I was in the midst of doing a bunch of reading of abolitionist texts including Captive Genders edited by Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith with a forwards by CeCe McDonald, listening to episodes of Prison Radio and the Millennials Are Killing Capitalism podcast with Barbara Smith, and hosting a monthly Card Writing space for ABO Comix.

One early morning, I went outside to smoke, and Mars was low and bright in the sky. I said hello, and suddenly, I felt compelled to write a letter to Mars in the same way I was writing letters to my dad.

I have shared this poem with a few ABO Comix artists. I’ve received letters back as if they are on Mars and one that even challenged the notion of Mars. I feel honored and grateful that this little poem is sparking dialogue and exchange.

Please read and share if so moved.


Dear Mars,
I see you there so far away,
and even here in SanFrancisco
I can tell that you are red.
I've heard so many stories about you
told by so many other people
that I no longer know what is true.
Are you some war-like god,
whose truth of violent conflict
purports to also be human nature?
Are you the birth place of J'onn J’onnz,
the Martian Manhunter,
whose only weakness is fire?
Or are you a place yet to colonize,
a place for U.S. to both extract and trash?

Dear Mars,
I see you there so far away,
and I know that you are real.
Your distance makes everything possible
because I cannot physically comprehend
the space between our bodies.
To me, you appear as big as the tip of my pencil.
And I do not appear to you at all.
How can we know each other but through our dreams?

Dear Mars,
I see you there so far away,
and I dream of somewhere we all are free.
This dream right now
is as small as you appear
because it is still so far away.
There are so many peoples
who've been harmed by US,
and their dreams and their freedom have been denied.
For this dream to grow,
those who’ve been harmed must be free.

Dear Mars,
I see you there so far away,
and I watch you traverse your steady path.
It reminds me of the wisdom of Rumi,
which was shared with me by a comrade in San Antonio,
"As you walk the path the path unfolds.”
I hope my path unfolding heals and mends.

Dear Mars,
I see you there so far away,
and I watch you fade as the sun rises.
It reminds me today has just begun.
My path is clearer now
and I must continue walking
one foot in front of the other.
When tonight comes and you return,
we'll be a little closer together,
if only in our dreams.

Image description: On the SECOND FRIDAY (next one is this week on 4/9/2021) of every month, I host an Abolishing All White Institutions Cocktail Hour from 4pm to 6:30pm PT. It's for anyone who wants to see an end to all museums, universities, detention centers, jails, cops, prosecutors, borders, any white institution while also probably working for one because we are all a part of it all of the time. Join us in kvetching and drinking with no other aims than solidarity in the moment. Please email jason [at] queerlycomplex [dot] come to get the invitation.

There is now a Queerly Complex Cosmos Discord server. Yeah… just what you need…another virtual space.

BUT…I’m not on social media any more, so this is an intentional community I’m cultivating dedicated to queer + trans-centered, anti-racist, anti-fascist, and anti-capitalist exchange and co-creation of art and politics.