Recent Local Blog Posts


Works in Progress - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:14am

This poem is for the drug addicts

the dope fiends.

this poem is for ninety pound bodies

shriveling in gutters like dried fruit.

this is for those who shoot.

for the withering alley-cat specters dancing

sleepwalk in the devil’s daymare.

this is for those who drown in dope

without a sunrise beyond the black tar’s shadow.

indentured to the needle and the spoon.

this is for my siblings who met their makers too soon.


This poem is for you

you who are black listed for your sickness

convicted, untouchable and criminally ill.

you who is locked up for possession

without a hope of redemption for

your child who is missing you and doesn’t understand

the reasons why the drug war nabbed his daddy

and will follow in his boot steps

if not properly guided.


This poem is for you who grew up

comfortable, but were missing something.

who graduated from the school

bus to the squad car, the pen to the magnum,

you who found your feet, your fountain,

in the Haight & Ashbury.


No hurry.

Why worry?


SMACK is the main line out of the middle class

and into an early grave. this is

for the track marks we paved.


This poem is for you who is on the wait list

for an underfunded treatment center for three

months deciding between

triage through treatment

or deliverance through death.

anything to stop the suffering.

This poem is reality.


I know this poem.

This poem is for ME.


ME who used to strip mine crumbs of amphetamine from the carpet snorting whatever came along with the catch. ME who trembled in anticipation at every new prescription. ME for whom the birds chirping in the morning would produce paranoia. ME who heard gunshots and lived in psychotic delusions


ME. . . who got clean.


ME who no longer lives between high speed chases and post-mania comas under the covers.


This poem

is for worried mothers.


This poem is for hope.

it is for one day, just this day clean

and serene, finally again a human being.

this poem is for no longer

being an animal a slave to my desires,

impulse towards deathly indulgence.

this poem is for skin clear of scabs,

face full of color and complexion.

this poem is for

a job,

an education,

poetry slams,

and getting published.

this poem is

for friends and family

proud to call me theirs,

for a mother who I can look in the eye.

this poem

is for hope.


But this poem is also for the fallen,

for the soldiers digging their trenches in

Southeast D.C. and Baltimore.


This poem is NOT for

the War on Drugs

the War on the Poor

the War on the Spirit.


This poem. . .

is for my dead kin who struggle no more.

for those who finally gave up and greeted the

reaper in the back seat of a beat up Caddy

with not an ounce of body fat,

sunken cheeks

emaciated skeletons

the ones we loved

dead at 23.

…this poem is an epitaph.

This poem is statistics.

This poem rolls dice.

This poem is proof that the dealer didn’t win.

This poem is for every addict who never met the pen.

This poem is for last gasps beneath bridges,

for the funerals

we didn’t have the courage to attend.

This poem is for


resilience, and

blind fucking luck.

THIS is a poem against all odds.

THIS POEM should be six

feet under, but


            IT         defies gravity.

I          defy gravity!

I          defy DEATH!

Brian McCracken is a poet, activist, and youth ally living and resisting in Olympia. As a founding member of Old Growth Poetry Collective, he lives in a house full of dyslexic poet revolutionaries.


Coordinated actions; climate change is major concern for oil trains in Washington State

Works in Progress - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:48pm

An emerging alliance of community and labor leaders joined by local elected officials want Governor Inslee to use his executive authority to deny the permitting of proposed oil terminals in Grays Harbor and Vancouver and the expansion of a Shell refinery in Anacortes.

“All of these terminals and expansions and all the increased oil train traffic fall directly under the executive authority of Governor Inslee,” said their spokesperson, Geoff Simpson. Mr. Simpson is a long time fire fighter for the City of Kent and a lobbyist for the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters.

“We want Governor Inslee to live up to his commitment for a clean energy future and stop the use of our state’s rail system as a carbon corridor for the export of crude oil to Asian markets,” he continued.

In their letter to Governor Inslee, this alliance of organizations is seeking a meeting with Governor Inslee so that they can discuss their perspective. It is signed by leaders of labor unions, community organizations, physicians, fishery groups, as well as elected officials such as Ben Stuckart, President of the Spokane City Council, and two Port of Olympia Commissioners.

Mr. Simpson said that these organizations first met in August at a Statewide Strategy Summit on Oil Trains at The Evergreen State College. As a follow up to the Summit, they met at an all-day session hosted by the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters on Saturday, November 15, in Olympia where they drafted their letter to Governor Inslee.

—WA State Council of Fire Fighters



Works in Progress - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:43pm

Con la boca con cinta adhesiva, Rafael Reygadas, un profesor de la Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM) Xochimilco, se sienta con los muebles que sostienen fotografías de la juventud Escuela Normal Rural de Ayotzinapa. “Agresiones aberrantes contra Ayotzinapa futuros profesores – heridas, mutilaciones, asesinatos y desapariciones forzadas – son los más graves de una política de criminalización de la juventud vez Sin duda, es de los crímenes de Estado y crímenes de lesa humanidad que no debe ser impunes Ellos. mostrar colusión inadmisible entre las autoridades, los partidos políticos y el crimen organizado “profesores de la UAM.


Enrique photo

Foto: Araceli Mondragón

ON STRIKE: With his mouth taped, Rafael Reygadas, a professor at the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM) Xochimilco, sits with furniture that hold photographs of the Ayotzinapa Rural Normal School youth. The sign behind him says, “I can’t hold class, I am missing 43 students.”

In a statement from UAM faculty, “Aberrant assaults against Ayotzinapa student teachers–wounds, mutilations, murders and forced disappearances—are the most serious of a policy of criminalization of youth time. It is certainly of State crimes and crimes against humanity that should not go unpunished. They show impermissible collusion between authorities, political parties and organized crime.”                                                     Photo: Araceli Mondragon

Adventure and mystery in Laniakea

Works in Progress - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:39pm

 Laniakea, as Wikipedia defines it, is a Hawaiian word meaning, “immeasurable heaven.” The exciting thing for me is to finally see a well made map of our actual neighborhood in the Cosmos.

The British science journal Nature recently released a fantastic four minute video on YouTube called, “Laniakea: Our Home Supercluster.” We now have this clear view our home port – something the human race has never had before. It is the recently released description of Laniakea by R. Brent Tully and his team of astronomers at the University of Hawaii.

Our galaxy, the Milky Way is part of a Local Group which contains around 75 nearby galaxies. Our Local Group roams the edge of the Virgo Cluster of about 2500 galaxies. This is a very big neighborhood.

Bigger still is our supercluster. Our neighborhood revolves around the center, a place called the Great Attractor. We now have a clear idea that the 100,000 galaxies of Laniakea are all bound together by gravity.

All the while we are gliding through space along with a plethora of other clusters of galaxies. These clusters are in mutual orbit around the Great Attractor – the gravitational center of our supercluster of which there no known way to leave.

The other superclusters are expanding away from us at an accelerating rate. This will eventually fling them out of sight far away across the Universe. But our Laniakea will probably always be here as a very large and wondrous domain for us to explore.

To explore on not to explore?

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is in mutual orbit with the great galaxy Andromeda. In several billion years we will be much closer together and likely to merge with each other. Humans will have little choice but to populate other star systems or perish as our Sun advances through the red giant phase of its life.

100,000 galaxies with 100 billion stars each, that’s room for lots and lots of possible adventures. Ten quadrillion solar systems with an unknown quantity of alien civilizations to meet.

The number of possible extra-terrestrial civilizations can be estimated by using the famous Drake equation. It is quite easy to estimate for yourself:


The number of extra-terrestrial civilizations within Laniakea which we may run into in the future just requires us to multiply a few estimates.

N(hab) is the number of habitable planets, I’ll guess one in ten stars out there has one.

F(life) is the fraction of these where life gets started some how, my guess could be one in a hundred.

F(civ) being the fraction of these where life develops into a space-faring civilization, maybe one in a thousand.

F(now) is the fraction where that civilization exists during our time period (civilizations come and go we guess) may be one in a hundred.

N(civ) the total civilizations estimated to be in Laniakea today.

(1/10)x(1/100)x(1/1000)x(1/100) =1/100,000,000

Divide the ten quadrillion stars of Laneakia by the one hundred millionth chance of a civilization being there. The estimate is on hundred million strange, advanced, diverse, alien civilizations out there for us to meet, this does not include ones which might visit form neighboring superclusters like the nearest, the Perseus-Pisces Supercluster.

Many people feel we should fear these civilizations. I think that is ridiculous. We should be searching for ways to cooperate and coexist with them, as well as ourselves. We need a conversation above all, to decide how we will handle contact with these alien civilizations who may have much to teach us.

As Laniakea, “immeasurable heaven,” swirls through space with our Milky Way hanging onto its skirt tail, we have so much adventure ahead. The European Space Agency just landed a probe on an approaching comet. India just placed its first satellite in orbit around Mars. China is staging for a return to human Moon landings. We have more opportunity than ever to cooperate with other explorers.

Russ Frizzell is an activist living in Olympia since 2010 and a graduate of The Evergreen State College where he studied Physics and Cosmology.


Wed, 12/31/1969 - 4:00pm
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