Oakland is burning // Water is life

Hey friends. The world’s got me feeling a weird bunch of dissonant emotions. Like I’m rejoicing about the DAPL announcement. But I’m mourning the Ghostship warehouse fire in Oakland, a (queer) artist’s community and electronic dance club. The fire happened the night my essay on writing queer nightlife came out in The Indie. In trying to process my reactions, I turned to music and language. I made a dance playlist on SoundCloud and then some notes toward a poem. Unfortunately I’m too busy with preparing finals to give this poem the time it needs to write it properly at this time, but I wanted to share my reflections while they were still relevant.

Anyway, love and solidarity, especially to all friends and family of the Ghost Ship victims.

Oakland is burning

Raving: craving to live outside the normative 9-to-5 boxes capitalism sells us.

Dancing feet not footnotes to history.

The dance floor is lit. The dance floor is burning.

Warehouses: queer artists struggling to make a home and community in a city they are priced out of. I am wary of mainstream narratives of “irresponsibility” and “recklessness”. No, these bodies were burnt at the stakes—unvalued by society. A silent genocide. 

I think of Arson Lounge Fire, another devastating massacre by fire. A gay club in New Orleans, June 24, 1973. At least that one didn’t go down in the history books as an “accident.”

The number of reported deaths keeps rising. Play the music louder. 

DIP: Dance in Peace. Dance in Power.  

Our work never rests.

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