Friday, September 30, 2011

times are tough for the 99 %

Help me go & speak to Obama for the 99% & you!

I'm a poor artist surviving on a pension & SS. I'm seeking donations to go Obama's dinner so I can break things down to him for how it is for the unprivileged. I would love to have an opportunity to explain how hard it is for us who will never own a home, for those of us who live right in the way of people fracking our water supply so that in several years probably half of us will be dead and those of us who survive will be diseased. I would definitely like an opportunity to voice my opinion. I want to tell Obama how it is everyone's basic right to have adequate medical care food and shelter.

I want him to know that the poor need an expansion of social welfare programs like we had in the Johnson era and that he needs to stop giving big pay outs to people on Wall Street, that he needs to follow President Roosevelt's tactics when it come to taxing the very wealthy because the poor can no longer shelter everything plus pay for everything the rich want.

No one can afford their own apartment anymore. Where are people to go?
There's no jobs and what about the man who makes 23000 and has 3 young children and a wife? He pays taxes and can barely pay the rent.
Things are rough all around for the 99 percent.

For the first times in years - spending some time with the 99% in Zocotti Park and participating in their activities and sharing their space, I feel hopeful that sometime in my lifetime there will be change and more equitable distribution of resources, jobs, money for food medical care for working poor. I haven't felt this hopeful in years.

I even got to hang out with Uncle Eddie & Robin which was great fun. Robin said they'd traveled from West Virginia to be with their brothers and sisters. Uncle Eddie even accompanied me with his banjo when I performed the following poem. Very cool people.

Billie’s Consumerism Blues

What I find crazy is that none of this is being reported in the news. I mean why should we know that a grass roots organization has moved into a park on Wall Street or that this same grass roots population has the same type demonstrations going on in at least 50 more cities.

Yesterday at I was surprised to learn that this occupation is going on in other cities simultaneously and somehow miraculously this news is being kept from our citizenry.
I was really happy to be there today and see so much going on. They even had a performance corner which I participated in which was great fun.

A lot of solidarity permeates the air!

Check the link below at Kevin Zeese's blog to see exactly where and spread the word everywhere to everyone you know:

occupy occupy occupy 
This is a great blog for disseminating information.

Celebrities Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore visit Zucotti park

Above is a profile of Uncle Eddie and below is Robin.

And here's Robin, his cohort in crime!

occupy wall street all day all week is the chant you hear!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My first short film is now online: "Toss up and Sides again"

Ben Hopper filmed his first short film - check it out! Shot over a period of 2 days using a Canon 5D Mark II during the 18th Israeli Juggling Convention in Gan HaShlosha (Israel) back in April this year.

My first short film is now online: "Toss up and Sides again"

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Nurtured with contempt instead of acceptance I came to understand that contempt was what I deserved. A world filled with maladjusted tendencies, constrained to a room, one of many to come. Three beds stood in our one bedroom with two side-by-side windows with deep sills that faced a wide open schoolyard that ran the entire width of our square city block.

Six of us lived in a one bedroom walk up gratefully situated on the first floor of a five story red brick building. There were two graceful entrances to the left and right of the main courtyard surrounded by well tended shrubbery. 

In our one bedroom there was a double bed plus two singles side by side against the wall, facing outwards so that all of our feet directly faced each other. The two single beds pushed together were mine and the middle sister's. The double bed on the opposite side facing ours was occupied by my eldest sister, Georgette, and my mother. 

My bed was closest the window and Harriet's bed was pushed alongside mine, the heads pushed against the wall. There was only a few feet of space left to walk between the four beds. I spent a lot of time in bed. That was where I did my homework, read for hours and dreamed away the hours.

My favorite part of weekends and mostly all I looked forward to was the ability to stay late in bed gazing at the sky. If my sisters came in or my mother I would climb on the window sill behind the curtain where they could not watch me and I could imagine I was alone with my dreams of clouds constructing lives of gods and goddesses while I instructed them on how to play nice with one another to have a good time.

I never did fit it with anybody, especially in first through third grades. Children made fun of me. A girl name Ruth told me she and her friend were going to get dressed up and have a lollipop party and everyone was invited. Did I want to go? I looked in Ruth’s face feeling suspicious of their niceness I felt trapped but didn’t know why. I nodded yes. “Sucker,” they yelled gleefully laughing hysterically, whilst staring into each others eyes, they danced away arm in arm. I stared after them.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I sing misty blue for you today

Misty blue just for you today Daddy
Sing misty for you every day
Waiting to hear you say
You’re coming on home today
My life’s on hold – my mind strays
I see you in my mind’s eye drinking that Bombay Gin
Sitting alone in a Starbuck’s café
Knowing life plays me like a Violin
But I can’t stop wondering and hoping
That there's a better way
Please tell me you’ll always love me Daddy
The way you know that I love you

The way you know that I love you
Please please come on home to stay
My soul has turned misty like the
weather before the storm
While it keeps playing the same old song
Play it in reverse today and tomorrow
Let me coerce you to come on home
Let your worries disperse
Things can’t get much worse
So come on home baby
We’re going to jam the night away
and play new music all night long
till the dawn lights up the sky Daddy

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The weather of my insight has changed.

The days grow shorter sun up to sun down yet they feel longer. I toss nightly sleeplessly awakened by the pitter patter of rain on my A.C. Relentlessly the same way every day like the A.C. upstairs  at the Medina’s  drips steadily down on top of mine. The storms won’t abate. Although the wind is gone a steady rain remains like the leak in my heart. I’m bleeding out and can’t say when. Only it’s not blood, it’s the leaking of love and spinal fluids and I can’t hold them back. I know it’s going to rain again today.

I look out the window. Quiet yet in spite of the quiet the rain falls like a silent cellophane sheet blanketing my world. Consumed by tireless passion I consider my options on how to avoid contact with the world. As though hearing my thoughts a breeze awakens outside my window whispering to me about the loss of his mother, the rainbow warrior. I console us and entreat him to try again.

He foreswears off the grain alcohol and thunder and moonshine light up the sky.

The wind is my friend. He whispers words only I hear so I listen again to see if I fear the answer. 
My thoughts and the wind have moved on. I hear a car barking down the street. The sound of the city whistles and my ears ring.

The pain in the crook of my arm keeps me alive. I google ‘pain in crook of arm’ to see what I can find. It’s described as some weird tendonitis. Ice as usual oh my. Shouldn’t I know that already?

I google group venus astrology. My astrology tells me “Avoid pessimism and don’ t retreat into yourself. You must expand psychologically and seek new experiences.”

Story of my life…
Onwards to new adventures!
What am I waiting for…

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Only One

 I thought about you and watched videos of us inside of me. I sat and cried for what I thought we’d had but slowly over the next year I realized our life was recreated from a fantasy of what I desired from you. In my mind the dream I’d created of who you are became real. Slowly over time you proved to me again and again that the dream was a fantasy. Being subjected to your unrelenting anger and sarcasm was nothing new. What became new was now I saw the things you did for what they are. You proved that I never possessed the dream I desired. You proved that I only see things the way I want to see them. I went back in time in my mind rearranging the pieces of our lives. I had never wanted to see you for who you are so I created the man I hoped to find. Picking through the events in time now I see I saw you, as I wanted you to be.  You were always the way I see you now but I refused to see who you were when we were together. To survive I lived a fantasy.

Living in dreams enriches my life but there is the comedown when I realize it’s only a dream, a rich fantasy about how I want things to be but not the way they really are. Everyone I see is colored through whatever lens I am wearing that day. I live in bright-distorted colors of varying shades and intensities.  Blue is rarely true blue and it is in my nature to stay true to myself. I am fickle. I change colors.

My sad is midnight blue yet I keep trying to see stars peeking through. Green seeps through me helping me keep in touch with nature yet I’m streaked with red where I’ve been led astray by envy or anger. My lust puts a golden dust on the dawn. It’s all I see when I’m in love, like being trapped in a lovely crystal ball with gold dust all around. It ends with releasing blood ties at season’s end; the red turns shades of yellow and orange, where I struggle with my faith in mankind. I’m ready to begin again. My color is aqua. I become a shade of royal plum. Like the Aegean Sea I float in the arms of eternity searching for the right you to understand me.

After the gold dust settles pastels show me like a misty savior heading towards threatening seas to rescue them from the dark. Colors shift from dawn to dusk inside of me as I rearrange my life accordingly with a party cake pink; a perpetual continuity lives inside of me as I struggle with the colors. They consume me. I realize I’m not the only one who can’t escape so I pray for us all instead.
I recycle the stories in my head and see they are all the same. The names change but the stories remain the same. After some time telling stories, the men run into each other knocking each other down because they don’t watch where they’re running. After a few stories I realize it doesn’t matter who did what. It’s like any one of them could have been in any of my stories doing the same things the other one did. The faces and names become interchangeable. They blur together and become one. For God’s sake it’s the same old stories with new and different faces.

Monday, September 05, 2011


“It’s ok.” I said, “I’ve been there too
I understand where you’re coming from.
Just show me the dotted line and
I’ll be ready to sign,
I promise I’ll make no demands
for alimony or child support.
My life’s worth more than you could ever pay.”
The gun trained on my face
I heard the click,
saw him pull the trigger back
Imagine the surprise written in his eyes
when still we stood eye to eye 
bullet jammed in the chamber
My life handed to me on a
platter that day, I understand now
But for the mercy of God 
I’d be dead not only broke
Lucky not to succumb to a bullet that day
I said, “Show me the dotted line 
I know when it’s time give in and sign
Because I’ll never get nothing from you 
except a hard way to go.
You never liked sharing anyway 
so I’m glad to let you know
I’m glad to see you go
I want you to know 
I’m glad you know 
I don’t need you to have my own
I had my own before you were born
no - please don’t interrupt," I continued,
holding up my open palm,
"You misunderstand.
Go with your government job 
and all your big benefits.
It’s ok if you refuse to share.
To care for and love your children,
I swear it’s o.k.
I’ll sign it all away to you
As long as you let me go my own way.
I'll sign that dotted line, 
I swear I will!
I’m not giving in to death yet – 
it’s premature to date.
Please don’t make me 
leave my son motherless
Hand me a pen 
I’m ready, willing, able to bend
I’ll sign on that dotted line
By the grace of God
I absolve you from all future debts
Please let me go
Thank God I’m not dead 
Here I go, pen in my hand 
I’m ready to sign on that dotted line.”
The surprise registered in your lifted brows
as you pulled the trigger
and stared me dead in the eye
no remorse for what you’d planned to do
“An eye for an eye,” you quoted, 
“So bang you’re dead, gone in the wink 
of an eye,” and you winked at me.
On your way out the door,
Certainly I hoped this was the last wink of yours I’ll ever see.
In the blink of an eye, my life is worth more than child support
Gleeful smile, no mercy for the bitch written on your face
A New York City minute changes life
when you saw no bullet had emerged from the chamber
no bullet came clambering through 
no bullet rammed through me
By God’s mercy I still stand here before thee
So let me be me and I’ll allow you to be free of me
Free from responsibility demands you could no longer stand 
You were so cruel to me
Ready to sign on the dotted line as long as you’ll let me live
Yes I’m ready to sing there’s a song in my heart
Glory Hallelujah I'm so glad I survived
I'm so blessed to be alive
money ain’t mean nothing, I’ll give it up to stay alive

I got a song in my heart so glad to be alive