A Revolutionary’s Guide to Breaking (It) Up
By Kathryn Gwun-Yeen Lennon
You’ve been busy this year,
holding your ground against riot cops in the streets of Montreal
holding out against the corporations that would take the land from beneath your feet.
You’ve been busy holding up the sky.
You only cry when you cut onions.
But somebody breaks your heart
you will cry, a lot
and though you know in your little revolutionary heart
that Kimberly-Clark is responsible for the deforestation of the world’s great rainforests
you will have a box of Kleenex on hand, at all times.
You know how to break the rules,
how to break down walls,
how to break the chains of oppression.
But when somebody breaks your heart
You won’t know which systemic injustice to break apart first,
and though you’ve read all the books on how to resist patriarchy, capitalism, racism, classism, and facism,
when a lover says “cease and desist”,
you will not know how to break these rules.
You will demand fair trial and due process
because you believe in justice, equity, and collective decision making.
They will tell you: “sorry, these rules do not apply in love and war”,
But you do not believe this.
And because you are a revolutionary
You will ask too many questions
Like, “why is status quo so?”
The people united will never be defeated! The people united will never be defeated!
But you have been defeated.
It still will hurt a little
You might miss a step in the march a little.
You might feel foolish for wanting too much
You might question the effectiveness of your tactics
And the clarity of your objectives
You might ask: how do I know that this is worth fighting for?
You are tough, you are a warrior,
But if you have put aside your armour,
you will learn that you are not invincible.
Write a poem
because there is power in sharing your struggles.
But hearts do not belong on sleeves, so write it in the second person, please.
Do not retaliate.
At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say this:
The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.
So you will bear no weapons, no anger, no shame.
You will pick yourself up after a fall
Dust off your knees, hold your head high
And carry nothing but pride
in knowing you loved enough that losing hurt.
Do not fear the loudness of your heart beat.
A broken heart is a beating heart is a feeling heart is a moving heart.
And you’ve gotta let life move you,
cause you’ll never move the masses if you’ve never let life move you.
The world is waiting, little revolutionary,
so keep moving.