Poems for Pussy Riot: The Queendom of Revolution by Sally McAlister

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On 13 September, English PEN launched ‘Poems for Pussy Riot‘ in support of three members of the Russian punk band –  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich – who are currently serving a  two year prison sentence.

In the weeks leading up to their appeal hearing on 1 October, we are posting daily tributes to the band, in the form of some extraordinary poems and images. An ebook collection of the poems, ‘Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot’, edited by Mark Burnhope, Sarah Crewe and Sophie Mayer, will be published on 1 October to coincide with the appeal hearing. Several contributors to the project will also be reading their work as part of a peaceful protest outside the Russian Embassy in London, 11- 1pm – one of many protests due to take place across the globe.

The next contribution comes from Sally McAlister.

 

The Queendom of Revolution

I have been thinking about our decision,
I have been inspired by so much confusion,
that sometimes it began to hurt,
to a high level of despair I can no longer convert.
For freedom
for feminism
For Revolution
An Art sacrificed through the ashes of nihilism
has put my soul on hold and eaten my conscience to the bone.
 
Surreptitiously sneaking into your cell
is the dream I keep having every night
and we would talk about this fight
about all these inspired things you could not tell.
 
Please, please, talk to me again about it,
Whisper the blue notes of this punk revolution,
Or they will turn black in slow motion,
And there will be no forces that you can’t beat.
 
Behind bars you remain locked and I Miss
Colorful masks of the almighty anonymous feminists
raising their guitars up high, and all these fists
waving forcefully in the air for a slice of justice.
 
“So-called” freedom is to be put down
In favor of a truthful desired human freedom
legitimate female liberation we can call our own,
The queens are taking back power over the Kingdom.
 
Love, Love, Love,
Is what I strongly feel about your free spirits,
Slightly embracing the intimacy of this cove,
Letting the fears and hates falling down the pit.
 
Pussy Riot, Pussy Riot, Pussy Riot
The women who managed to bring our fight back,
To give riot grrrls a second life other than white & black,
To instill the courage to never again be quiet.
 
No silence
No shame
No fear
No repression
No injustice
 
No more, no more deaf illusions.
 
For our three brave Riots,
For our three outstanding women,
For the freedom of speech
That beats in every heart of bleach,

For a taste of a new wave of feminism
which will go beyond all political criticism
I salute the future of our new beginnings,
I salute the desire of our strong feelings,
Because united we stand with Pussy Riot,
Defending the Art of protest and creation,
For Masha, my electrifying delight,
For Nadezdha, the unstoppable force,
For Yekaterina, the awe-inspiring soul,
For all of our raging punk prayer growls,
For our beloved daughters of Revolution.

 

Poems for Pussy Riot posts

Poems for Pussy Riot – an introduction to the project

Soutien-Gorge: Ira Lightman

Vagina: Sophie Mayer

Song: Ali Smith

Abridged and Complete Biography of Olympe de Gouge: Claire Trévien

Women of the Year: Betty Doyle

Weapons of Minor Destruction: Sandra Alland

Our Glorious Leader Putin: Jack Underwood

Cat Power: Amy Key

Avoid using the word “pussy”: Charlotte Geater

Poem with Four Vaginal Walls: Mark Burnhope

Sheela na gig (deconstructed): Sarah Crewe

Dance of the Seven Veils: Alison Croggon

Skylined: Gareth Evans

Vox Populi (A poem for voices): Steve Heighton

The Eye of the Needle: Aoife Mannix

Ne (No): Wayne Burrows

Vaginaland: Jen Campbell

We Jew women: Translated by Marek Kazmierski

Thirst: John Siddique

Elegy in Red: Chris Emslie

Theatre: Fathieh Saudi

Three Sisters: Tim Dooley

Some Protest Stones: Sarah Hesketh

Please welcome to the stage: Alex MacDonald

Because The Poets Know: Tony Walsh

Pussy Riot Rap: Ana Pulteney

Fine Line: Red of the Vaginellas

The Blackbird: Adam Horowitz

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