Letter to my mother on mothers day

11 May

Dear Mom
Its strange even though i know you are gone I still feel that you are with me sometimes and old arguments we use to have keep sneaking in my life. Today I was at a revolutionary poetry reading at all I could think of was you. It started when I was reading a poem by Bobby Sands, the one that we use to talk about all the time and discuss and debate and later when I was giving my speech in the back of my head I could hear you cynicism around leftist politics that poor people fight and die for ideas, ideas that are betrayed and tossed aside like the people who have fought and died for them and I remember the quote you use to tell me all the time when i would get really excited about a revolutionary idea and would rant and rave and follow you around the house explaining in the smallest detail my thoughts plans and how they should be implement, the quote you told me you were told along time ago when you would rant such ideas with similar passion, the quote in english goes something like this if im not wrong “Your ideas are good and plans are even better but trying to do anything political in a landscape full of fuckers is impossible”. You always hated opportunism not because of any ideological reason but rather because it was phony and you really had no time for people that did not believe what they talked about.

Anyways at the poetry reading I started to think about our age old argument can art exist simply as art or is art simply a reflection of class reality. I remember being so drawn to the idea that art cant exist under capitalism due to the fact that it becomes a commodity that is bought and sold and as such art is produced for the market that I took the extreme stubborn that social realism is the only true art form and you were so stubborn that you would yell that as long as a poet exists in some decrepit basement with only a pen and a paper and there ideas art would still exist, and I would respond that whatever that poet was writing was still a result of the material conditions and that the poetry was either serving the class struggle on the side of the oppressed or serving the bourgeois to which you would reply why is my library full of books on vampires and such and how is that advancing the class struggle to which i would shut up only to come back ten minutes later saying that vampires and such was an example of the capitalist class and those that chased them were examples of the proletariat to which you would respond that I am so obsessed that i could find someway to bring the issue of class struggle into a conversation about something as mundane as making salad to which I would respond whose land was the vegetables grown on and did the salad maker own the means of production to which you would end up laughing or argue more depending on how you were feeling.

It may make you happy to know that I spent most of the day with an artist that really reminded me of you and talking to her reminded me of hearing stories from you both as an artist and as someone who was politically conscious and lived through alot. The free flow of discussion we had reminded me of how we use to talk and I missed you so much. Dont worry my ideas on art and culture are not as dogmatic as they use to be and you are right as the son of two poets I would eventually find my way back to art writing and poetry, unfortunately its too late for you to see what I write but I am sure you would be proud as it is honest and I can look at what I write and say that yes this does reflect me. We took the subway me and this woman and I started saying some of the things that I was thinking about the international situation and she changed the subject, to which after we got off the subway I made a comment along the lines of Im so glad we are comfortble to talk about any political issues we want in the the land of the free, laced with sarcasm to which we both laughed.

This is the issue I want to talk to you about mom, the sacrifices you made raising a son who is a an open communist. I remember when I was about thirteen or so I told you I was a communist and you told me to keep my mouth shut and asked if I wanted us to be deported. I remember CSIS visiting us as kids because they were convinced that you were a communist spy and the story you told me about that family that wanted to firebomb us but they didnt because we they found out you had children and I remember that Dima Dragan who was murdered by either communists or anti communists wife use to babysit for us. In this enviroment you did not attack me or denounce me or marginalize what I said but rather you supported me visited me in jail worried about me and always told everyone dont say anything bad about Julian he is my beloved son. I remember when one person at Church was gossiping and saying ohhhh Julian is a bolshevik  and should be beaten you said and who is going to do it you? You are too scared of your own shadow, at least Julian has guts to stand up for what he believes in. How many struggles you endured as my mother I cant even believe to imagine yet despite all I put you through you were always at myside even if you did not agree with what I said or did and you did this at the expense of your reputation and saftey because I was your beloved son.


On this day I want to appreciate you for all you did and suffered for my sake and let you know that I still love you and know you are here watching over me because you are my beloved mother.


2 Responses to “Letter to my mother on mothers day”

  1. amber May 12, 2015 at 1:24 am #

    This is beautiful Julian. Your mom was a great woman 🙂

  2. Mike May 12, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    Thanks, Julian.

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