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Please wear a black arm or wrist band tomorrow, 10/30/2008, in silent protest of the execution of Gregory White by the state of Texas. Mr. Wright is scheduled to be poisoned for the 1997 murder of Donna Vick.

Rick Perry and the citizens of Texas are preparing to execute a man who is demonstrably innocent. Mr. Wright has maintained his innocence unflaggingly and even passed a lie detector test. New evidence shows that ehis DNA is “inconsistent with the biological material found on the pair of jeans” worn by the victim during the crime. Further, the state of Texas requires proof of “future dangerousness,” a claim fully abrogated by Mr. Wright’s exemplary behavior in prison. Although incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, he is using his time to earn a Legal Assistant/Paralegal certificate and to further his studies in Christianity. Texas must stay this execution to allow time for righting this impending injustice.

Thanks for all you do to abolish the death penalty in the United States of America!

Dear friends and comrades:

My students and I are conducting a pre-election poetry action in a few days, and I am writing to ask you for a verbal contribution. We want the responses to be as spontaneous as possible; they will be most useful if they arrive within 24 hrs.

Mario Cuomo once said: You campaign in poetry; you govern in prose.

You are invited to compose variations on Cuomo’s text and submit them to ewillis@wesleyan.edu:

You ______________ in poetry; you ______________ in prose.

You campaign in ____________ ; you govern in ______________.

Feel free to vote more than once, distribute this text to others, collect versions of these sentences from people you meet, and send them directly to me by email.

The resulting collaborative text will be performed at a central campus location on Monday, Nov. 3.

Thanks in advance to all of you who participate.

Elizabeth Willis
ewillis@wesleyan.edu

The Blameless

by Larina Warnock

I did not slay six hundred
thousand souls in fire and zeal
and ideology. I did not
wage a war I could not win
and call it courtesy. I did not
agree to separate the sinners
from the saints through smoke
and toil, for democracy and oil.

I do not have six hundred
thousand souls across the scale.
That weight belongs to other,
higher bred. I did not wage a war
I could not win—I turned my head.

The sand never clogged my lungs
or touched my face burned
with doubt and death. The sirens didn’t
jolt me awake, alert and holding
my breath. The shadows never haunted
me with promise of a spark. The powder never
dirtied me from shots fired in the dark.

I was never called to duty,
asked to don my boots and arms.
I never had to kill, be killed,
lose hope. I did not fight a war
I could not win—I did not vote.

*

I give permission for any person to reprint or distribute this poem in its entirity, unchanged, and bearing my name, for any reasonable purpose and with or without financial gain from said distribution or printing. Larina Warnock

**

Larina Warnock works for a nonprofit organization by trade and resides in Oregon. She is a writer and the editor of The Externalist.

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