creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Queen of the Weeds Proclamation

"The Queen of the Weeds" Photo by A.J. Goodrich
"The Queen of the Weeds Proclamation" is part of a series from "The Flowering Prince's Garden of Stories" and was presented for the first time at Planet Queer: Close Encounters on Nov 19, 2012. It’s based on an experience I had in July while pulling weeds on Dirty Face Creek Farm in Iowa. It is dedicated all the wonderful people at the organic farm who are seeking to create a truly sustainable lifestyle that works in harmony with the land and have taught me many lessons about the value certain so-called weeds possess. It is also dedicated to Ian MacKinnon for all the fierce, bold work he does to Get More Gay and contribute to the Gay Art Renaissance in Los Angeles. In creating this piece I seek to present part of what I consider a channeled proclamation from a spiritual plant deity that occurred after uprooting one of her physical manifestations. Scientific studies are beginning to affirm what many cultures have known for centuries: plants are conscious beings and we can communicate with them (

Photo by A.J. Goodrich (Travis Wood as Gardener)
In presenting this piece I understand that it is in opposition to the "conventional" farming practices used many people within my family whom I love and respect. Nevertheless the message is vitally important to be heard. I have the deepest respect for farming, but also the deepest concerns for how we MUST manage a transition from our current modality into a new, sustainable and environmentally conscious method that still allows for economic prosperity for farmers and a good, responsible quality of living. There are indeed some challenges ahead in how to make that happen.

Thanks to Travis Wood for participating as “The Gardener” and for all the support staff of Planet Queer and Akbar who make these type of wild performances possible to take place. We are indeed so blessed to be a city flourishing with creative energy in this way. I also thank the Queen herself for sharing this message and hope that this performance will serve to make all of us reconsider the relationship we have to weeds. It certainly is not an easy friendship to make, but it has many rewards and gifts as well. As she says “Pay heed to the weeds!”

Photo by A.J. Goodrich

A gardener emerges from the audience wearing gloves and acts as if picking out weeds from the garden, wiping his brow from the heat, and making his way upstage to a large weed that emerges from the opening.

Gardener: So this is the story of my close encounter over the summer while working in the gardens of an organic farm in Iowa. It was a beautiful blue sky day of billowing clouds, with buzzing bees, fluttering butterflies, chirping crickets and twittering birds, in an otherwise brutal summer of record hot drought conditions that surely had to rattle the resolve of even the most stubborn skeptics of climate change. The crops were irrigated so they maintained a steady green growth, but that meant the same thing applied to the weeds. So it was my task to remove these intrusive and unwanted invaders before they took over the garden and choked out the crops. I noticed one unusually large weed right in the middle of the garden with sprouts branching out almost as tall as myself. I struggled to rip it out of the ground…it took all of my might…but when it finally budged I swear I could hear the most awful screaming and as I looked at the massive tangle of roots I could see a ghastly gnarled face with hair like medusa peering back at me. And before I knew it…the uprooted weed began to speak!
following photos by Ian MacKinnon
The Queen of the Weeds emerges from the opening and makes her way around the stage, confronting the gardener and the audience, as the gardener eventually drops the big weed he pulled and cowers in the corner as she speaks.
QUEEN OF THE WEEDS: Pay your respect to the Queen of the Weeds! For she is the one that you have for so long forsaken, and it is time for you to listen to what she has to say!  So pay attention stupid human and in particular all you queers (etc) of the world — we are connected: we the fringe and persecuted members of humanity and plant world. As much as you try to get rid of us, rip us up, push us down, stop us from growing, or stomp us out — we will endure. You must honor that what you call weeds have a right to exist! We weeds have something to say and it is time that you listen! Pay heed to the weeds!

A weed as you define us is a plant that grows where you don’t want us to grow. A plant in your opinion that offers no significant value but drains the resources of the crops you seek to grow. So you use that as your excuse to wipe us out. We have a right to be here too. Just because we are where you don’t want us to be. Who says this land belongs to humans? Humans think they can just take over this land like a plague and plant genetically modified crops and pump poisons into the soil without concern for all the other creatures that depend on the land. You spend so many precious resources to feed your massive populations and what do you give back in return? Pollution, corruption, destruction!  You are selfish and weak, and depend on plants for every second of your greedy needy feeble lives. We weeds have something to say about that!
 We weeds feed off the sun, the water, the minerals, and when we die, we give back to the Earth that gives us life. We weeds are strong, we weeds are hardy, we know what it takes to survive under any condition! We rise up from the cracks and we thrive in the harshest of climates. We have many benefits beyond your imagining! We have power!  We have strength! We have magic! Many of us contain essential medicines and wisdom. But you turned your backs on us and forgot how great our gifts are. A weed is merely called a weed because you think we have no value, because your view of value is so limited. But if you only took the time and opened your mind you would see what treasures and riches we have to offer! Pay heed to the weeds!
But no, you would rather meddle with your science and your progress that turns away from the natural world. You ignore our natural medicines in order to concoct a world so based on artificial chemicals you don’t even know what is natural anymore - you’ve tainted it all. You are utterly disconnected, creating poisons more devastating than any we have ever witnessed before on this planet. And you use them so adamantly against us. Weed-killers humans call them - ha! You might as well simply call them killers, for they harm animal and human alike. You pump your toxins so far and so wide you do not realize just how that poison comes backs to haunt you. And yet, for as powerful as you make them -- we weeds still exist! We keep coming back! You can’t get rid of us! Meanwhile you have destroyed so much of the land making it impossible for some of the weaker plants to grow.  Only we weeds truly know how to thrive in those conditions. You can set us back, but we will always be waiting for our chance to return, to grow and thrive in the hostile conditions you have imposed. You think you know what you’re doing, solving problems while creating more problems, resorting to the manipulation and mutation of natural plants, thinking you’re so clever. You create your own demise you create your own havoc and destruction. But we weeds will once again rise. Pay heed to the weeds!
 Maybe it hasn’t gotten hot enough for you? Maybe the storms aren’t big enough for you!? Maybe your pathetically genetically engineered crops you call food, aren’t modified enough for you!? You have removed yourself so far from the continuum of life and Mother Nature for you to realize that as you kill everything around you, you are bound to eventually kill yourselves. You think weeds are the problem! Humanity is the problem. So what about it queers? What part are you going to play? You know what it feels like to have a poisonous heterosexual dogma spewed upon you! You know what its like to be so reviled and so hated for your supposed crimes against morality! You know what its like to have gifts and magic to offer the world, only to have people turn against you for it! Why are we weeds and we queers so forsaken? Humanity is blinded by its greed and need, but we are all connected. This is after all, survival of the fittest. And oh, you can bet we weeds will live on. Perhaps we weeds and you queers, hold the key to that survival! We who know what it is like to endure the abuse and the misunderstandings and the failings of a f*ed up humanity! Our lessons, our gifts, our magic, our treasures, our wisdom, our medicine could be exactly what the world needs right now. You may think you’re doing your little part to solve the problem, but what more can you do? Are you doing enough? How far are you willing to go outside your comfort zone? How much sacrifice are you really willing to make and how much of your own blood are you willing to give? How are you going to fight back against the oppression? How are you going reclaim your value and repair the destruction of this world that we all call home?
So think about that humans! Think about that. For you can rip me up, tear me up, put me down, strike me down, do whatever you think is best to cast me out from this garden…but we weeds are survivors. We will return. You can’t stop us forever. We will eventually, inevitably, most certainly return and we will take over! For I am the Queen of the Weeds! So pay heed to the weeds! Pay heed to the weeds! Pay heed to the weeds!!!!!
TQotW disappears back into the opening, leaving behind the gardener who holds the pulled up plant in his hands gently, honoring the lesson she imparted. Lights fade.

The "original" Queen of the Weeds
View from the standing room only back of performance space at Akbar photo by Jamez D Palacio


No comments:

Post a Comment