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Brenda Coultas

The Diary of Found Foods






                        --------------from A Critical Mass for Brad Will


Brad Will was a poet, Indie-media  journalist, anarchist, and a friend of mine. He was murdered in Oaxaca, Mexico on October 27, 2006, while filming a street battle between the Oaxacan governer Ulises Ruiz Ortiz’s thugs and APPO, the Popular Assembly of the People, during a months long teachers’strike in which at least eleven were killed. Outragously, even though Brad filmed his own murder and the gunmen were identified, no charges have been brought. For more information:



Dreamed of the barn leaning due to heavy rains, now it was a movie house, and we had to cancel a show. We made plans to disassemble the barn when it caught fire. Fire trucks arrived: a flash of passports and photographs in the flames. In real time, the phone rang and woke us up, so I am writing this as fast as I can because dreams dissappear so quickly in the daylight hours.

His sign? Something summery.
There was a party somehow piggybacked for his birthday,
Banjos, harmonicas. The wearing of bandanas.

He wrote in 1995, after living with deadbeat poets,  “I came to the big shitty…” An anarchist, squatter, and discoverer of found foods, he knew what to eat and where to find all the liberated foodstuffs of New York City.


Five dollars.
I think of what to buy for dinner.
Even writing this, I question what’s for lunch.

We ask our friends if they’ve had dinner yet. They only eat cruelty-free foods not derived from beasts of the earth. Then I thought of all the lives I’ve stolen from the animals.

There is this couple who fell on hard times. Someone brought them food. Cans of things, beans mostly, knowing the couple had no money. The someone brought the same food they would want brought to them if they fell too.

If he were alive, he’d bring the best found bread, fruit, nuts, garlic, and olive oil.

Simon called about dinner.
He’ll eat anything or rather he eats everything.
Julie. That’s easy, eggplant moussaka.

We know a woman who makes her own shoes. She believes that everyone has forgotten how to live. When the world ends, she will teach us about dandilion greens and the  other wild things to eat, and we will go to where the wild things are.


We begin again now that we have someone to teach us how to make shoes, we use our time to learn tinsmithing, brick making, candle dipping. The apocalypse brings about arts and craft.

I read once that we could make our own film.

I close my eyes and see carved tapers of wax.
Hearing wings even though we are out of bees.


Candles, I can make the candles I said because I remembered from Girl Scouts how to dip the string over and over again and how to make molds with milk cartons and sand. For the oven building workshop, who can carry the bricks?

We know poets who can make the books. Ink? Pulp. But which one of us can trace the body of a book back to its birth?

If Brad were here, he would build a pirate radio station. He would put his body on the line. He would save the carriage horses of Central Park. He would save Coney Island.

I can write instructions and a diary. I can name the first things and everything that needs renaming.


What’s for dinner?
Open the fridge.

I close my eyes: a glass churn. Wooden paddles.

We’d make the butter.




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