Walls of Jericho

in Conversations, Rather Talk About It

Buildings crumble when we blow the trumpet

Joshua and the Jericho Trumpet. 
From "I'd rather talk about it" 2009 typescript

Before David arrived, you were about to tell us about this trumpet you are making ||| A trumpet, a huge trumpet… it should take 12 men to carry || Only men? || Twelve people || What’s it made of? This shofar of yours || Wood. Brass. Wood and brass. Nothing like a shofar. I’ve been studying in Dharamsala how the Tibetans make those long trumpets. It will be like that. Very long. And we will carry it across the land || Who are “we”? || Who knows!? Families. The families || This is for a family audience? || Not an audience. A movement. Footsteps that wake the earth and chase ghosts. Crumble walls. I can see the movement, like floodwaters, like a swarm of men. Twelve men. I mean twelve people. Then hundreds of people. Then thousands. Then hundreds of thousands, walking with the trumpet. Cities are emptied by the passage of the trumpet. We carry it to all of the prisonhouses. Start in Plymouth Rock, or Jamestown. Somewhere the English landed, where this whole shit began. Across Pennsylvania to SCI-Greene. Buildings crumble when we blow the trumpet. Walls come tumbling down. We walk North to Chataqua to rest and discuss, east to Salamanca to eat with the Indians, and on to Attica. The trumpet blows the walls to dust and 2000 men follow us east to Auburn. We’ll follow the old paths to Onondaga and blow the trumpet from the top of Big Hill || Where are all these places? || North to the St. Lawrence to Cape Vincent and Ogdensburg. Our footsteps awaken the earth into rage against this violence against life. The power of the St. Lawrence pushes us forward. Electricity comes down from sky to the ground beneath the trumpet. At Bare Hill, when we blow the trumpet the fences sizzle, they pop apart, curl up, magnetized, forming balls. Guns fly out of holsters and form balls that roll towards the river. We keep blowing the trumpet until the Earth quakes || Very poetic, but will it be effective? || Yes, what are the goals? || And how will you assess if you’re reaching the goal? || What are you two, his supervisors? Is he meeting his benchmarks? You boys are being hard on Joshua. I get it: it’s a padayatra || EXACTLY! And what better way to fight restriction, confinement, incarceration then padayatra, than movement? || It’s also like padayatra because there’s an element of faith to it. People need to have faith in the trumpet for it to work || Faith in its sound, and the power of its sound || No, faith in their own power, in the power of their footsteps! The trumpet is just a release of all the energy built up from those footsteps.

So, Joshua, do you believe that if you blow this trumpet the walls will just come tumbling down? || No. Or, I don’t know. I don’t have faith in that yet. I entertain the possibility. I have faith that the trumpet will do SOMETHING. I don’t know what

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