loss. last

another loss – fin

in your early thirties and too young, you left behind a family and so many friends. you were reckless, we all were, yet you were good for your word, and six years ago you saw and spoke of a future for yourself, creative. i dream that it manifests on some non-material plane. it does not matter how we left one another the day after the last time i saw you, on disconnected and fractured terms, for the six foot tall skinny boy i knew, whose face i saw behind glasses sometimes at the corner of 28th and telegraph, any day any season, always had a hug and wide devious smile for me, and some stories to share. and i know, had we come across one another since, it wouldn’t have been any different.

i remember us in the late afternoon sun. we had met our mutual friends on 28th by the laundromat and kicked it on the street that day, fixing bikes and listening to music. i had a brief shout-it-out with my ex-boyfriend of the hour,  nothing unusual about that. everyone knows i’ve been breaking up since sixth grade. by the time the sun began to edge out and the sky turning colors, I had to go and you were already gone. You had told me not to worry, you would come by the next day to pick up your bike.

the following morning I was still crashed out and making up sleep from several days end-to-end insomnia and stress of the move. when you came i missed you, and several calls you made. the messages you left were far from friendly. you thought i had made off with your bike, when it was just sitting in the backyard waiting for you. i couldn’t get ahold of you after that, your phone had died and you hadn’t paid the bill. i was good for my word, just like you. i kept your bike for you, for weeks.

I will always remember you well, and so sad for your child and your family and friends. it’s really tragic we never got to see you shine. i wish you the best on the nonmaterial plane and hope to see you and embrace you, in the next. see that tall boy with the bowler hat and the wide and devious smile. kick back like we did, trading EDM tracks and war stories. how does that sound? sweet dreams, my friend, you are loved.

in memoriam — JR Lindberg

loss 7

another loss – vii

it’s been over five years since I saw you, my friend, and I heard that you died this july. i don’t know if you ever really got clean, but i heard that you tried and that’s more than we could of said about us back then, when we were full tilt, chaotic. the new life in me cries for you, my friend, the old embers in my eyes glow in remembrance, i mean, i have forged a path in recovery and life has new wonders to share. i only wish you could have made it through, too. i relocated north of there, not long after the night we shared with music and laughter and our common bond. the signs had accumulated for some time, flashes of gunfire and madness and theft, and the trails and traces of my chemical romance had ended in black smoke signals, severely. my angels were there looking out for me, they saw me into my despairing, then gave me a chance and reason to change, and i implored God and let go and reached out and took up a new and renewable source, and brandished my pen once again. each and every day i can thank my loves for letting me live, and i wonder where were yours, where were yours? your star would have risen and lit up a world, and your daughter would have felt loved once again, and for her and for you and the world i am sad…

loss six

another loss – vi

faith is porous on the streets. you only have what you see, and anyone wants you to believe there’s somethin more for you, if only you trust them for a moment. you gotta keep your faith deep in your heart, and not extend it to those who would use you… i tried explainin’ to you about your bike, and how i needed to switch it out for mine, and could get it back to you tomorrow if that was okay. but you lost some confidence in me and could i blame you? we did not run in the same circles anymore. we argued for a while. i implored you the bmx was safe inside my new digs on Magnolia. i offered you collateral if you wanted, i would leave my rings with you. if you wanted we could go and get it later. you thought about it and either you extended some faith in me or else you didn’t wanna argue anymore, and let it lie. i helped you pack your stuff and clean your place so you could get your deposit back, and you let me shower there before checking out, because where i was going, well, they might have had the law behind them and plenty of cash, but these corrupt attorneys letting me a room, well, they coulda been arrested for uncleanliness…

loss five

another loss – v

the sun was edging into view and we were beginning to wake up to the reality of the world and our meagre places in it, the year twenty ten and family nowhere to be found, nobody’s fault but yours, nobody’s fault but mine. i was on the move again and it was your last night staying there, too. i began helping you pick up your place, between runs i made to Magnolia with my own belongings. check out time was noon and the landlords were no nonsense; there was a security detail they would call to kick people out. you see, something you understood about me and i related back to you was, on any given day, having no place to call home. all we had was our friends and our music and our journals, back then, and maybe a storage unit with our name to it. and out into a new day in the city, intense and unpredictable, helping one another a little bit when there’s no one else you can trust, hoping to survive…

loss 4

another loss -iv

i borrowed your bike because mine was already locked up in my future home, this cool and windless morning, and after passing through De Fremery Park,  i found my key under a stone and let myself into the ranch on Magnolia surrounded by high and gapless fence. after catching my breath, i switched out yours for mine, as my Motobecane was twice ten speed and yours BMX. i determined it too dangerous to travel slow through West Oakland at dawn. the lady of the house, an attorney corrupted by law, was dead asleep ina sheet ona couch in the living room. i held my new key close to my heart, and walked down the hall to see the project i had recently completed. two new coats of eggshell paint covered four walls, ready to receive the light and warm a heart or two. all the cat dander raised up in the disturbance, in my lungs now,  soon to wake me with fits of asthma overnight. once i would be lucky, with my dear Kali at my side in the cot, fourth of july, to help with pressure points and rifle through my many backpacks for my inhaler , to rescue me without breath.

loss three

another loss -iii

I was in
between pages
a book without
binding

You let me stay
with you
one night
a moment’s notice

we were friends
our lives derelict
unusual

the music
the midnight
oil

bands like us
cannot make it
no more

traded street level
stories

left out
again. in the sunlight
soon to be
exposed

before dawn

you were kicking
back. i was several back
packs deep to and from
Magnolia street

several unsavory characters
wanted a piece
of me they
could not catch
me

thank god
for this
bicycle…

loss two

another loss -ii

We stayed up all the night long tradin’ EDM cuts and smoking, and kept mostly quiet about all the damage our exes done us, knowing in our hearts the damage we done them, too. This here was as close to the street as I ever got, out of luck on the room I had paid for every week for several months, (someone had spotted my cat and complained, again, pets were not allowed) with the half-promise of a room in West Oakland, from the mouth of a corrupt attorney with one foot in the dope game and high all the time. I had no other recourse, none at all! This was twenty eleven. I had only to be willing to scrub and paint a small room full of furniture and covered in multiple cat stank, and I could stay there for the summer. This was the house of a second attorney, an alcoholic moonlighting as a cat doctor at home, who got in over her head on Magnolia by DeFremery Park. The day I met her she asked if I wanted to make a quick buck, and walked me downtown while instructing me how to serve papers. I remember hesitating as I approached the window, a government agent behind glass, and looked back to get a nudge on from under the wild gray-hair, permanent slouch, and a wandering eye. She offered me a drag off her pint of Southern Comfort on the way home. I was fifty bucks richer, cash, and desperate. My unemployment had finally run dry  in this boarding house on 28th @ Telegraph, telling time by Kojak episodes, and my friend whom I shared a room with finally got sick of me or spun out, and bailed. By that time I was already sharing a bed with a punk I met, upstairs, and not around much anymore. On my bicycle most of the days, a Motobecane i had mail-ordered online several months ago, and always brewing pots of some of the finest grounds from Indonesia I procured from Sweet Maria’s down the way, a local coffee distributor a stone’s throw from the Port of Oakland. Didn’t have a job and wasn’t really looking most of the time. PTSD was my common denominator, and divided up my senses, hanging them far and wide by the neck, until dead…