I was on the yet and thinking of you before we even met, and you let me down when I met you. Beware of bold imagination, I promised myself, before meeting me where I was, the only place I could be, many years after a lifeless rehearsal of life.
The traveled stares of tired faces
hung out off wood chairs
watching the story
they wondered where
had i been was
far from auspicious
my roughshod room
papers struck through with words
scraped up wood floors
the devotion of the place
toward suspicion toward
being seen could be tiresome
something bland and
being unseen held a promise
like a single candle
its trembling on the faces
of the walls
i tended to let the world inhabit me
so i might inhabit the world
once there was a boy named bee
imagine years later the daughter is grown and out on her own, married with two kids and her own smaller than small home and the man whom she loves out working which leaves her alone, and life is real hard tryin’ to make it when the economy’s gone south in america and she’s gotta start thinkin about working herself but she’s not sure where, when, or how, and she’s scared cause her man is old-fashioned and doesn’t want her workin but the kids need basics they cannot always provide the way things are, not to mention her parents are gettin older and need help…
imagine she’s got a girlfriend whose sorta lost with no life like hers, who sometimes comes to babysit or just cure her loneliness for awhile, and her friend has some friends who she’s becoming friends with, too, and they are all very nice and see how tired she is and wanna help…
and help sometimes comes in the strangest of forms, like when people in smaller than small towns with bigger than big hearts come together for a quick and easy answer cause they ran out of patience and energy and hope, so they resort to small parties and quickening of pulses, alcohol and cheap cigarrettes, some weed and relax, put on some old chart-topping trax and get to dancing, maybe fun loves between former boys and girls, while daddy’s out working away the long day, and babies are napping their pretty little heads down, and friends will be friendly and adrenaline rises with a chance for some hope to distract from the powerless normalities around here…
hope in the form of intimacies and attraction, the realization you could still be young again a little longer if you tried, if you let your guard down a little and weren’t so old-fashioned, if you let down your hair and wore your old clothes a bit tighter, almost like you still had a chance, it’s exciting, and yes there’s a seam in this matrix which you all downplay, might be one of them cuts up a line of some shit, and not everyone partakes until everyone does, that kinda subtle peer pressure and understated delivery, and it’s no big deal until it is…
imagine how that plays out over several weeks to several months, and now there’s a bit of a problem in the judgment department, the insight department has broken down unawares, and some friends get more intimate against all expectations, now emotions involved, just imagine…
home life becomes ‘boring’ and the life is all ‘chores’ and the kids are so frustrating though never a ‘nuisance’ and daddy’s always tired always tired always tired, and you wanna feel good again you like how it feels with your friends and alone seems so foreign so scary unbearable, so you go on with your ways which you know have got shady, in the smallest of small town america, what with your biggest of big hearts…
nobody knew nobody fathomed nobody could have seen how it played out in the end, imagine the heartbroken suprise that day they found out you were the one in the news who had died who was found in the most public of public places, naked and alone floating in an eddy in a slow moving wide part of the river. yet no one was really all that surprised, almost strangely relieved in a way, for several years you had broken their hearts as you faded or they faded you out of your home life, or somehow some way your big heart went astray and you kinda lost your mind followin some so-called friends off the map of your motherly responsible path, definitely on drugs and you admitted it, too, and several times the intervention came in the form of coffee and donuts and family in your living room, concerned faces whose concern you tried to talk off, and an angry tired man by your side with two scared and half-hungry little kids you just wanted to hug all the day long, but something inside you demanded be fed, and you long since left and lost your little head though your big of big hearts was the same just the same…
it was like despite all that and the love all around you, nothing could be done to get it all right, something was lacking in money and resources, something was strained past the point of any use, and family could not know how to be… other than deeply and morbidly depressed when the thought of what to do about you came to light. so when you died it was almost like relief to them all, but others around your so-called friends started coming up headlines as well, and the smallest of small towns in small town america was about to make international headlines, you know, cause these young women dying for no good reason was too much for the eyes of the world to pass up for too long, and it turns out there were others in some status and addiction to power out taking great and greedy advantage of the desperate situation of impoverished peoples with the biggest of bigger than big hearts and minds long since lost in the smallest of smaller than small town america…
imagine the manipulations concocted by these exact people in positions of great power in such small places, demanding small intimacies from these lost women to heal their long since broken capacity for real and genuine warmth. and it even went off kinda well or so it seemed, i mean it oiled a system long since cracked from coast to coast so how could that be wrong? or terrible? or unholy? nobody would check themselves and why should they, when you and your friends had been paid for your services and conveniently fit into the transactional nature of corporate america…
forget the emotions underlying and the hearts beating bright for a chance and some hope, and young half-starved children all waiting extended out into wings, out on the margins where they found you all brutally murdered or left to die with cocaine in your system, or meth or whatever… the biggest of bigger than big hearts forever broken in the smallest of smaller than small towns, that’s what.
No, don’t be scared. Just pay attention, brush your hair out your eyes. We can get you that haircut we have been waiting to get you, I mean, for you to get. Ummm… I promise, things will be better this way. This is life! Hold the tv. I know it sounds strange. Listen to your heartbeat for a minute… see? It’s different this way. Everything changes. You are not who you thought you were. You have been touched! Listen… see what I mean? The arrythmia, stupid! It’s going away. You can’t tell? That’s just because you’re still waking up. Come on, we can urge it on with some of that new spangled electroshock. It’s gotten real popular. I think you can download it on your phone. Just have to agree to the terms. You don’t have to read them, silly. Just touch your touchscreen. Swype the bitch. Come on, now. Twenty-first century? Ding-dong! Twinkies are coming back. They didn’t go nowhere. (Just waited for folks to miss them enough. Like the professional athletes. Come on out of retirement again. Peek-a-boo! We miss you). Okay okay, no, now wait let me finish downloading it, too, because like anything good, it requires a little bit of teamwork. No loners! Groupspeak is in fashion. Spit shine collective. May seem weird at first, but doesn’t everything? Let the relativity kick in, and weird becomes normal. Shit, you gotta know what i mean. Isn’t that how you attracted all your friends. Okay, so now take your android and bump it with my android, and boom! FEEL IT?!? It works off the same principle as static electricity, they say. Google it, if you want. Its won some emmies. Or grammies. Or google playmaker awards. Whatever, man, just do it. Whatever you want to think. All i know is this beats a triple shot machiatto blended irish carbomb, anyday. Feel it? Here take this gravity brush. Your hair is standing up. Won’t do for the interview. Anyway, welcome to the clear full of light. You heard me. The clear full of light. Oh, ya, I said YOUR INTERVIEW. What? Did you think I came by to hangout? See, that’s your problem. You have made up stuff to define stuff to make a life out of nonsense. That’s so fucking GenX, man, what are you looking to do next? Pull the trigger through your toejam? Jesus. You don’t need to reinvent Catcher in the Rye. All the good creative shit, the dreamer shit? Its been dreamed! Its been done. Move your ass out of Pere-LaChaise and back into the real world. Time to get PRODUCTIVE. Fuck the age of aquarius! I don’t care when you were born. The only sign you’re gonna see, is the sign you pencilled in and hung around your neck before you wandered onto Market Street with a deathwish and a papercup! I know it sounds harsh. I know. But listen, No more repititions. Stop asking me why I dragged you out of bed and out here with me into this frigid fucking morning. You think I like it? This is a one time deal for you. No repetition. Think of the bottom line. The BOTTOM LINE. If all was repetition, there would be no bottom line. Like that famous number. Hash tag. Pi. Whatever. 3.141414 to infinity, dumbass.
Sorry, I know i’m being critical, but i am keeping it real for you. Real is not always nice. Dummy. Hey, it’s not like i don’t tell myself the same in the morning in the mirror. With my gravity brush. Three i-shocks to the wind. But guess what? At the end of the day, I can say: at the beginning of the day, all the way to the end of the day, I am one driven dude. DRIVEN. MOTIVATED. The only way to be. No impediment. No speed lumps, bumps, undulations, or tables going on here. Not anymore. Not like you. I fuckin’ outsourced a wrecking crew, man! Reshaped my image. Airbrushed my waterlogged fuckin decaying attitude, man! Photoshopped the noise out. Pulled the pillow up off my suffocated orifice. My heart murmur. One more analogy and we’re all through. But atleast I got my point across. This ain’t no backbeat boyz. This is the original tom-tom thundrous wonderbread of the regimented swing shift disciples. Yes, its a gang. In the best sense of the word. A gang of motivated, resume padded, headhunted, cubicled, well paid soldiers of fortune. The Dr Whos-Who of timestamp travel efficiency. Clocking in and out the central artery. Parking our asses irreverently in the very middle of the street. Pretenders, Talking Heads. Wall Street. Whatever. We take our shots through farmers market produce. Please and thank you very much. Long the long stretch of endless paper pushing. Short the short life of rigorous dreaming. You not only need to walk the walk, you also need to talk the talk. Stop trying so hard to assert your individualism. That’s just some raggedy-ass abstract for a special order. Well, I got news for you. The world is leaning McDonalds over Burger King. And you will have it like everyone else gets it. No special treatment. Remember the bottom line! We can’t fuck up the bottom line, if we have a prayer’s chance in atheism of competing with China.
Life! hold the tv. You’re the one! You’re the one who signed up. So what if it was after the last dollar was spent at the dollar store, and the recruiters glistened in the parking lot tarfill? So what if tv. hold the life. Held out the promise of the driven? Anything to sign you out of that funk and back on the railroad. Don’t be scared. Look alive! What you need is something altogether different — what you need is this. A haircut. A bigger box. A mentor. An outfit. And a permit to enter your own kitchen, soldier. Because you know you’re mouth has been watering for some time for a little of this.Hello! Knock knock? Who is it? Reality! Corporate world. Business class. Identical non pinstripe suits. Ladies, no open-toed shoes. Life is not a beach. Gentleman, no windsor knots in those ties. This isn’t England. We don’t have time for that shit. Every second off the timestamp is deducted from your paycheck. Ok? Let’s get into the mentality here. It’s a simple kinda program, a simple way of life. Leave your dreams at home. Put your unpublished novels in the shredder. There’s no glory in your personal story of desecrated ennui. You owe yourself and your country some restitution for all that rest. Bipolar? Autistic? Schizoaffective? Come one, come all! Let us coach you out your self-actualized mental illnesses. You wanna work like that? Like what? Work your way into a straight jacketed institution? Work your will away at some fanciful creative endeavor? Please. You just need some motivation, son. Let us know you better than you know yourself. We know how you tick, we have studied homo sapiens and cognitive behaviors for the better part of our wonderful miserable lives within cubicles. Heroes! That’s what we call ourselves. Because heroes are real!
Wake up, sunshine! Heroes are real. They don’t need to dream. They’re out saving the world, not cracking nuts in some blue diamond almond factory down the street in the day. Not throwing paint chips at some glue-dipped armchair and passing it off for high art at some oakland first friday telegraph avenue meet bourbon street doused in whiskeytown rotgut penniless parade! All the drunken prairie dogs. Come up off their skateboards to see some lost vision. High art my ass! Bottle bands and road flares lit up for applause. Kids hooked on ropes, bouncing off buildings. Calling it dance? There’s solid proof of wasted time and effort squeezing dreams dry. No, I’m not angry. No, no, i’m not jealous! Can I continue, I was working up to something good, I think…And all the teenage angsters and the oakland gangsters having their out of body experiences over that fucking couch sprayed with paint chips, yelling Hey! Look! A masterpiece! What does that almond farm factory sweatshop sucker call this thing? Barber Shop? Barber shop! I get it. No way! Dude, your girlfriend looks so dope passed out on that thing. Her ass hangin’ out. Loveseat for one. Maybe she’ll get a haircut. Hey, man! Someone give that bitch a haircut! This is Oakland. This is the East Bay. This is experiential learning.