We live in mean Mars-rocketed times:
cloudy, ascendingly obscure in the wrong ways,
and transparent down to the bottom of the bone dried-out always summer-scorched reservoir in others.
A real reality show for the prurient, unimaginative gingham clothed mother-fuckers in their too-safe spaces:The New World pioneering Americans.
Even me, yes, I’m guilty.
I want to go back to the past as it never was.
I want to relive it cleaner, hipper, more real, but safe without real choices.
To choose. To be. To know in real-time.
Watching in inert dumbfoundedness at the dizzying spectacle unfolding–at least.
I have that in the back pocket of my jagged black jeans.
America you’re “out there” with all of your hard bright irreconcilable contradictions, long daze of literalized violence (“gun play”) and wild, silent Internet globed irony.
I’m not talking of your revolutionary pirate ship posse here, either.
Does that even exist?
Let someone fly that torn blackish flag if they can find it.
I’ll join you later at the eleventh hour.
It’s too faux-tattered for me in my mind;
It can’t be a way out.
This is no cryptography. There is no hidden key.
We’ll all die by the complacently untaken steps of the vital center,
or live by the rash steps of the fringe dwellers.
In the end, we’ll all be fringe dwellers– ecstatic or otherwise–with muddy cuffs on our jagged jeans.
The Nineties suburbs were bright guilty places though full of the ersatz optimism you’d find in shiny Toothpaste ads from the fifties.
The cities have always been shadowy expanses with a bit of “extra” as the kids say today. But you can always get extra foam on your double macchiato at a Starbucks in Coral Gables
or Brooklyn or Endecino.
So let’s gang up on Disney for teaching teens about the world while a Presidential candidate advocates for open carry laws in a nation run amok in gun killings.
I wonder what it feels like to be obscure and young,
seeing all of this as something you have to walk through
and for some, even, carry not knowing if the world will be around as we know it in thirty years. The way we know it. Knew it,
Don’t know it, now.
What happens to the doe-eyed innocents?
The far-sighted would be prophets.
The silver-hearted listeners.
The keen-eyed wildflowers.
The gimlet-spirited realists.
The pale souled witnesses.
Your ruby-stained heart on their sleeve friend.
The gauche lovers fumbling in the shadows.
The gray-pink lost-on-the-hard scrabble street sentimentalists.
The earnest idealists who swam with you at the quarry.
The taupe-clothed strivers reaching for their townhouse keys after work.
But maybe the times have always been full of fallen heroes and strange rabbit-holed contradictions that don’t rise to real, lived paradoxes.
Have you thought of it too, Ambrose Alivening?
Maybe the Church bell has always rung a little high hollow for too many.
Maybe the ad-tinged hopeful optimism fails.
Maybe the escapism doesn’t hold water.
Maybe the steps not taken.
The terrifying near misses.
The terrifying hits.
Maybe the imagined aspirations don’t become spoken words amid the gay cacophony of all those people who aren’t very happy.
That’s what I’m beginning to think.
It’s alright, Ma.
I was only praying.
I tried like a broken-winged red-eyed eagle in a late August storm
What else did I expect?
A way out.
The only way out is on the muddy ground below.
I will walk like everyone else with scraped bloody knees.
“People need hope, too,” my mother said.
She had read what I wrote.
We will all be gurus to each other–
In the end.