Saturday, January 5, 2008

Chchchanges (sorry David)

I recently turned 42 and while I didn't pay much attention to it at the time, I've begun to reflect on my life. (Every 5 years or so I look back on my life and I have a good laugh. yeah, sometimes I think in lyrics.) I've come to a few conclusions; the most disturbing to me is that over the last few years I've become a bit misanthropic. Ok, maybe I've become a flaming misanthrope and I don't think I am happy about that. I also wonder when that happened. I mean I used to enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. Now, I can count on one hand the number of people I enjoy spending time with and even then only on a limited basis. What the fuck happened to me?

For the last week or so I had tried to pinpoint when this change occurred when a cd I had ordered arrived. I popped it into my computer and listened to it while working on my business plan and talking with a friend of my son's. As this piece began Fergie (my son's friend and one of my adopted kids) asked what I was listening to. Up until this point I hadn't really paid any attention to the songs, it was just background music. After she left I replayed the cd from the beginning and paid attention to the spoken word piece she had asked about. I couldn't believe my ears! The cd is an official bootleg by Ani DiFranco that was recorded on April 6th, 2002 at Carnegie Hall, less than 7 months after the attack on New York. The poem is entitled Self Evident (words to follow).

I have to say I am surprised that she wasn't arrested by this corrupt administration for treason or some shit for this performance, isn't that sad? I am surprised that an artist was not arrested for speaking out. But, I remember being called a traitor by friends & family for espousing many of the same views. I remember saying to my girlfriend in 2000 "If GW Bush is elected we should move to Australia or something and come home after he's gone. That is, if we have a country to come home to." I was joking at the time and even though I was afraid of what our country would turn into I never could've predicted the horror show that was to follow.

As I sat and listened to her words it dawned on me when my hate affair with the human race began, sometime around October, 2001. Around the same time our elected (and non-elected) leaders were linking 9/11 to Iraq. Around the same time our so-called Fourth Estate was busy drawing tenuous links between Saddam and Osama, (even though it was well known that the two men despised each other) claiming they were "in on it together." No one was asking any questions, we were told to question was to be a terrorist, unpatriotic, America haters. If anyone did dare to ask a question of substance they were shouted down, berated, told to move to Iraq, etc.

Religious leaders were saying that we were attacked because God had lifted his protective shield from our country because of the queers, pagans, feminists and secularists. Fuck me running! I am a queer feminist pagan secularist, I am so screwed. I have no protective shield!

Anyway…back then I didn't hear anyone asking the questions I wanted answers to…so I stopped asking. I stopped watching the MSM news and when my old dinosaur of a computer died in early 2004 I opted to not replace it. I went into a self-imposed exile and worked at not connecting with other humans. This is not to say that I stopped meeting people completely or making an occasional new friend, I did. But I no longer developed those relationships into anything deep or meaningful (with a few rare exceptions.)

I finally replaced my computer last April and started blogging shortly thereafter at the urging of my best friend who runs the friggin' cat house, as you can see I haven't done that much. Partially because I had no clue (and still don't) what to write about, even now as I read over what I just wrote I am not sure I will post it. But the main reason is, for me, writing is a way of connecting and I didn't want to connect. I would write to connect to me, to find those places that were damaged and needed healing. I would write to find those places that weren't damaged and in need of healing so I could celebrate them. Sometimes I would just write a random thought, a line from a song that struck me (read most of my blog headers) or a sappy love poem (yeah, it's happened…once). I learned about myself when I wrote, I connected.

I haven't done much writing in the last few years. That will change, whether y'all get to read that remains to be seen.

Thank you, Ani for reminding me how powerful words can be.


 

Self Evident – Ani DiFranco

yes, yes, yes, yes,

us people are just poems

we're 90% metaphor

with a leanness of meaning

approaching hyper-distillation

and once upon a time

we were moonshine

rushing down the throat of a giraffe

yes,

rushing down the long hall

despite what the p.a. announcement says

yes,

rushing down the long hall

down the long stairs

in a building so tall

that it will always be there

it's part of a pair

there on the bow of noah's ark

the most prestigious couple

just kicking back parked

against a perfectly blue sky

on a morning beatific

in its indian summer breeze

on the day that america

fell to its knees

after strutting around for a century

without saying thank you

or please

and the shock was subsonic

and the smoke was deafening

between the setup and the punchline

cuz we were all on time for work that day

we all boarded that plane for to fly

and then while the fires were raging

we all climbed up on the windowsill

and then we all held hands

and jumped into the sky

and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast

and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed

and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar

looked more like war

than anything i've seen so far

so far

so far

so fierce and ingenious

a poetic specter so far gone

that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling

over 'oh my god' and 'this is unbelievable' and on and on

and i'll tell you what, while we're at it

you can keep the pentagon

you can keep the propaganda

you can keep each and every tv

that's been trying to convince me

to participate

in some prep school punk's plan to perpetuate retribution

perpetuate retribution

even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution

is still hanging in the air

and there's ash on our shoes

and there's ash in our hair

and there's a fine silt on every mantle

from hell's kitchen to brooklyn

and the streets are full of stories

sudden twists and near misses

and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters

with tales of narrowly averted disasters

and the whiskey is flowin'

like never before

as all over the country

folks just shake their heads

and pour

so here's a toast to all the folks that live in palestine

afghanistan

iraq

el salvador

here's a toast to all the folks living on the pine ridge reservation

under the stone cold gaze of mt. rushmore

here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors

who daily provide women with a choice

who stand down a threat the size of oklahoma city

just to listen a young woman's voice

here's a toast to all those folks on death row right now

awaiting the executioner's guillotine

who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads

to find peace in the form of a dream

cuz take away our playstations

and we are a third world nation

under the thumb of some blue blood royal son

who stole the oval office and that phony election

i mean

it don't take a weatherman

to look around and see the weather

jeb said he'd deliver florida

and boy did he ever

and we hold these truths to be self evident:

#1 george w bush is not president

#2 america is not a true democracy

and #3 the media is not fooling me

cuz i am a poem heeding hyper-distillation

i've got no room for a lie so verbose

i'm looking out over my whole human family

and i'm raising my glass in a toast

here's to our last drink of fossil fuels

may we vow to get off of this sauce

shoo away the swarms of commuter planes

and find that train ticket we lost

cuz once upon a time the line followed the river

and peeked into all the backyards

and the laundry was waving

and the graffiti was teasing us

from brick walls and bridges

and we were rolling over ridges

through valleys

under stars

i dream of touring like duke ellington

in my own railroad car

i dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches

in a grand station aglow with grace

and then standing out on the platform

and feeling the air on my face

give back the night its distant whistle

give the darkness back its soul

give the big oil companies the finger finally

and relearn how to rock and roll

yes,

the lessons are all around us and a change is waiting there

so it's time to pick through the streets, clean the streets

clear the air

it's time to get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand

of someone else's desert

put it back in its pants

quit the hypocritical chants of

freedom forever

cuz when one lone phone rang

in two thousand and one

at ten after nine

on nine one one

which is the number we all called

when that lone phone rang right off the wall

right off our desk and down the long hall

down the long stairs

in a building so tall

that the whole world turned

just to watch it fall

and while we're at it

remember the first time around?

the bomb?

the ryder truck?

the parking garage?

the princess that didn't even feel the pea?

remember joking around in our apartment on avenue d?

can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their design

following a fantastical reversal of the new york skyline?

it was a joke

at the time

and that was just a few years ago

so let the record show

that the fbi was all over that case

that the plot was obvious and in all of our face

and scoping that scene

religiously

the cia

or is it kgb?

committing countless crimes against humanity

with this kind of eventuality

as its excuse

for abuse after expensive abuse

and they didn't have a clue

look,

another window to see through

way up here

on the 104th floor

look,

another key

another door

10% literal

90% metaphor

3000 some poems disguised as people

on an almost too perfect day

must be more than pawns

in some asshole's passion play

so now it's your job

and it's my job

to make it that way

to make sure they didn't die in vain

sssshhhh

listen

hear the train?


 


 

2 comments:

Capricorn Cringe said...

Make sure you're registered to vote :)

Those are pretty powerful images in that piece. I can't even say I disagree with all of it.

Soulkeeper said...

LOL, Cap we may have some fundamental political differences but whether you admit it or not, we agree on things more often than not. Now, if I could just get you to become a recovering Republican like me...nahh, then I would lose all my fun.

Carry on.