Monday, May 7, 2012


I speak for my audience

Of an uncertain people in an uncertain place

At an uncertain age

Brothers and sisters conjoined at the hip

Of self-doubt fumbling for misplaced roadmaps

As children we had clear expectations and clear courses

And clear minds and clear skin

That things were going to be a certain way

If we did things a certain way

If we wanted things a certain way

Our lives would have meaning and purpose

Just like our parents and grandparents and everyone before them

It was all laid out before us

And still we got lost

If only we’d studied harder

If only we’d gotten that job

If only we’d married our high school sweethearts

And had four babies and three jobs and two mortgages

And one divorce

We could be like everyone else

But we didn’t

We set ourselves adrift on a sea of sand

We ran screaming with delight as we escaped form middle class homes

With middle class values

And republican ideology

We imagined ourselves as free

Free from the certainty of back to school lunches

The perceived drudgery of picket fences manicured lawns

Old age and death

We kick flip Ollied through somber shouting matches

With well-heeled kin

Then set our own course through the wilderness

We aspired for inspirations

Dreamed of dream catchers

Tasted the future as succulent ripe fruit

We waited for nothing and then nothing happened

There are six billion people on this planet

Only a handful get to live the way they want

The rest of us compromise and struggle

We buy discount toilet paper and happy hour shots

We work crappy jobs for lousy pay and scratch off our lottery tickets slowly

To draw out the suspense

Those fools who fooled themselves

Into doing everything they were told are doing no better

With their daytime drama talk show chair throwing petty

Bickering family bullshit

The only thing they have are their beliefs

That they have a purpose

That they are following the path

We have just our unsatiated needs

That we fulfill as best we can

We all want to see Canaan

We deny our envy

But it would be nice to believe in something once and awhile

Wistful little cherubim

Innocent and beautiful

Guardians of sacred sanctuaries

Men dressed like boys and women dressed as girls

Cram themselves in into creaky sodden places

For jovial juvenile explorations of liquid psyche

They seek the sweet sanguine laughter of strangers

In parting flicker tape memories

We are none of us virgins

We are none of the whores we aspire to be

We are too anxious to give ourselves so freely

Though we talk about sex and allude to sex

And conspire for sex and whisper for sex

But never so often never so long

There is a recalcitrant reluctance that feeds our loneliness

Sweaty symphonic beats glisten on eager brows

And damp cheeks and red lips

We friend each other this way

Where cotton meets silk

Pressed against one another

Struggling to be understood

These are my false gods

Dj’s and bartenders and five dollar cover charges

We will lose each other in these crowds

Then find each other only to be separated

By other friends with other agendas

Tomorrow we may text and rendezvous in a quieter place

Where we can fantasize about happiness and true love

And doing it in the afternoon and all the things in life we fear we are missing

Tonight we can only steal glances across a parting multitude

Streaming towards exits

On the sidewalk I will stare at your programmed phone number

Intent clutching praying

Till a voice breaks my trance

Moses knows us every Friday Saturday night

He waits outside when we enter and he waits for us when we leave

With camels and newports  stumbling down the street

He waits because this is where he is

He really isn’t anywhere else

Moses knows us as friends

That’s what he calls us when his chaffed hands grab ours

Shaking vigorously wet red variegated eyes peering

Three tooth grin emerging

It is easy to like someone happy to see you

Moses knows us for a dollar

And whatever change we have

So he can get that meal

So he can buy his medicine

So he can put gas in his car

To save his pregnant wife sick mother crippled brother

He needs so little

We have so much

Moses knows us for the trouble we’ve caused

Foolish hooliganism

Foolish banter

Foolish boasts

About the projects we’re on

And how we are going to set the world on fire

With 5 million candle watt intensity

Moses knows us as great men

On the same step of the same stoop

Crouched in the same doorway

Cupping the same smokes to light a match as he does

Moses knows us because Moses once was us

What happened to you man?

It wasn’t always like this

Between you and I

At some time in your life you had an idea

There was a purpose

There was a plan

There were vo-tech courses and rent to own furniture

There was a woman in a tiny apartment

Who folded things and checked your finger nails for grime

She loved you

Why did you give it up?

Is this really easier?

I don’t want to be like you

All this wandering scares me

The days are shorter and shorter and go by faster and faster

With supersonic velocity 59 millimeter rubber wheels on a 15% incline

I am afraid to grow old with nowhere to stop

The dirty yellow cab is coming take me home

You can hold the door and help me in

But I don’t want you to lead the way

We are both lost in the desert

And it would do me no good to follow your path

Everyone knows Moses never set foot in the promised land