Johnny’s All Done Marching

(With a few lines from the patriotic WW1 song “Over There” written by George M. Cohan in April 1917. Americans believed at that time that the war would be short and the song reflected that expectation)

Johnny’s out of luck
stuck
next to his
broken down
piece-of-shit
made-in-America
truck
that’s been running on fumes
for too long,
a rolling tomb,
a shell
of what it was
years ago
and there he is
stuck
on the side of the road
with that million-mile stare
out beyond nowhere,
and the midnight train
ain’t coming
and he’s left humming
that tune
that he tries to forget
that patriotic tune
trapped inside his head
that no snake-oil
can erase…
“Johnny, get your gun, get your gun, get your gun…”
and he doesn’t want it anymore
but can never give it back
“Hurry right away, no delay, go today…”
But after it’s over
the lines at the VA
are a mile long
and they end in
mountains of pills
“Make your daddy glad to have had such a lad…”
and he can’t stand his family,
and he can’t face his own reflection
“Tell your sweetheart not to pine,
To be proud her boy’s in line…”
and when you no longer love yourself
it gets harder to say
‘I love you’ to someone else
and mean it.
“Hoist the flag and let her fly
Yankee Doodle do or die…”
and he gets sick to his stomach
whenever he sees the flag
because he knows it’s blood-soaked
and used to hide the bodies
“Make your mother proud of you
and the old red white and blue…”
and when he looks at the sky
he knows god doesn’t exist
because if he did
and the blue sky is blue
because he loves them,
god wouldn’t keep killing Johnny’s friends
“Send the word, send the word over there…”
and he realizes
that practically everything
he was ever taught and told
is a lie
“That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming
the drums rum-tumming everywhere…”
and he can’t forget
that fucking song
“So prepare, say a prayer,
Send the word, send the word to beware…”
and he figured out
to beware
so he tries
to start running
but he’s ragged,
can’t sleep
with all those war drums
rum-tumming
jagged tunes
of more war
after war
after war
but he got
quicksand feet now
and there are
too many fields
left to plow
but all he’s got
is swords
no plow shares in sight
and there is no
sharing the blame
who’s to blame
anyhow?
Uncle Sam?
Johnny?
You?
Me?
Them?
but it doesn’t matter
he’s madder than the hatter
pickled from too many
government pills
a deer in the headlights
shoot to kill
no more left
right
left
shoot to thrill
and the light is too bright
and Johnny’s too tired
to fight
so with his last breath
Johnny scratch’s his swansong exit
stage left
into the pavement
“We’ll be over, we’re coming over…”
someone called the cops
about the crazy guy
on the side of the road
in a drugged out haze,
smoke billowing out
of the American-made
truck
and it looks like Johnny got a gun
and he won’t run
and hide,
he’d rather get high
on adrenaline
one last time

Fuck…

“And we won’t come back
till it’s over,
over there!”
and he wishes
that he never
made it back,
but he did
to a hero’s welcome
complete with handshakes
and accolades
and free beer
at his local VFW
but here he is now
bleeding out by the side of the road
suicide by cop,
and some will call him a coward
but he found no other way
to silence that deafening sound
of new war drums rum-tumming
everywhere…
but in Uncle Sam’s eyes, it’s fine
because new Johnny’s and Jane’s
are born all the time
and grow up learning to sing
age-old patriotic tunes,
not realizing
that when they get home,
that there’s no seats left
in the VA waiting room
and after the beer and accolades
Twenty-Two of them will die
By their own hand…
Every single day
(according to the VA)
So, even if they make it
Home from Iraq and Afghanistan
Twenty-Two a day will decide
That the booze ain’t working anymore
Twenty-Two a day will give up
And choose to join Johnny
and permanently silence
those fucking rum-tumming
goddamn drums of war

Rainy Day

By the time that I finally climbed

out of my polluted mind

it was October.

and I crawled out of my cave

pulled one foot back

out of the grave

and pulled on a pair of pants

found a shirt that would work

and did a little getting-dressed dance

but with a mountain of dirty laundry,

and no clean socks in sight…

flip-flops would do just fine, right?

so i grabbed a good book

and took my reusable coffee mug from the table,

placed them in my bag

and finally i was able to step outside

and as i was beginning to feel thankful I was still alive

and excited for the pumpkin spice coffee

that awaits at the cafe,

I saw that it was raining…

and it was a hard rain falling

so i walked back into the house

put on a pair of dirty socks

and thrift-store shoes,

took a glance over at the booze

but shook my head

because I know Jack could care less

if i was dead

but he is a good friend to wait with

but I could spend my whole life waiting with him

on the world to change

just like i could spend all day

waiting on the rain

to go away

but sometimes it’s just a rainy day

and I still need fresh air

and I want that pumpkin spice coffee

from the Sugar Bowl

and I miss hearing that Polish accent behind the counter

though I don’t know why

maybe because my great-grandmother

probably sounded like that

back in the day when she came

to the land of the free…

but here, i have to pay for refills,

but that’s okay

and even on a rainy day

I know things will be okay

in the grand scheme of things

and life is good, right?

so long as we look on the bright side…

like seeing the beauty on Dot Ave

even on a rainy day

as the cars drive by

and the children play

on the streets named after the children of Irish immigrants

near the modern day Vietnamese businesses

and isn’t it ironic?

and the old men smoke and joke

and the college kids laugh and toke and come in for ice cream

and the grandmothers carry bags

of groceries

and bags under their eyes

etched through the years for their Irish-American sons

or their Vietnamese sons

both killed in a political war…

and both of their American grandsons and granddaughters

still fighting in new political wars

and i need more coffee

though now I want to make it Irish

and it’s still raining

and it’s the first day of October

and less and less people care

that it’s bombs over Baghdad once again

and the newsmen talk of an aging Tom Brady

throwing two interceptions

not a word of TWENTY-TWO American women and men

throwing in the towel every day

on lives they view as too painful to take

Twenty-Two Veterans committing suicide every single day

but it’s not like we can invade the VA

or the beltway…

and more dead civilians

and soldiers

by the rivers of Babylon

won’t make the demons go away

and just as i am trying my best

to find the beauty

of rainy day Dorchester Avenue

I look up and it’s still raining

and the old men are gone now

and the kids are gone

probably at home playing violent video games

and the college kids are giggling in the back of the cafe

over their melting ice cream

and the grandmothers are probably home for the day

drinking tea in their rocking chairs

as Fox News scares them half to death

that’s not far away for them as it is

and as I walk up for a refill of pumpkin spice coffee

listening to Lowkey rap about the world in my earphones

two tinted out, all black SUV’s park out front

“Boston Police SWAT”

says the white lettering

on the armored vehicles…

and they walk inside

one at first,

followed by three more

all geared up and armed

and I’m getting anxiety

though I’m doing nothing wrong

and as I walk back to my seat

with round two of pumpkin spice coffee

they order their own coffee

and muffins and donuts

and sit down and shoot the shit

the same as the now-sketched out college kids in the back

I know they’re just 4 dudes, human beings…i get it

but I also know goddamn well what these armed men represent

these are the same folks

who arrested me twice

for civil disobedience during Occupy Boston

and bloodied the nose of a decorated Korean War vet…

in the days when I learned

there’s no such thing as ‘freedom of speech’

and these men don’t deserve any respect

and if they really need a cup of Joe

for fuck’s sake, why can’t they get it to go?

‘they got a job to do’…okay, fine!

But nobody in here’s committed a crime

and I’m trying to stay positive

trying to read my book in peace

and find the beauty of Dot Ave

even on a rainy day

I don’t need these SWAT goons

smoking and joking and eyeballing my tattoos

but in case they’re wondering, yes this is an upside down flag

and that is Arabic and Hebrew on both my wrists

Salaam and Shalom,

and I mean it…

and I came here in peace

just to get a pumpkin spice coffee and read

a book about a community garden in Cleveland

and i know that you four are human

and I’m not acting anxious

because I’m breaking any law

It’s because when you walked in

the first thing I saw

was the Glock

and I know

that you could get away with it

if I went up for more pumpkin spice coffee

and you thought I was too aggressive,

worst case for you

you’d get a paid vacation

or stuck behind a desk…

so, I apologize

for these being the thoughts in my head

when I look up from a rainy Dorchester Avenue

and see you and your crew

roll up in armored trucks

and how can i concentrate on this book now,

fuck…

but at least, for right now

I’m glad I’m not dead

it’s October and raining…

but I made it

out of bed

and after I sat back down

with my pumpkin spice coffee

and changed the music to Jimi

I was able to relax and finish the book

and pay no mind to the authoritative looks

and stares…

after all,

maybe they were just admiring

the artwork on my arms.

Crying

is this the real life

i know it’s not fantasy

unless my twisted mind

fantasizes all the time

about a fucked up world

that leaves me crying

all the time

on the inside

but out

of my mind

is this a cry for help?

all the time…

why am i crying?

and are you listening?

who’s listening?

all the time…

and if you’re listening

don’t weep for me

cry for those

who forget that this

is all just a ride

like Bill Hicks said

back in the day

as he’d chain-smoke on stage

hacking up more truth

than I’ve ever seen

on a TV screen

ever heard from scripted reality

polished newsmen telling me

what to think

what to drink

what dish soap to use in the sink

what clothes to buy

what car to drive

what genetically modified food to eat

and what airline to fly…

what condoms to wear

and what diapers to buy

for the kids we didn’t want

but have to raise

when those condoms break

because my gal’s a catholic

and listens to the pope…

and what liquor to drink

to forget about them

for a while

and try to cope…

these polished newsmen

telling us to use

fluoride-filled toothpaste for our smile

and after it’s been a while

and we start to relax

and start to forget

they’re there again,

still telling us which boogeymen to fear

new boogeymen to fear

year after year

but you see,

Bill Hicks was right

when we turn out the light

there’s no need to fear

year after year

the boogeyman’s inside our head

and some of us realize this

and want the boogeyman dead…

and is this a cry for help?

and would you care if it was?

and should I try harder drugs

instead of writing?

should I give up

now that I’m all done fighting?

year after year

after war after war

and no one keeps score anymore

but the ballgames on

and the beer’s ice cold

and I’m getting old

have to shave off my hair

to hide the gray

and I try to remember

day after day

that even though I cry

all the time

on the inside

that this is just a ride…

but is this a cry for help,

and will I answer?

Uncle Kurt taught me

cigarettes are a risky suicide

can’t count on cancer

and pills are less painful

but I wouldn’t mind

if it somehow looked

like an accident

or if I

somehow looked like a hero…

if only the universe

would mis-guide an old lady

in front of a train

i can pull her off the tracks

by her cane

and when she’s laying

safe by the side

the hero who saved her

can heroically die

because he went back

to pick up the cane

that slipped from her grip…

will you help write the obit?

“Hero dies saving old woman

from train”…

even though we’ll both know

that it was suicide

just the same.

Hub fans bid Jeter adieu

There are far more people in America right now who could tell you that Derek Jeter just played his last major league baseball game, an away game at Fenway Park against longtime ‘rival’ Boston, than could even try to guess the names of all the countries that are currently being blown the fuck up with our tax dollars, in our name…or have a clue that TWENTY-TWO folks we refer to as heroes as we send them off to bomb these countries we can’t even name or find on map, commit suicide every single day. I have nothing against Derek Jeter. He is a human being, no better or worse, and no more important in the grand scheme of things than any other human being. He became extremely wealthy playing playing a game that is one of the many methods used to distract us all from the fact that we are currently bombing a bunch of countries, more active duty soldiers kill themselves daily than are killed in combat, and TWENTY-TWO veterans kill themselves every single day. Many of whom were probably New York Yankees fans. So, as Hub fans bid Jeter adieu today, lets not lose sight of all the Derek Jeters of the world not fortunate enough to have been born with a talent deemed valuable by society and of course, with the opportunity to showcase that talent, and with the opportunity to not be blown the fuck up by American made bombs, but instead winding up being paid more money than the GDP of many countries, for the role they play in the modern day bread and circuses of the American empire. Cheers, Derek!

1459258_636926779690766_1165381917_n

advice…?

Hello all, I’m looking for some advice from the couple of you who might actually see and read this. I have 117 credits and an excellent gpa, if i finish this semester i would be able to get government recognition of the education that i already possess from my ‘college years’. As i said, i already have the education, a far better one in many respects than most of my peers could ever dream of having. I’ve been blessed with many teachers, and many ‘classrooms’…

Can anyone give me a reason to stay in college, other than what i have heard from everyone already ‘but you’re so close, you might as well…’ and ‘although its just a piece of paper, think of the opportunities you’ll have, the doors that will open up’. I completely understand why some people get degrees, both in terms of the skill-set you can get to help you with something, or for the credentials to do something you are passionate about. I would rather die than get a ‘real job’ based on a piece of paper. That’s a big part of why i left school in 2012, and i still feel that way. i feel as though i am wasting my time. I’m not getting out of my classes, they aren’t fun, and none of my goals in life require the government’s seal of approval by way of a degree. The only thing i had left was Spanish 102 and math, and i would rather learn Spanish in a Spanish-speaking country, and i have been able to do the relatively simple math that is required of my degree-field, with ease, and am according to the professor one of the better students in the class (it’s common sense, basic, everyday math). So, math no longer haunts me. I am thankful that i came back for this semester, because if nothing else, it gives me closure on this chapter of my life. I left abruptly in 2012, feeling the same way i feel now, and wondered if i had made a mistake. I no longer wonder. I have had some amazing professors, met some amazing people, and traveled to some amazing places. I just feel that remaining in school to finish the semester and degree, feeling the way that i do, is pointless and goes against what i believe in (which is to let go of all that does not nourish the soul). Right now, I am in school because A.) people (including people i love, respect and care about) have told me that because of how close i am, I should finish. and B.) I thought i might as well use up the remaining months of the gi bill. I do not like the system we live under, and don’t feel as though conforming yet again to its plans for me will do me any good in the long run. I have nothing to prove to myself, i made it through college. The past 2 1/2 years i have struggled with the idea of having a degree and what it represents, (for me). I don’t want one. It’s more than just a piece of paper, at least symbolically, for me. I don’t judge or think less of you for having one or multiple, but as for me, the only documentation i need to open any doors i wish to go through, is my passport. With the state of the world what it is today, and with the concrete and smog that surrounds me, i am not happy. I am getting nothing out of being in school right now. I don’t see how remaining miserable for a piece of paper that society tells me i should have, is a good idea. But just for the hell of it, if any of you read this and have think of any reason why i should stick it out…feel free to humor me

September 27th 2014, 1:43 am

poem:
10 reasons not to kill myself:

1.) um…

2.) well…

3.) uh…

4.) things might get better…

5.) my family would miss me

6.) I would love to explore Europe

7.) I want to get a dog, that would be nice

8.) Like Bill Hicks said, It’s just a ride…

9.) Whiskey might help, lets try more of that…

10.) Uruguay seems nice, maybe I’ll move there.

Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone. -Kurt Vonnegut

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