Train From Dortmund

Riding through Germany

by train

looking out at farms

houses

apartment buldings

and old factories

seeing smokestacks

on the horizon

gives me chills

but the colorful graffiti

at the next station

warms my heart.

Art,

blurring as we

speed away

to more houses

and lush-green

trees along the

tracks

and logs piled high

at the lumberyard

but now more smokestacks

bring me back

to my thoughts

from a  few moments ago

but then I realize

that this land

is no more haunted

than my own

it’s just that

more time has passed

in North America,

but the indigenous

people

there

met the same fate

as those

who rode

along tracks

like these

in the 30’s

and 40’s

Biergarten

Pint after pint

at beer gardens

and halls,

washing away

decades of history,

tales only of Bavarian kings

and biergarten gals

serving another round now

have sorrows to drown

too,

but they have too much

work to do

resting a dozen beers

on their breasts

to serve

the American tourists

every last one

a mess

dance for me

be my Bavarian queen

lets recreate scenes from

movies of old

pretend that

its all gold

and its all good

and its all happy endings

just like Hollywood

pretend that

post-war Germany

hasn’t

started her descent

hasn’t bought into the

American dream

but our beer garden gal

works this second job

just to pay rent

puts up with

ogling eyes

admiring the size

of her…

of her…

beers

beers she carries

to cheers

after cheers after

prost,

lets raise a toast to fear

and Arabs are the new Jews

and what would

the Americans do?

Turn off the news

don’t become like us

don’t buy

into the lies

into the hype

don’t buy

shit you don’t need

the dream is dead

greed is all

thats left

consume

consume

consume

until theres no room

left

until theres no

you

left

until you’re just

a mindless consumer

like all the rest.

All the best.

Sincerely,

-The beer drinking American tourist

who thinks theres more to you

than your breasts,

try your best

to get off the hamster wheel,

don’t let them

milk your

soul

until it’s

dry…

America, 2005

soitgoes1984:

Ten years in the blink of an eye…my heart still breaks for this city left to drown in contaminated water. we failed humanity in New Orleans, as we have in much of the rest of the world. May those who didn’t survive the storm rest in peace…and those who did, find peace.

Originally posted on soitgoes1984:

Broken levees

and broken bones

a decade gone

without house

and home

there’s no place

for the heart

get high on the fumes

of political art

as jam bands learn to play

amazing grace

sweet old ladies

try hemming

superman’s cape

but it’s too late

no heroes left

around here

wonderwoman grounded

like doves with wings clipped

choking on olive pits

still waiting on old

jazz men

to sing

songs drowned out

by

flood waters rising

sing,

crying out for a

life raft

craft beer flows

as hipsters go

wading through toxic water

waiting for the jazz man

to play on

and on and

the water rises still

no need to water lawns

below sea level

let me level with

you and your crew

wouldn’t know

what to do

if the levees broke

in your backyard

but at least you got

daddy’s car to drive away

wait out the storm

View original 355 more words

Matches

Roman bridges burning down

no hope of spring from town to town.

The seasons cease to change

heard through the grapevine we need rain.

The crops won’t grow, the fields are dry

Nero bows his head to cry

but tears like these don’t quench the thirst

as high priests say, “It could be worse”

though they’ve turned forests into pyres

they say they didn’t start the fires

but we know they’re lying

as we see our sons and daughters dying.

We’ll bury them in shallow graves

so that they might feel feel the rain

if God decides to cry tonight

to give us respite from this fight

the red dot

the pursuit of happiness

the government has sold us

is not quite a dog chasing its tail

or a hamster sprinting on a wheel,

but a cat losing its mind

trying to figure out

how to catch the red dot.

The American dream

was an illusion

from day one,

then it became a hologram,

so real you can feel it,

marketed so well

you can buy

into it…

and lord knows

we’ve racked up tremendous amounts of debt

buying into it all

hook

line

and sinker-

home mortgage…

car payment…

student loan…

a house thats too big,

a car thats not practical

and a degree that hasn’t helped us

in a subject we didn’t like

but were told would help us

get a ‘good job’…

and EVERYTHING else…

but things have not made us

and never will make us

happy

things cannot raise our children

or hug our grandparents left to rot

and die all alone in nursing homes

we cannot find

peace of mind

waiting in long lines

to buy new gagets

and gizmos

these distracting toys

made by girls and boys

and men and women

with no red dots to chase,

just sweating their lives away

to avoid starvation

in places we are socialized

to give less than a fuck about…

We need to realize

that no amount of overtime

will buy us memories

of missed birthday parties

and afternoon walks

to everywhere

and nowhere in particular,

the fancy car will only impress

the wrong type of people

and your children will fight

over it when you die

because they learned

to value things

rather than people

by watching and learning

from you

they will fight over your house,

sue each other over your boat

and never talk again

because grandma only left behind

one diamond ring

when she died

all alone in that nursing home,

and they all want it

beacuse,

whatever it’s worth in dollars,

they spent their whole lives learing

that it’s worth far more than love,

than family,

than humanity,

gramdma’s ring

has become a red dot

but don’t feel too bad,

it’s the realization

of the american dream

now, sure

we ‘like’ our family’s

pictures on the internet

but have grown to love

the sweaty gadgets

and gizmos we use 24/7

more than the humam beings

we see on the screens,

as boring to us now

as balls of yarn

must seem

to any cat

who has ever seen

the red dot.

I don’t want to sound mean

but must we

waste our lives

breaking our backs

working 9-5

trying to get by,

able to buy cheap beer

and sweat-shop shit

and just enough “food” to survive,

but hardly ALIVE

just going through the motions

emotionless

zoned out on zoloft

and xanax…

we all need to just breathe

and relax

we can certainly find happiness

but not at the mall

or online,

or in line at the mall…

money in and of itself

has never made

and will never make

anyone happy

happiness is not found in things

and not found in diamond rings,

especially for those poor people

mining the diamonds

its not found on gadgets

and gizmos

especially by the people making them.

happiness isn’t found

in stacks of useless paper

emblazoned with pictures

of slaveowners

horded in banks

as billions starve to death,

and its not found

in the rising stock value

of weapons manufacturers

whose billion dollar toys

kill millions of girls and boys…

happiness cannot come

from other people suffering.

No, happiness isn’t on wall street

or at walmart,…

its on those afternoon walks

and late night talks,

at birthday parties

and barbques

in good books

and good coffee

and good wine

and campfire stories

and impromptu jam sessions

and days spent floating down the river on a tube

and nights spent looking up at the stars…

happiness is found in intense games of chess

and rummy,

and cribbage,

scrabble,

pictionary,

and charades…

its laying on the beach until you get too hot

then catching a wave,

its when, at the end of the day

all you had

is all you gave

and you gave it all

to yourself

and your family

and your friends

and your community,

and to humanity

and you never sold your soul

or wasted another second

trying to catch the red dot…

Revolution

We kiss the rings

of queens and kings

as jesters laugh

and hangmen sing

as peasants toil in the field

and taxmen sieze nine-tenths their yield

to give the king and queen more jewels…

Please question not,

these are the rules,

for it was written long ago

by God’s own hand,

for all to know.

Be thankful for the tenth you keep

as you safely in the kingdom sleep.

And when the king has want for more,

be honored he sends you to war

to serve your kingdom,

your king and queen!

And if you fight most gallantly

you will get a medal for all to see!

And if you die for your queen and king,

you peasant son may kiss their rings,

then in your memory, toil in the fields

to give the kingdom nine-tenths his yield.

And if he’s lucky he may fight

for his king and queen with all his might,

just like his father and his father before,

nine-tenths is not enough

when the king wants war.

He can serve his kingdom in foreign lands

and should he die,

there’ll be outstretched hands

with royal rings for his orphans to kiss…

cry not, son

for the father you miss.

A brave, brave man

he fought real hard,

this posthumous medal is his reward.

What do you mean, it’s not enough?

It’s a token of their royal love!

The king and queen have served you well

it’s not their fault your father fell.

He died a soldier, an honorable man

helping the kingdom to expand!

Here, look at this jester

and drink this mead

or we’ll punish you

for all to see!

You refuse to toil in the fields,

to give the kingdom

nine-tenths your yield?

Your greed has brought your family shame!

You’re laughing still, like its a game?

You say the king and queen aren’t fair?

How dare you when

their clothes you wear,

fields you toil in,

air you breathe,

fish you eat, from their royal sea!

To your family they have been too kind!

Now kiss their rings

and fall in line!

You have one last chance

to repent your greed,

to laugh at the jester

and drink this mead!

No???!!!

Now I’ll lead you

to the hangman’s tree!

Silence! Silence! All of you!

This treasonous talk is now through!

We’ve summoned the hangman

with his strong hemp rope,

your time is over

there is no hope!

Silence, I said

unless you wish to join

this man condemned for treason,

this greedy son of peasants

who left his field without reason!

What’s this? get your hands off me!

Guards, stop these peasants now!

This is madness, this is chaos!

They have fields that they must plow!

WHAT???

The king is dead?

So too, the queen?

The guards abandoned post?

Please help me, Mr. Hangman

I have always loved you most!
Continue reading Revolution

Red, White & Blues

Kids play

cowboys and Indians

grow into men and women play

Muslims and Christians

hooked on Red Man

chewing tobacco

and American Spirit

cigarettes

and t-shirt tans

fade to skin cancer

for white farmers

fresh out of the army

no sun

screen

calls from Bollywood

Indians

peace pipe smoking

dancing on fire

water

drown

old blues musicians

run aground fleeing

Big Easy

sleezy politicians

can’t feel the music

never had the

blues

haven’t got a

clue

about

right and wrong

write

and

long after we’re gone

they’ll sing the same old

songs

from Mississippi

to Chicago

all the way down to New Orleans

still they sing

sea to shining

see massive inequality

singing the blues

in Ferguson, Missouri

in Oakland,

in Baltimore,

and in NYC

and in America today

Uncle Sam’s hands

still drip

red

blood

and you can only breathe

if you’re

white

and countless

black

people

still have the

blues

still treated like property

still shot like

dogs in the street

shots ring out and

cops choke-holding

court

murdering justice

in the summer heat

and cold of winter

black faces turn

blue

can’t breathe

suffocated like Iraqis

got the

blues

turn off the news

channels don’t matter

white

hands still

red

blood

from indigenous holocaust

red

blood

from backs of slaves

in shallow graves

stripped of humanity

no different

than the eighteen-fifties

brainwash kids

to pledge blind faith

and allegiance

we kill without reason

kill for America

the beauty-less

beast

of a nation

from administration

to administration

Kennedy,

Clinton,

Bush

& Obama

no different than

George Washington

all cloaked in Caesars’ clothes

open

concentration camps

for American citizens

of Japanese descent

do the Ku Klux

Can-Can

dance for Uncle Sam

we’re his nephews

and nieces

selling our souls now

just to pay rent

on stolen land

no,

we won’t stand

for your anthem

we got the

red,

white

& blues

and with nothing left

we got nothing to lose

all-in

pockets full of

change

is more than

a campaign slogan

believe in

ourselves

we are millions

strong

and our songs

are no longer

just the

blues

they are battle hymns

we beat war drums

still

but we come in peace

so don’t bother calling

the police

there’s nothing they can do

we no longer fear you

and we’re through

pledging our allegiance

to a blood drenched rag

you can kill most of us

but you’ll run out

of body bags

before we give up

we’ll keep turning

other cheeks

like Dr. King

and that bastard carpenter

from Nazareth

we’ll only raise our fists

in solidarity

and fight with our minds

and spirits

until the end

of time,

fight with

art and music,

war drums

so loud they’ll hear it

on Capitol Hill,

they can spill our blood

but generation

after generation

we’ll take to the streets

sing justice

to the beat of

our own drums

but for now

we sing the

red,

white,

& blues…

Muslims,

Jews,

and Christians

all wishing now

that Abraham was an atheist

and Columbus had been aborted,

things haven’t been

sorted out

for so long

it’s all

long been

so wrong

from Plymouth

to Wounded Knee

to Korea

to Vietnam

to Hawaii

and Bikini Atoll,

it has all taken its toll

but still they call

roll

and kids run

out of the projects

and off farms

and we never meant anybody

harm,

we had good intentions

but that’s not enough

as Uncle Sam starts

Vietnam

after Vietnam

after Vietnam…

and if you dare

sound the alarm

they’ll silence you

one way

or another,

lock you up,

or pickle you with pills

and distill you

with whiskey and Budweiser,

drive you to

the edge

then play taps

and hand your mom a flag

to dry her tears,

don’t talk about

what you

see

no evil

hear no

cries for help

for the helpless

dress right

dress you down

now you’re sounding

blue

looking

white

like you seen a ghost,

lets raise a toast

to the father,

son,

and daughter

melting drunk

onto VFW barstools

like fish

in toxic water,

regretting they survived,

ready to die

but still they go on

singing the blues

different versions

of an age old tune

drunk and out of key

more and more depressed

each day

seeing

the younger

and younger

kids

melting drunk

onto the barstools

singing the

red,

white,

& blues…

I got the

red,

white,

& blues…

Turn off the news.

I got the

red,

white,

& blues.

My hands are red,

my flag is white,

I got the blues.

The bank took my house,

my dog ran away,

but even if I were gay

I could kill Muslims now too…

Three-cheers for equality

from sea to shining sea

we’ve got

the illusion that we’re free

an illusion of equality,

but no justice

the world over,

and no peace,

what would Dr. King think?

I heard what he said

at Riverside

one year to the day he died…

No, it ain’t all

peaches and cream,

we’re in a losing battle

against a machine…

so, I got the blues.

I got the

American empire

crushed my hopes

and dreams,

killed my spirit

and stole my soul,

so now I got to go,

Red,

White,

& Blues.

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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