The weather in Massachusetts is perfect. P-E-R-F-E-C-T. I've been staying in the town of Worcester since Nationals in West Palm. For the first time in my adult life I dedicate most of my time to writing, performing and following through on my whims.
Today: jogging by the river, finishing a poem about the crush I've been nurturing for over two decades on Sarah Connor (see below), performing at the occasional slam, open mic, house party. I'll be here till mid Sept. Then it's off to Vancouver, Canada-- which is Shangri-la, S-H-A-N-G-R-I-L-A, to feature at their Labor Slam.
This is actually the second version of this blog. The first contained an attempt (somewhat successful) to coherently present some of my thoughts on the struggle between labor and capital. I was happy to have written it but once it was on the page I decided I was pretty much completely over posting it to the blog. If you want me to whisper sweet labor-related nothings in your ear... just email me.
Here's a new poem.
When I saw your biceps
squirm under your skin
while you did pull-ups
in a maximum-security institution
for the criminally insane
I knew the kind of girl I wanted.
But being with you wasn't easy.
Once, you used the last of my flour
to make pipe bombs.
You said, "what's more important
the survival of the human race
or your empanadas?"
And I said, "Lady, if rising from the ashes of the apocalypse
means I don't get my pocket of chicken mole...
I guess I can live with that."
You were the kind of lady,
who could pick a lock
with five minutes and a paper clip
all the while hopped up
on enough anti-psychotics
to turn the cuckoo's nest
into a bridge club.
Every day a doctor slipped you twenty cc's of Thorazine
The way Girls Gone Wild hands out body shots at Mardi Gras.
First night we met
I bought you a proper drink.
Want another round killer, I said.
You said, don't call me killer.
and I said, sure thing tiger.
I couldn't help it.
You started my love affair
with broad shoulders
and old scars.
And you had so many, your back
looked like those parched riverbeds
only border guards and dead coyotes
know anything about.
Running my hand over it,
I read your story in Braille.
The one along your spine,
was when a terminator
slashed you at Pescadero.
The one on your side,
a plasma burn you got
blowing up a computer lab.
The one by your neck
you asked me not to touch.
That was the boyfriend
you shacked up with
so your son could learn Jiu-Jitsu.
There were a lot of guys like that.
You gave them their ration
of sweaty nights without foreplay
or eye contact.
And all they had to do
was show your boy how to fuck shit up.
And smile and nod while you talked
about the days of reckoning
yet to come.
You said you liked me
because you could tell
by the way I listened
that I believed you.
And because I never asked
what all the others did.
Did daddy fool around?
When's the last time
you had your meds adjusted?
But I admit I'm curious
about what it's like to see your reflection
in a skull of mirrored metal
that crossed the banks of time
to choke out your last whimper
because it had nothing better to do
with its Oedipus complex.
Why bother saving this?
When you have fewer scars from machines
than you do from the men who made them?
You don't have to answer that.
You can just keep waking up at dawn
and staring out the kitchen window.
Love watching you do that.
I ever tell you how good you look
in first light through fresh smog?
There's something so beautiful about a city
before it's had its cup of coffee,
before the first engine turns over,
when we're all still paralyzed
by our dreams.
You know all about that,
don't you, tiger?
Remember what you said to me,
when I asked you what went through your head
after you killed that thing?
I mean, how do you save the world from self-annihilation
and then wake up the next morning
and make pancakes for your son?
And you just looked at me and said, "Baby it's so cute
the way you act like those are two separate things."