Staring at the Sun.

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It’s so clear to few, yet enigmatic to so many.

The plethora of frustrated males

trudging blindly through life,

knowing only what they have been taught

by their parents, by their schools

by movies, by television.

The ones they are so enchanted by,

the ones they fear to speak to

face to face,

are just as lost .

They do a dance of mockery and supplication.

Both obsessed with false idol worship.

One side fully aware of their perturbation,

the other side  in full denial,

for it won’t catch up to them until it’s too late.

If you listen closely,

you can hear it in the songs they love,

that are eaten up, like so much fast food.

Deep down, them gals just want a strong lover

who will take them,

protect them,

lead them.

But what those dudes don’t see,

is exactly that.

Because, all their lives they’ve been told

to set their visceral desires

on the shelf, like an old toy forgotten.

To keep their mouths shut.

The problem being, their eyes are shut

and their brain is offline,

blind to the future.

See the blame can be placed so easily.

I don’t shirk my path, it is the one I have walked.

But the difference is,

instead of continuing,

staring at the sun,

the few that can see,

have opened both their eyes, ears,

and hopefully their hearts.

What some people on this side of the spectrum

are screaming,

like an 80’s hardcore prophet,

HR of Bad Brains,

Keith Morris and Henry Rollins of Black Flag,

Kevin of 7-Seconds,

is

“GET OFF YOUR FUCKING ASS AND LIVE YOUR FUCKING LIFE BEFORE YOUR LIFE LIVES ITSELF.*”

All the rest is noise.

This poem was inspired by many things, including this little tidbit, written in 2002.

From a long time ago

From a long time ago

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On Urgency

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I give my dog half a cup of food before I leave for work.
He probably won’t touch it until his obtuse master returns home
The car starts, I always pray it does and I launch my self out on the boulevard.
Every couple seconds some four legged beast speeds by in either direction
It’s a game of betting on the stranger hoping they don’t speed into the tail pipe of my aging vehicle.
We both wouldn’t enjoy that.
I hit the ground running and am up to 40 mph after going about two blocks
In the ever nervous moment of anticipation I glance at the rear view mirror
A grey mini van is charging up the block
My ass is puckered as they attempt to ride it
Two lanes await us and once we both get there
the mini van speeds ahead approaching 50+ mph in a 35.
I just keep going, alone, smoking my cigarette
The van, with the extra seats for kids, and dogs, and playthings
speeds ahead with the urgency of an ambulance.
On a trip back home from a Northern Californian town
with a dready hippy chain smoking rolled American Spirit cigs
in a volkswagon bus
He said that when passing people left and right
on the street or the freeway
the most you get is maybe 5-10 seconds ahead, man.
As I passed the elementary school
the streetlight switched from yellow, to red
and there in front of my aging steed sat the minivan
waiting for the light to turn green.

St. Patty

I remember the first time I saw my father cry. I was in the 5th grade.  It was such a shock to me, that to this day, I still remember it vividly.  It was grey outside and drizzling cold winter rains on the sleepy valley where we lived.  The weather matched our moods as we had piled in a mini van to take our golden retriever to the vet.  This dog had been with the family farther back than any of us kids.  Her hair was a golden red, much like the fur that grows from my face, though her muzzle had signs of age.  She lived a good life with a loving family, was loved, and loved alike.  It was in the sterile florescent lights, while most of the family was tearing up, that I witnessed the first vulnerable moment out of my father.  He cried as he said goodbye to Brandy.  It still leaves me a little raw to remember this occasion.

A week or so later, some kid was screwing with me on the playground and I ended up kicking his ass.  I didn’t get suspended, the Nuns blamed my aggression on my dog’s death.  If only that were true.  That dude needed to back off my shit.

Dog’s have always had a prominent place in my life.  I would estimate that I was “without dog” for only around a year.  That said, I’ve known only four dogs intimately.  As they go, Brandy the golden retriever, Sydney the Australian sheep dog, Sunshine Peppermint Patty the golden retriever, and of course, my current companion, Iggy the smooth fox terrier.

All of these dogs had their character.  Sydney was talkative, snored like a banshee, and always tried to get you to itch his rear end.  Brandy would eat cherry tomatoes in the garden with me as a child, she loved to swim and play fetch.  Then there was Patty.

Patty was the first dog I had ever met as a puppy.  We picked her out from her litter near the house I grew up in.  I slept on the porch for the first three nights she was home because she was scared.  I was in the sixth grade and when I would be awoken to go to school, my folks would find me lying on my back and Patty with her nose on my shoulder.  Mates for life.  She never forgot me, even when I left for college.  When I would come back to visit my folks, she’d wait up for me to come home before she went to bed.  She was the ultimate care taker.  She wasn’t territorial for the most part, though, in hindsight I would come to realize she growled or barked at every girl she disapproved of right out the gates. I just didn’t know to read that from her.

She lived a good happy life. She died two days before St. Patrick’s day and I didn’t really come to terms with her passing until a few days later.  It’s striking to me the kind of bond one can form with a canine.  Anyways, I wrote this poem after she died.  It was about 6 years ago, and I still get a knot in my stomach when I think about her.

Patty

Her full name was “Sunshine Peppermint Patty.”  Don’t ask, my Mom named her.

‘Patty’s Sunshine’
The last I remember of my dog is her eyes so far away and distant.
Brushing her grey gold hair with salty stains from my cheeks.
It was the end of her life, but my love for her will never die.
She was just a puppy, afraid and crying on the porch when we first met.
We both dreamed with her nose resting on my shoulder.
That was all it took. We were partners for life after that.
She was my best friend.
When I played guitar, or the piano, she would sit there
and watch with her eyes like rich dark coffee.
When I came home later she would be there in the hallway,
waiting for me to come home so she could sleep soundly.
I would bring green bones and other treats home for her.
She started becoming nosy anytime I came home with a paper
or plastic bag in hand.
When i spent a month in jail, I went home and barked at me,
“Where the fuck have you been?!?!?!?!”
If I brought a girl home she would growl if she didn’t approve.
She was friendly with the few she did approve of.
By the end of her stay on this Earth, a tumor had developed in the bone of her spine.
It had deteriorated a disc and she lost the use of her back legs.
Her condition quickly worsened.
I was once again on a sleeping bag next to her so she would feel
comfortable,
So she wouldn’t cry in fear.
I told her she was off to see her Sidney in the sky and that I
loved her.
I think about her often. I haven’t been myself these past days.
The cold metallic taste of fear has not left the roof of my mouth
or the inside of my teeth.
I’ve been left stricken with anxiety, stretched and weary.
I’m questioning all that has passed and I rage against the turning of the World.
I wonder, if I die, will she be there?
Will she be coming back as some blonde redhead to win me over with her charm and beauty?
I write while still shaking from shock, thought it happened over
two days ago.
What am I doing here?
So when my grey gold hair is brushed by salt water stains from someone’s cheeks,
With my eyes far away and distant,
I will know that I have done my best.
To love like my dog Patty loved me.
It’s Saint Patty’s day today and my eyes are filled
With sadness, fear and hope.

With that I encourage you to check out the Oatmeal comic – My dog: the paradox.

Originally posted on Rojobag.Wordpress March 19th, 2013.

Blue Pill Poem

Found this in an old folder from about 5 years ago, this is what I am not doing anymore.  I do recall this day, it is pretty vivid in my memory as I think I was in a rough spot at the time mentally and I recall being on this bench in the middle of winter.  All my lack of movement and hesitation was instilled in a lack of confidence.  I had been dumped a month or so prior  after a 2+ year stretch, I was on and off meds throughout those years so I considered myself mentally unstable.  I was not comfortable with myself and inside my head bounced thoughts of self doubt to self hate in rapid succession.  I couldn’t even bring myself to say “hi” to this girl even though she was showing she was open to it.  Lesson learned.

“Tea Time”

Out of my head and into my mouth
Invisible muzzle and straight jacket

locking my appendages and my heart
in the grips of insanity

Pinning myself to the dark
during the brightest day

with the cold wind blowing
through the bustling street.

And all I can do
though I want to do so much more

Is try to smile

as she walks by
and smiles at me again.

As I stare at my feet
and smoke a cigarette

between sips of coffee.

Time Capsule

There was an un-emptied box sitting next to a lamp in my front room.  I had not unpacked it.  It was small and looked like it was collected from my car, so I never really paid it any heed.  What?  I thought it was all empty Go Girl cans. Last night in a state of inebriated humor, I decided to rifle through it.  What a treasure trove I did find.

I found cards from as long ago as my 8th grade year.  I found the funeral pamplet for the poor girl who was killed by two drugged out mexicans when she was in 8th grade.  Although I felt no sympathy or sadness then, I am a different person now and I reflected on how tragic that actual episode was.  I found an envelope of pictures from my 6th grade Catholic school field trip to Point Reyes.  In it was another girl who drowned in the Russian River when she was in 8th grade.  Her sister who dove in to save her, also drowned.  Then the memory of when I was eating drunkenly at Denny’s back in ’01 and that same girls youngest sister was the waitress. I remember then feeling a sort of sadness for the young girl, and did when I saw the picture.  I reflected on what a rough year that was, multiple core teachers, one of whom was the Mom of Raina.  That was the year I started to disassociate with the rest of Society.  That was the year I knew I was truly alone in a fucked up world.

This is not where this post is going.  Those memories aside, I found cards upon cards, from ex girlfriends from co-workers.  I found the first citation for disturbing the peace my high school punk band received.  I found my certificate of completion of drivers training course from when I was 15.  I mean really, this was pretty crazy for me and brought back a raging waterfall of emotions.  Thankfully I have learned to feel and was able to be present with the tsunami of ethereal remembrance.

I found some baseball cards too.  One was a topps card of Vida Blue from the Giants.  A topps Bo Jackson rookie card also graced the box.  As well as some a DAT tape of some recordings I did when I was in college, my scientific calculator, a medal from a Bike Race I had placed second in, some stickers, my SAT reports as well as a college transcript.

It was all very interesting to me and took me down a path of reflection I think I really needed.  The lengths of growth I have achieved are not perceived merely by looking in the mirror.  I once elicited in my first band “the past is definition to where the future lies”.. And that is truth.  Because without the past I would not be who I am today.

The best part of the time capsule I found was two binder paper pages of poems I had written when I was younger.  They were quite illuminating and reminded me where some of my anger comes from.  See, after living for so many years, anger sometimes gets diluted in the mass transit of the everyday.  Drive to work, work a day, drive home, walk the dog, eat a food, drink a drink, listen to a music, play a music, drink a water, go to sleep.  Sometimes my day is so routine I want to walk out onto the i5 and just get done with it.  However, I love my dog too much and have much more to do here.  I don’t write nearly as much as I used to so it was a good reminder of the motivation that used to drive me.

Here are two of the poems I found:

UNTITLED:

They caught the last poor man
on the poor man’s vacation.
They cuffed him
and they dragged his black ass
down to the station.
They said “ok, the streets are safe now.
All your pretty white children can come out and see spot run.”
And they came out,
and they looked around,
and they didn’t see no one.
But my country tis of thee
to take shots at each other on the talk show tv.
Why don’t you just go put out the sun?
Because you’ll never live long enough
to undo everything
they’ve done to you.

________________________________________

This one is my favorite. It is also untitled.

When I look around, I think this is..
This is good enough.
And I try to laugh
at whatever life brings.
Because when I look down
I just miss all the good stuff
and when I look up
I just trip over things.

___________________________

Godspeed readers.  This redbearded cat loves you.

Ps.  Here is some Descendents influenced goodness in refernce to the bad ass baseball player I mentioned earlier.  Chad Price is not as bad ass as Scott Reynolds, but real men write their own jams and thus you have :