Goddamn I Say is another old poem that I wrote back in 2006 after I got the news that an old friend of mine (Marlon Bustmtamante) from high school was killed while serving in Iraq. The convoy he was traveling with hit a roadside IED.
Marlon was a real sweetheart. I remember me and the fellas would give him all kinds of hell because he would sometimes talk about God or mention how he was saving his virginity for his one true love. We all busted his chops about it but he always took it in stride because he was such a good-natured kid. We all liked that cat. Marlon was one of the most genuinely warm hearted soul that you could have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Off course like the rest of us he had to deal with a shit load of adversity so he was a little rough around the edges. But back then we all where; we probably still are. I will say this if you were his friend then you had a friend for life. If there was anyone that deserved to live to a ripe old age it was that kid right there. Marlon was 25 years old when he was K.I.A.
Goddamn I say
Goddamn I say/ Goddamn/ It ain’t no joke out here/ It ain’t no game/ The block is hot/ But the corner is even colder/ Niggers/Spics/ Trailer park crackers/ I don’t give a fuck what you say/ Po’/ Is po’/ And the meek don’t inherit/ Nothing but dirt/ So we trade domestic war zones/ For foreign ones/ Trade in our colors/ For stars and stripes/ Ain’t’ that a bitch / Ain’t’ that a bitch I say/ Nigga’s got to give there lives/ In order to live a life/ Goddamn/ Goddamn/ Goddamn I say/ Moving up in the world by trading Section 8/ For combat pay/ We got it real good out here/ We got it real good I say/ Just need to survive this shit/ Just need to survive another day/ No time to think/ No time to dream/ Dreams will get a nigga’ killed out here/ Memories of home must fade/ Cover that shit up with desert sand/ Blast that shit with C4/ Cause dreams will get a nigga’ killed out here/ Dreams will get a nigga’ killed I say/ Forgot what a rainstorm looks like/ cause I’ve been neck deep in desert ones/ I’m not called a hood no more/ Gangsta’ don’t apply to me/ Been out of the game for a while/ Lost my playa status/ Traded in all them terms/ For/ Soldiers/ Patriot/ Hero/ That’s what I did/ That’s what I did I say/ Spinners/ Wips/ Glocks/ and Nine’s/ Are foreign words to us now/ M16/ Humvees/ IED’s/ MRE’s/ Insurgents/ And terrorist/ Are what fill my dictionary these days/ Goddamn/ Goddamn/ Goddamn I say/ It ain’t no joke out here/ It ain’t no game/ A nigga’ wishes to be back on the block/ A Nigga’ wishes to be back home I say/ But desert corners are colder still/ Desert corners are colder still I say/ I’ve done lit my last cigarette/ I’ve gone on my last patrol/ got nothing left to do/ But knock on heavens door/ So hurry the fuck up St. Peter/ Open this Goddamn gate I say/ Cause this nigga’ has done his time/ This nigga’ has done his time I say
Believe it or not this poem was not inspired by the Lionel Richie hit by the same name. I actually wrote this poem about 6 years ago; back when I was taking the L daily to and from Chicago State University. I was seated on the train looking out the window when a teenage kid a few seats away from me starting singing. I looked over to him and noticed that he was alone singing a song about a lost love. I can’t recall if he had headphones on and was just singing along with a track that was playing on his mp3 player or if he was just singing a tune that popped in his head. But the thing that I do remember is how he was resting his head against an ad; singing with a heavy heart. As soon as I got to my apartment I pulled out my laptop and wrote the poem that you see below.
All night long
Riding the L/ One early morning/ Mouth mute/ tense body speaking volumes/ real world sounds being drowned out by screeching consciousness/ encased in a box/ and then a voice/ All night long/ It’s going to take all night long/ Sang a somber young man/ sitting across from me/ the melancholy sound stirred my senses/ his voice faltered/ strained/ his eyes closed/ and the words/ the words looped time and time again/ All night long/ It’s going to take all night long/ I felt a kinship with the stranger/ one that was not shared with family/ friends/ the words/ so profound/ resonated/ my head leaned back/ rested against a wall of concerns/ All night long/ It’s going to take all night long/ my path lay there before me/ so wrought with potholes and dead ends/ distance measured in cuts and bruises/All night long/ It’s going to take all night long/ then silence/ the sense of piercing eyes shook me from my trance/ my head turned/ and there he sat/ staring at me/ its all a scam my man/ that’s all it is/ said he/ we spend our lives/ thinking we are decent folk/ but in truth/ only the dead can afford to be so/ and then the song began anew/ All night long/ its going to take all night long/
In my nightmares\ I am hunted by visions of an ideal life never lived\ played in HD\ before my minds eye\ In my nightmares\ my mind isn’t dull\ or scattered like a million shards of thoughts\ Instead it’s sharp\ with a focus that burns with intent\ In my nightmares\ friends don’t scatter and hide\ like an army of roaches when the lights are turned on\ Instead they sit patiently before me\ flashing genuine warm smiles\followed up with a hug\and wrapped up with a whisper\ that i am not alone\ In my nightmares\ my bloated\ scarred body\ is shed like a worn out husk\ and I emerges reborn\ Dedicated to a life well lived\ and a sense of self worth\ In my nightmares\ my father’s ghost don’t hunt me\ and the family stand as a house united\ where the only tears that ever flow\ are ones of joy\ In my nightmares\ everything is possible\ including happy ending\ My nightmares come disguised as pleasant dreams\ for they only serve to remind me of the nightmare my waking life can sometimes be