Another old poem that I had written while I was going to CSU. I think it’s time I started writing some new stuff. I’m curious to see how much my perspective has changed in the last 6 years.
A Why Can’t I Poem
Why can’t I write a happy poem/ A happy go lucky poem/ I want to get up and dance poem/ A singing in the rain poem/ An everything is going to be alright poem/ Instead/ My mind spews dark/ Foreboding poems/ Brooding poems/ wrathful poems/ You let me down poems/ Got betrayed yet again poems/ I’m finally walking away poems/ What I wouldn’t do/ For a/ I want to have a family poem/ A future perfect poem/ I’ll be there for you poem/ Better yet/ You’ll be there for me poem/ A/ Look at me/ I’m smiling/ And not just to hide the pain poem/ An I believe in my self/ Poem/ The world is a better place poem/ Don’t cry dry your eye/ Here comes your mama/ With those two little guys poem/ It’s good to be alive poem/ But shit/ Who am I kidding/ Shit ain’t ever coming easy for me/ That’s my non-to-consequential destiny/ All I will ever conjure up are/ I don’t need you poems/ I don’t like me poems/ God have mercy on our souls poems/ I feel numb poems/ The good times are killing me poems/ There’s nothing left to say poems/ Damn/I think I’m done writing poems/
I wrote this poem in 2006, 5 years after the events of 9/11. On 9/12/2001 I tried to get as close to ground zero as was permitted at the time. I can’t remember how far south I got before I hit the police barricades; but I knew it was somewhere between West 4th and Canal street. There were hundred of us out there. We were all just standing around; I’m not sure why I was down there. Not sure anyone else knew why they were there either. I looked south and could see the giant plume of smoke that was coming from the where the Twin Towers stood just a day earlier. I remember there was this middle age Cuban gentleman standing next to me. He turned to me and said in Spanish, ‘You see all these white people thought we were the bad ones (meaning Latinos) but it was those fucking Arabs that they had to worry about all along”. It took me a second to register what the gentleman had said to me. I should have told him that this was neither the time nor the place for ignorant, racist, bullshit. But I didn’t say a word. I just nodded my head and went back to looking at the plume of smoke. A few minutes later a fire truck came through the police barricade that stopped us from getting any closer. The cherry red truck was blanketed with this pale soot. The folks around me began to clap and cheer the fire fighters as they drove by. But those first responders they were somewhere else. They never bothered to acknowledge us. They just looked straight ahead and drove passed us.
There was a surreal element to that day. It has stayed with me all these years. Probably always will. That’s what inspired the poem below.
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