A Why Can’t I Poem

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.

Poetry
Poetry (Photo credit: V. H. Hammer)

A Why Can’t I Poem

By

Thomas Gonzalez

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/

September 12

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.

Landsat 7 image of Manhattan on September 12, ...
Landsat 7 image of Manhattan on September 12, 2001. The picture shows a smoke plume spreading over large portions of the city, from the World Trade Center attack. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

September 12

September 12th,

Somewhere between West 4th

And Canal.

We stood quietly,

Mourning.

Hundreds standing together

 in solitude.

Clinging in the wind,

Scent of charred rubber.

Police stood in sentry

Of the barricades.

Like holy men

Protecting a sacred sight.

In the distance

Smoke from underground inferno,

Rose to the Godless havens.

Blazes, intense, like the hatred that created it.

A fire engine,

Rushed out.

Its red luster

muted

 By fine pale soot,

 That now blanketed the globe.

Entombed within,

The emotionally drained corpses

Of still breathing men.

We stood in attention,

Giving respect,

Like folks once gave to funeral processions.

A pair of hands unconsciously clapped,

And then another,

And another.

Before it was all said and done,

We all cheered those men on.

With both pride,

And pity.

But they never acknowledged us.

They just rode on.

In silence.

The Good Days

Never blame any day in your life. Good days gi...
Never blame any day in your life. Good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience, and the worst days give you a lesson. (Photo credit: deeplifequotes)

The Good Days

By

Thomas Gonzalez

On good days

We trivialize the importance

Of the mundane

Life

Becomes nothing more

Than a series of interconnected tales

Lacking plot

Our wants dictated by celebrities

Our self-worth judged

By the value others place on us

Suffering is but

A matter of fact

Se la vie

They say

Life boiled down

To one comfortable cliché

But then a bad one hits

The status quo is changed

All that was senseless

Has meaning

The dots connect

Our finiteness becomes

All too real

We cling on to everyone

Cry for everyone

Mourn for everyone

Thoughts of

 Regrets

The

What should have

Could have

But wasn’t

Weigh us down

We plead to the almighty

To shelter us from evil

From ignorance

From ourselves

Yeah

When a bad one hits

We realize the significance of

A breath

When a bad one hits

We quietly pray

That a good one comes

And takes all this significance

Away

Possibilities

 

 

 

Love Love Love
Love Love Love (Photo credit: Gregory Jordan)

 

Possibilities

 

 

by

 

 

Thomas Gonzalez

 

 

 

 

Last Night

 

 

I caught the sight

 

 

Of you

 

 

Smiling timidly

 

 

Hand reached out

 

 

And held yours

 

 

Lips parted

 

 

 The words

 

 

I love you

 

 

Escaped

 

 

From the back of my throat

 

 

You Then

 

 

Caressed my prickly face

 

 

Leaned forward

 

 

And

 

 

 Pressed your soft

 

 

Sweet lips

 

 

Against mine

 

 

No disagreements

 

 

Strife dissolved

 

 

And no one else mattered

 

 

Just us

 

 

Alone

 

 

With a future

 

 

Filled with possibilities

 

 

Goddamn I Say

U.S. Soldiers from Headquarters Headquarters C...
U.S. Soldiers from Headquarters Headquarters Company, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division follow an Iraqi man to a water treatment facility in Shamiyah, Iraq, Feb. 11, 2009. Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division visited several sites around Diwaniyah to assess their progress. See more at Army.mil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

by

Thomas Gonzalez

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

Rest in Peace Marlon Bustamante