Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

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There is a law being considered to force people to purchase bicycle insurance if they want to ride a bike.

No shit.

What is that you say? It will never happen? Well, I remember when people said the same thing about automobile insurance.

What a wonderful idea.

Let us tax those poor bastards that can’t afford to drive. Then, they will have no way to get to work, have no choice but to sign up for the food stamp program, and then we can blame them for crashing the American economy, while the CEOs of the top banks sneak out the back door with sacks full of billions in cash.

The poor are being taxed to death.

The government takes thirty percent of every book I sell.

They take nineteen percent of every paycheck.

We got sales tax.

Forced to buy car insurance.

Come 2016, we’ll be forced to buy health insurance.

Everything we do is a potential fine.

Now bicycle insurance?

Are you fucking kidding me?

What’s next? A tax for breathing? Watch out for that carbon tax. Careful what you exhale.

Why not sleeping? What if while I was sleeping I started sleepwalking? And while I was sleepwalking, I hurt somebody else?

This is getting ridiculous.

I don’t understand why I have to pay into a system that I’m obviously not a part of in any way. I’ve had an abscess tooth for over eight months that I can’t get pulled. They tell me I’ll have to work until I’m nearly eighty to collect social security, if it’ll even be around then. They take my entire income tax. I’m treated like public enemy-number one by the law enforcement I help pay for.

There has to be a way to opt out of this system.

http://zenspeaknine.com/

Hey fellow Word warriors.

Strange days around these parts. The final edition of the ZENspeak publication has arrived. This self publishing foray has been a trip. At first, I didn’t know what to think of self publishing. I am of the generation that thought, crazy though it may be, the artist was paid for his work, not the other way around. But in this age where everything is turned into a racket, it was silly to think that something as potentially commercial as writing, would be safe for long from the evil clutches of American marketing. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. Maybe it will give volume to millions of voices that had otherwise never been heard. I thought self publishing could dilute the credibility of art, letting any Joe with a couple hundred dollars available, loose on the art scene. I thought the only people it really empowered were those with access to money. Thus the impoverished, were where they have always been, left in silence. I thought money would come to dictate art. But then I thought, that’s how things already are. I thought a lot of things. But here I am, self publishing. Maybe I thought wrong. I tell you what dear reader, in the last six months I’ve learned: editing, publishing, promoting, digital photography, editing digital video, and developing and publishing a web site. And of all of it, I can honestly say none is more daunting than the book’s formatting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you aspiring hacks.

The 5 edition of the ZENspeak spoken word features 4 poems including: HyperREALity Of The INNER City; The Magic Show; And She Says She Wants Darkness; Gothic America

HyperREALity Of The INNER City is the result of a prose/poetry hybrid I’ve been developing for years. This is nothing groundbreaking. Many have attempted this before me, arguably, Arthur Rimbaud to the best effect. Usually, this style has a phonic ring to it that enables the reader to identify the poetry embedded within it. I wanted to strip away all such poetic devices; no alliteration, consonance, half-false-full rhymes, anything that gives the piece poetic characteristics. But it can’t be read as straight prose either. I want the reader to feel this discord. It just doesn’t fit. It’s strange. The subject deals with the O.G.s of the inner cities. O.G. is an extravagant term. They are just bums that have been bumming for decades and have achieved a certain type of “hood fame” for basically just surviving fiend-dom. These old timers believe they are privy to a certain esoteric knowledge. That the youngsters just don’t know the secrets of the game the way that those that came before them knew the secrets of the game. But those secrets wind up being no more than lies and death, and they don’t come cheap.

The Magic Show rewords every bad relationship I’ve ever had the unfortunate luck of getting involved in. A particular one came to mind while penning this piece. It started out pleasant enough, with a girl who thought I was the cat’s meow. I always did these magic tricks for her. She’d go nuts for them and always try to get me to tell her how I did them. After a few months of tricks, I broke down and taught her the in/s and out/s of my magic. She never wanted to see any of those tricks again. She seemed mad, once she found out how simple the tricks were, and that there was a time when I had tricked her into believing in them. After we broke up, the whole relationship and how it turned out, seemed to be reflected by that lesson in magic. At first, it’s all sparks and intrigue; but, in the end, we fall for a trick, and once we know the trick, the magic is gone, never to be regained. I don’t stick to form and rhyme schemes very often. Show and Darkness are two of my better examples of such.

And She Says She Wants Darkness has been traveling with me for years. It has always been one of my favorites, but I never could find it a proper home. It was too short to stand on its own. When the ZENspeak book came along, I found a perfect fit. Darkness was born of a time that I was reading a lot of Milton and Plath. Milton’s blank verse was definitely rubbing off on me and Plath was a monstrous influence on me. When I read Plath, I feel as if I’ve been reduced to a child psychologically. She throws me into a world of boys and girls and daddies and mommies and everything seems normal on the surface, but there is a terrible distress bubbling under the surface. Darkness is a brief account of a girl that has a pretty uptown life, but she also has a second life, a darker life, a second face that no one from the uptown area has ever seen her wear.

Gothic America comes from my constant entanglement with the romantic literary movement. I wanted to illustrate the romanticism of the United States. Most Americans suffer from a romantic-self-aggrandizing. We believe that we are everything good that is holding this evil world together. That it is up to us to save the world. To give the world freedom. Even while we are destroying it. It’s not just that. Walk up to someone and ask them what they are. Bet they don’t say that they are American. You may hear, “I’m Italian, or German, or Dutch,” but you won’t hear, “Why silly sir, I am an American!” We blame our heritage for little quirks like our temper, or our inclination to gossip. Ever hear, “I just can’t control my anger, you know I’m Irish.” We remain connected to our cultures, but in a way that doesn’t require much leg work. We don’t practice the rituals and traditions that come along with a culture. We have a romantic sense of what it means to be German or Irish. All of this brought me to the funeral of Percy Shelley. To those that don’t know, Percy had drowned out at sea. Back then, a body found at sea was quarantined, not to leave the beach for the possibility of contagions. A small group of Percy’s inner circle collected on the beach, to burn his already decomposing body. This resulted in a story that has been dramatized to an effect that would make any true romantic proud. Some accounts tell us that Trelawny plucked Percy’s heart from the ashes of this raging fire and wrapped it in Percy’s poem Adonais. The heart, and its clever wrapping, were later to be sealed in Percy’s sarcophagus. The detail that his heart was wrapped in his poem, Adonais, is not wasted on those with even a cursory knowledge of Shelley’s work. Percy wrote Adonais as a tribute to the then, recently deceased John Keats. Keat’s tragic passing at such an early age, deeply affected Percy. Beautiful this symbolism may be, the real account differs slightly. By the time Trelawny reached for Percy’s heart, the organ was carbonized ash. The heart was not buried nor enshrined in a tomb, but was ultimately entrusted to Mary Shelley, who eventually passed the morbid keepsake to her and Percy’s son. With all this said, I thought of America, how she seems to be dying, and who can really face the reality of this. Who will light the great pyre for her? Where are our prophetic romantics now?

…and if you get a chance check out the ZENspeak book. There’s a twenty page preview floating around.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/deadBEATpoetry

Street Poetry

Posted: November 27, 2012 in Poetry
Tags: , , , ,

Spreads across the streets

Like a disease of the concrete

It’s in the polluted air that we breathe

& the dark confessions we speak

It’s the messiah of poverty

Healing the broken hearts that bleed

Giving the forgotten a reason to believe

Helps the liars find a moment of honesty

It’s the addicts’ only recovery

The poor animate daily its poetry

Sets a fire under their tragedies

It’s what the slum thinks when it dreams

The rhymes of the hard times

& everyone knows what they mean

Makes the blind see the signs

And the ignorant realize

Words of a lost world in a city

It is the divine comedy