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Poets are Always

Author: my shadow
Elite Ratio:    4.84 - 296 /150 /48
Words: 1044
Class/Type: Poetry /Misc
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I wrote this a long time ago while I was taking a poetry class at SJSU. It's supposed to be somewhat humorous and represent some of what was happening then. It is not politically correct - it will certainly offend some. Yes, people were taking a lot of drugs then, there was "free love" and a lot of students were thinking really left, such as the SDS, Blank Panthers, and who can forget Kent State or the Symbionese Liberation Army?

Poets are Always

Poets are always laying it on the line
Like once, when I was reading
in this real down bar
Some guy got up and rasped,
Enough of that sissy crap.
Sit down and shut your mouth,
I threatened less than three feet
from his face,
or I'll tear your heart out.
I came to in the alley.
It's a God-damned good thing,
I thought, as I searched my pockets,
that I didn't get hit in the nuts.
There wasn't any money,
so I urged my aching body
toward good-hearted Charlene's.
It was only a few blocks.
You poor son-of-a-bitch,
she cried, on opening the door,
What-the-fuck happened to you?
I told her the story
as she helped me out of my clothes
and tended my wounds.
After a week of Charlene's care,
I was back on the street.
I don't need any wife
or runny-nose kids.
I want to be free.
But Charlene's alright,
she even gave me five bucks.

I took a number four bus
to the End of the World Tea House.
From Charlene's, it's too far to hoof.
Everybody who's nobody
knows the place.
For sure, no one ever left there
to things better.
A guitarist was singing
as I went by the stained glass doors.
I'm fat and pretty,
because I'm from pig city.
Now, candy is my name
and you're going to like my game
because I've got more
of what you're looking for.
Heavy, I thought.
What's been happenin, man? Dick asked.
pull up a chair, he added.
Man, have I got something for your head.
Dick was a dealer.
I'm short, I said, or I'd take a lid.
Forget it, man, I'll turn you on.
But let people know what I've got.

Sue walked in after Dick left on a deal.
Where ya been, she said.
Careful of my ribs, I squeeled
as she hugged me out of my chair.
I told her how Charlene had fixed me
after the bar fight.
That Charlene's a real swell chick,
Sue laughed, She'd make a real fine wife.
It wasn't funny.
Dick was having a party that night for couples only
so I asked Sue to go.
Sure, she said, But as a couple a what?
We talked over half-empty cups
most of the afternoon
except when we went
to the women’s john
to do up Dick's joints.
Whenever someone knocked,
Sue called out, Busy.

About nine, we left to the party.
Sue had two hits on paper
she suggested we take.
We did that.
When we got to Dick's,
numbers were going around.
Everyone was stoned.
We sat on the floor
where my eyes met
some beautiful eyes
looking through mine
into my brain.
Sue got bored
and said loudly,
Let's have a fuckin' orgy.
Thas a fuckin' good idea, someone added.
In a few minutes everyone was naked.
Beautiful eyes and I were balling
when we heard loud knocking.
Somebody get that door Dick called.
Yeah, I added, Someone get that door.
Sue was near the door with a couple of guys.
'Ill get it, she replied. The more the merrier.
This is a raid!
Any of you perverts move
we'll blow yer fuckin' heads off!
Jesus, I said, and I was just about to cum.
We were lined up,
hands over out heads,
faces to the wall.
Look at this cheese cake,
said one of the cops,
I could sure screw that one,
another behind me added, What an ass.
They were talking, I hoped, about beautiful eyes.
The narcs were after Dick
but we were all taken down and booked.

I made my call to Charlene.
She didn't have enough to go my bail
But, she said, Ill try to get a bond.
I was in three days when the guard called me out.
Sorry, it wasn't sooner,
Charlene said, But I couldn't get paid early.
That's okay, I assured her.
After two days of constipation,
caused by hard boiled eggs and hot dog soup,
Charlene's meatless and natural cooking
made me realize what it was all about.
I'm giving up Big Macs and all that other shit,
I swore to her that night
as we lay between clean sheets,
far from the jail cell's
trapped farts and puke smell.
And furthermore, I declared,
Tomorrow morning, I'm looking for a job.

Charlene got me up and then went to work.
I decided noon was a good time to go.
About one, I set out.
The End of the World was on the way.
So I stopped in to see if anyone knew of any work.
No one did.
But I met some people who seemed to know
what was going down.
Look, man, the system's rigged,
said one of my new friends, Jack.
That's right, added the other, Doris,
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
She was wearing a red star on her blouse
and nothing under.
Yeah, maybe you're right, I said,
It's hard to get work.
Sure, Jack said, the government's got you unemployed
so corporations can make more profit.
We're going to picket the employment office, Doris added,
Want to come?
I was going there anyway, I said,
so I may as well.

We chanted:
The people united, will never be defeated,
and other slogans for two hours.
We then went to Doris's house
where she gave me Quotations of Chairman Mao.
I opened it and read, political power
grows from the barrel
of a gun.
If the world's problems are to be solved, said Doris,
We must learn to share our resources.
That night, we shared her bed
and our bodies.
Help me with the sheets, she said in the morning.
Bullshit, I protested, That's women's work.
There's no women's work or men's work, she responded,
there's only work that we must share.
Yeah, you're right, I said.
She made breakfast for us
and then left for classes
with the understanding
I was to to do the dishes.
The water was running
when I thought, Women's work!
Quickly I was out the door,
on the street,
and free.

Submitted on 2010-12-27 23:44:52     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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  I loved this. Funny and sad all at once. I laughed aloud while reading some sections. Shook my head at others.

Case in point:
Sure, Jack said, the government's got you unemployed
so corporations can make more profit.

And of course "good-hearted" Charlene got to me. Especially when she apologizes about not being able to bail our hero out of jail sooner.

Your description of the piece was interesting. If I hadn't read it, I could have assumed this was supposed to be something that was happening now. As a matter of fact I'm pretty sure I know your narrator/ main character. He's actually a dear friend of mine and a wonderful writer of fiction and prose. He's 25, lives in San Francisco and just got mad at his latest "Charlene" for letting his bike get stolen while he was in jail for a few days on "bogus" disturbing the peace charges. One of his favorite lines to say is, "I've had two wives and four kids but none of them were mine".

People's frustration about and ignorance of present day political and economic situations still feels very relevant as well. While the "right" might be more vocal at the moment, there are certainly "lefties" still out there thriving--not that I'm saying they are the ignorant ones. There's plenty of ignorance to go around on both sides, if you ask me.

Likewise, there are still plenty of "free lovers" (I believe the hip term now is "polyamorous") and lots of people still smoking joints and doing other drugs (heck, if anything, now they've just got even more choices--prescription and illegal options abound).

Even the voice you use here seems current ie "in this real down bar" and "We talked over half-empty cups". Very "disaffect youth 2011".

My point is, despite the fact that there are no longer SDS, Black Panthers etc. this piece is still reads very "Modern America" to me. There are still plenty of Charlenes, Jacks and Dorises out there--and of course--an abundance of Dicks!
Thanks for the great read!
| Posted on 2011-09-15 00:00:00 | by JanePlane | [ Reply to This ]
| Posted on 2011-09-02 00:00:00 | by my shadow | [ Reply to This ]
  This is like a typical day for me. :) Haha! I like these lines the most: "I'm fat and pretty,because I'm from pig city." They made me smile as they conjured images of stereotypical Americans. :) Anyway the poem is a bit long for my taste. Maybe you could shorten it up just a bit. I could see my attention going more towards clicking on my facebook tab at the end :) Don't get me wrong, it's good as it is but it could be a little shorter...

Anyway, I've enjoyed this. Keep on writing!
| Posted on 2011-07-30 00:00:00 | by Paradox | [ Reply to This ]
  i felt kerouac and bukowski in this...but i liked this better....

they don't impress me all that much..i feel disengaged from what they write...

this one had me at Charlene's begging for comfort...i felt the pain in the gut feeling from rejection as a poet...from getting the charity high to being a lowlife who wouldn't even do the dishes because it is an infringement of freedom...
it's a long piece...but a journey that seems well worth taking all the way...

all the problems of the world happening while we do our own thing...the outside world at times in this poem at the orgy..and the guy who didn't like poetry..

sometimes i think it is good to just lose ourselves in ourselves..because we aren't going to change the world with a few small voices...

and you make several characters really come alive with your description...much more than just feeling the speaker in this one..

a strong narrative poem...

| Posted on 2011-03-16 00:00:00 | by jacoberin | [ Reply to This ]
  When I first started reading this I didn't think I was going to like it, but I ended up liking it anyway.

Maybe it's up those of us who are down and out to change the world. Maybe those of us who are OK with the way things are feel no need to change it.

There is a lot here to be pondered. I found the poem format made this easier to read and broke up the thoughts even though I would definitely qualify this as prose.

Some things I got from this:

Goodness can come from the strangest of places, and people!

One prison may or may not be as bad as another.

There are no longer defined roles between male and female. Sharing the workload very well might be one of the greater lessons of our time though it may feel disorientating to those of us who have one foot in the old world and one in the new.

There is more. But overall this was a thought-provoking write.
| Posted on 2011-02-20 00:00:00 | by BlankSheet | [ Reply to This ]
  Wow Jim! This another work of time, craft anddirecting of words to make up visual, feelings and thought aiming on the character,
I was reading this booked called "The Unknown story of Mao" which gives a damn good inside look on who this guy was concerning the world and of modern times, that other ppl with minds persistent to make change, taking action into their own hands.
Later down the road it effects the world and it has something to do with history as of who you are.
I thought of that as you put the lens on the characters thoughts of the Menacing Mao tied with his famous quote, really stood out to me.

Second, another area of transition on the piece is the part of unemployment and the pursuit of plans and action based upon people in the world we live in today.I like that part a lot because I am unemployed myself and little leaks and trails of feeling bad for the loss of work but sustaining the will to stand up and face the problem to the point where I feel I have to say and do something about things like this and many other social issues that really effect everyday people so I wanna thank you for writing this, it's really cool in my opinion and I hope you can see why I think that with this comment.

On the behalf of this I believe you really have a voice and awesome knack for doing stories in this form, consistency and establishing that atmosphere
that involves these characters on the side such as Charlene and Dick.Again, nice work directing words, time and effort to make the piece at a whole with great length to get a message across.
It displays what skill and ability you have to make something turthful and beautiful of todays world with the situation cross hairs on America's economy.

| Posted on 2010-12-29 00:00:00 | by Rex Gold | [ Reply to This ]

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