I'm pointing out every headstone on the corner as I blur through another street in Southern California. Sometimes the nameless die making their names. In this life, everyone searches for respect. In this life, many sputter to their end or die trying and moving and failing.
Every block is gold. Every street is lined up with names. Everyone makes their voice known to the world. Every second counts to the nameless. We live and die and smile with the minutes flying by. I toast all those nameless and starved poets of hatred, violence and sin. I toast all those nameless driving towards their final breath. And why death? Because suicide is a dangerous and bizarre ride.
Today, the nameless holler for this and that on the corner block. Tonight, someone answers their pimp and visits a John who has murder on his mind. Tonight, the senseless violence picks a new victim. Tonight, the nameless fall. Will they be resurrected by God? Was God their friend, their rock, their hope, their survival? Or was God just watching and waiting? Today, will the nameless claim another street to build their names?
The nameless gesture madly into the cold, wild air. The nameless shout until their vocal cords strain. The nameless pop open their trunk and load up trap doors in their Monte Carlos. The nameless poke out their heads and see death and destruction in this living Hell. The nameless get overworked and loaded spilling their hatred, their guts, their basest emotions to live another day.
One day, I too was nameless. I took my bag with all of my beloved possessions and ran away. I spit my hatred out at all of those people living because I felt that they were mocking me with their apathy. One day, I was nameless and forever speaking of my childhood veering away from me. One day, I gripped the cold median divider and prayed that someone would read my name on the freeway. Sometimes the nameless speak about a new day.
Flirt Mendoza had the whole world fit comfortably in her hand. She walked with a determined gait but she was so cool and so cruel. She towered over you even when she was away from you - she had that way about her. She would walk in a room and it was like she changed the time to her liking as everything would just fall into place for her. She never really tried to trick people into doing things. She hardly ever coerced, used pressure and intimidation. She had everyone and everything perfectly mapped out in her brilliant mind. Her eyes would widen and heads would roll as if it was a logical extension of the Laws of Gravity.
Flirt smiled that deep smile with two dimples drilled to her cheeks forming at the mere hint of something pleasant. In that way and in only that way did you know what she might be up to. She was magical when it came to mobilizing people. She would have been a great musical conductor except having to gesticulate madly about with her arms would only wrinkle her perfectly pressed clothes. Since Flirt was at least 11, she was the most immaculate dresser that she knew - she got this from her parents.
Flirt came from a loving, working-class family from Miami. Her father was Half-Cuban, Half-Puerto Rican and her mother was from Ethipoia. Her father had a Car Wash business and in his youth, he helped build the buses that would be so prominent in the comings and goings of Earthlings. Her mother was a cashier at the City of Miami. She spoke with an accent but her English was flawless and beautiful. She would make her husband sleepy and comforted when she would speak softly to him before bed. Flirt's family was a happy family. Flirt however came up the hard way as well.
Flirt wasn't happy with the idea that the whole world did not fit perfectly into place. It did not make any sense that way to her. The world was chaotic, she thought - but this confusion made for a perfect playground. She wanted order but this did not matter to the billions she shared the Solar System with. The world was not very caring and this destroyed Flirt. She wanted this world to not only be her own but she wanted the world to agree with her in every way.
Today is 3035 and Flirt made it to the top of the food chain and enjoyed the perks of a life well-lived. Her hair was always perfectly silky. Her nails were chiseled and perfectly shaped and colored as if a sculptor set aside his craft to work full-time on the immaculate Ms. Mendoza. She had a team of stylists that worked on her look whenever she so desired. She was now, at 38 years old, the head of the Mercury Family - at the top of her game. But yesterday was a different story altogether. It was the story of a sad bird.
Flirt used to jump from bus to bus with an ounce of Heroine at a time. She stopped when she sold every last bag. She would then buy herself a nice meal, called up a couple of close friends or lovers or whoever else would sit down and talk to her when she was feeling lonely. She feasted until she was satiated. She would say her good-byes and visit a Lab. Labs were temporary work stations for telecommuters and consultants of various degrees. They were also indispensable to dope dealers. Everyone paid a fee - a paltry sum to the likes of Ms. Mendoza. Flirt would load up her computer and all of her spreadsheets. She had a spreadsheet made up for each region she entered. She did this since college. Her business was built around two pillars: advanced statistical analysis and superb customer service.
Ms. Mendoza was a fine woman who liked fine things. She associated with Mr. Wes Coaster who offered her a hand in getting these fine things. He was an early mentor in her gang days and throughout college. He made sure that she could deal on the side while she earned her credits towards a degree in Business and a minor in Mathematics. She saw school as a way to bolster her business - the business of strung out people and coming up big. There were no limits to slanging dope in this new Solar System with limitless resources and territories. The Outer Space had unlimited profit margins and Flirt was the shrewdest of dealers. She drove Mr. Wes Coaster when she was earning her stripes in the gang. The Nightingale Street Gang was a notorious Florida Street Gang that she belonged to as a youth. Here, she was known as "Sad Bird". When the gang became too small for her ambitions she joined up with Mr. Coaster full-time. She acted as his companion, confidante, and partner. She wanted him eventually gone of course.
Today Ms. Mendoza's Mercury Family is Mr. Coaster's chief rival as Canary was still pushing dope in the ghostly margins outside of Mr. Coaster's radar. However, after she graduated from college in 3019, Flirt and Mr. Coaster were inseparable. On this particular evening, Ms. Mendoza was speaking glowingly about her little boy while Mr. Coaster sat and listened, sipping on a glass of Merlot. The Coffee Shop was a dank and dingy place but Flirt and Mr. Coaster's entourage of lovers, his body guard and Head of Finance enjoyed the best food and drink that Tallahassee had to afford. They drank wine, had the best cuisine and cup after cup of espresso. Life was like a continuous celebration when one was around these powerful people. Canary walked in to the Shop and danger was in the air like a toxic, cosmic fog.
This is an expiriment and purely fiction. It is a sci-fi but in my mind realistic account of the future - a story about the Solar System's badlands and drug trade in the 4th c. A.D. This is Episode 2. Enjoy!
Canary spreads his fingers over the cold steel. He takes the loaded gun and points toward the crowd menacingly from a long distance away atop his tower. He shakes his head and pushes the safety back into place putting the gun back into his holster. His mind was haunted with ideas that he could not shake - the bloody mass of people in heaps because they crossed the wrong spatial plane where his existence met theirs. He always pushed against this image of bloodlust seeping into his troubled mind but never did he follow through on this urge as there was too much money to make. He shaked and convulsed and thought about business and the kilo coming from Mars.
Canary pushed the cassette tape back into its slot. During the Apocalypse there was a revolution towards analog devices. There was the provincial teachings of Ron Juan who spoke of the universe exacting retribution on the millions and millions of survivors left on Earth after it became a massive bus station. The population on Earth fell to 999 million or so as people colonized the Solar System and the nine drug families made their stranglehold on the eight planets and Pluto. Pluto was the coldest and deadliest place in the Solar System precisely because it was not a planet and escaped the usual territorial and right of way discussions and legal complications. To settle Pluto one had to be connected to the Wes Coaster Family or the Pluto Family as it became known as the family became synonymous with the entity in which the organization took hold. For example, there was the Mercury Family, Jupiter Family, Venus Family and so forth.
Mr. Coaster wore long wool coats and had a tattoo of a cat spanning his neck down to his navel. He had a paunch and massive forearms. He had a neatly trimmed beard and bald head. His large features were chiseled and handsome. The infamous cat tattoo represented the nine lives he took before he stepped in as the boss of the Pluto Family. When he took these mens' lives he also took over their families and married their wives. There were large celebrations and weddings that would last several days. It was an honor to marry Mr. Coaster because it meant that one evil was forever put to rest, destroyed and disbanded. The fact that this evil was absorbed into a larger evil did not matter - it was removed. What was left were the devilish plots and schemes of a deadly drug lord with a growing family of nine immortalized lives.
Canary had a few brushes with Mr. Coaster in the 3020's while Canary was running drugs through Tallahassee and Cuba. It was quite an occasion after the bicentennial of Cuba being annexed by Florida. There was a large parade lasting 100 days down the middle of Main Street in Florida's capital Dom P District established in 3011 after the Civil War of 3011. Florida was one of a kind. Florida built its Empire before the Civil War and there was no question that they dominated the United States. The rivalry between them and the five states of America was fierce.
Canary was an American for generations and for as far back as he can fathom - hundred and hundreds of years. His family was from Woodland Hills, California in America which was rebuilt after the Great Los Angeles Earthquake of 2568. The archive of photos were kept at the Great Los Angeles Museum located in Washington D.C. The photos showed the devastation caused by the 9.3 earthquake that caused Downtown Los Angeles to be pancaked into a smoldering mass of concrete, steel and glass.
Canary met Mr. Coaster in a dingy coffee shop where the lost and lecherous drinked their coffee for nights on end after smoking their Crack Cocaine and shooting up their veins with Heroin. They swarmed the parking lot when Canary would roll through with a bag full of dime bags and rocks. He would break them all down and walk away with twenty grand easily as bags were ten a pop and rocks were five bucks. To put that in perspective, a cup of the best coffee was a nickel at that time as the value of the dollar crashed after 3011. Capitalism still flourished but the dollar plummeted as people exchanged their services and goods that they produced. He would come up on twenty sometimes thirty grand as his customers piled over each other to get Canary's lovely liquid gold. He would stuff his valise with money and enjoy his dinner and cup after cup of coffee when he was tired of the wheeling and dealing.
He sat across from Mr. Coaster one fine evening. He was at the time one of the most infamous man in all of Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Coaster was surrounded by his usual posse of six - his bodyguard who stood about 6'9", his accountant and Head of Finance, and a roster of the four most beautiful women that ever lived - only three of which were his lovers. The forth was Flirt Mendoza who was his sometimes rival and equally infamous and powerful. Mr. Coaster lit his cigar and watched the young man from afar waiting to be torn to pieces one day.
This is an experiment. It is a sci-fi mafia-narco-drug-trade story about the badlands in the 4th Century A.D. I'm going to develop several episodes and shop it to T.V. networks so I could build my family. I also want to break it big so I can fund my planning and engineering company now in the conceptual stage. In any case I'm a dreamer and this is what I'm dreaming today.
"Hey, partner! You think you could help me with some change. I need to catch a bus to Neptune". Canary eyes the poor man in a disheveled state asking him for money. He remembers him too. He sold him a sack on his way to see his girlfriend. He knew this man wouldn't get to Neptune. Neptune is well-known as a place for the high rollers with Jaguars and Rolls and Benses. Canary eyed him distrustfully. He had a couple of ounces of Heroin in the trap doors of his Lincoln.
Canary is working his way up through Earth's drug trade networks in aim to take over the Pluto Family. He knew that Neptune had a famous Methadone clinic as well. The man might be on his way to that clinic. He might be trying to get off of Heroin but not many can withstand being so physically sick. Earth became a large bus station where people did live but ultimately only to chase down their dreams. Foremost on this wishlist for many was the desire to visit every planet in the Solar System. After the Apocalypse, every planet in the Solar System became life-sustaining because God made it so. The drug families took over from there - for the most part.
On Earth, drugs are illegal. The laws, constitutions, and governments largely stayed the same following the Apocalypse. Nobody was prepared to do the heavy-lifting of changing their mentality about the world around them. Nobody was prepared to re-invent the wheel as they say. There were the Bill of Rights in the United States as always. Essentially, the Apocalypse did one thing: slaughter and wipe out a lot of people who would never reproduce again being that they were now dead. People continued to live their lives. Sports fans watched their Sports. Television was still something to gather around and watch. People still sat together at restaurants to talk about their lives. Christians continued to wait for the Rapture. However, Jesus Christ never returned because he was crucified on the cross thousands of years ago.
Canary took the change from his pocket and relented giving away his change to the man. "What's your name by the way?" The man answered: "My name is Colt and I'm an American". This was not an unusual answer. In the early 3000's, the United States underwent a bloody Civil War in which every State declared war on one another. It started with issues regarding how to share tax revenue. To be American meant you were born in America which was constituted of five States: California, New York, Illinois, Louisiana, and Arizona. The fifty states were split up ten ways. The federal government remained in control and located in Washington D.C. However, they controlled the ten countries that formed after the Civil War ended in 3011. The ten countries are: America, Southwest Central America, Eastern Atlantic, Western Pacific, Bible Belt, Mid-Western Pacific, Southwest Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Southern Canada and Florida. Canary did not care for this however: everyone is his potential customer.
I am posting this as to help me deal with the fact that the Dodgers got close but didn't get into the World Series once again. I've been a die-hard Dodger fan since 1988 when I was nine. I love the game first but the Dodgers have always been on my radio or television since I was a little boy. I wrote this piece originally in August after the Dodgers came back against the Rays after being down 6-0. I wrote a postscript to reminisce about the Dodgers and ultimately move on because life goes on.
The crowd amassed, finding their seats after a march across the parking lot—that massive and frustrating parking lot at Dodger Stadium. It is August 2013 and the Dodgers are back at the top of their division. The crowd grows and grows in anticipation waiting for the tense moments and gentle lulls where nothing much is going on except the conversation right next to you. The game is quiet. People are out there playing a game where concentration is pivotal. Three outfielders stand their position waiting for something to come their way—watching, waiting, hoping to pounce at the sound of the bat striking the ball. The game is mostly quiet and yet, when all is well, is surrounded by the ear-splitting sounds of the crowd. The crowd roars when their team scores and groans when the other team prevails.
Last night, I realize that the ear-splitting sounds were back in Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers came back with four runs in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Rays—a formidable AL East opponent. There’s just so much magic in the air right now ever since June 22nd when the Dodgers were in last place. At that point however the team would turn a discernable corner and march their way up. The Baseball season unfurls unpredictably. To be a Baseball fan is to know that anything can happen. Last night, the crowd witnessed this simple truth.
I woke up on Saturday morning to check the scores, looking to see how the slaughter ended. When I wrapped up my tiring night, the Dodgers were dead-in-the-water, down 6-0 after a lousy, sloppy couple of innings. David Price, the Rays dominant lefty starter, was dominant for the most part and this was just supposed to be one of those games that the Dodgers would have to learn to move on from. In the late innings, the magic became reality. Skip Schumaker, the utility man with the quick speed and underwhelming glove, doubles to left field to score Jerry Hairston in the seventh inning. The crowd began to stir but quietly so.
The Dodgers star rookie Outfield Yasiel Puig figured in this game as always, showing his youthful indiscretion and booming bat. His talent is unbridled and overflowing. Every throw he makes is as if that uncorked throw would bring the whole game to a final end. He plays in order to make the crowd breathless. He overthrew the cut-off man with that powerful arm twice leading to the Rays scoring. Later, his double to right field scored Mark Ellis giving the Dodgers their second run of the Ballgame.
Juan Uribe—the veteran infielder with the World Series rings, graceful glove and once-booming bat—was, going into the 2011 season, the Dodgers big acquisition and desperate attempt to find infield power during the meager years of the Frank McCourt era. He would flounder and flail and sputter for a couple of years, going from Disabled List to having a disabled bat for the bulk of two seasons. In 2013, he has seen his career go through a mild resurgence as the Dodgers patch up third base with bits and pieces. He hit a line drive single to score Puig for the Dodgers third run.
The ninth is when the crowd would be paid back for their patience and be swallowed up by the moment of a big comeback. Dodger Stadium was a packed house in a game where they were down 3 heading into the ninth—a scene that would be improbable if it happened a couple of years ago when McCourt was the troubled owner. The crowd was alert and alive and the Dodgers were on a roll. Mark Ellis, the Dodgers’ slick fielding second baseman who began his career on the “Money Ball” A’s, hit a triple deep to left field scoring Schumaker. Nick Punto, another undersized, dynamic player who fills that indispensable utility role, drove in Ellis with a line drive double also to left field. After a coaching visit to the mound, Adrian Gonzalez, the star first baseman with amazing albeit declining power, doubled to bring in Punto and tie the game. Fernando Rodney intentionally walked Puig to get to Jerry Hairston and then Baseball happened. Rodney turns around attempting to start a double play and the ball sails to centerfield allowing Gonzalez to score and for that one brief moment causing Dodger Stadium to convulse into an uproarious state. Singing cascades and the words “We love L.A.” drown the stadium. These are the sounds you hear when the crowd comes home.
POSTSCRIPT: THE 2013 DODGERS
Today is October 20th and the Dodgers were eliminated from the NLCS by the St. Louis Cardinals on October 18, 2013. The once powerful Dodgers have now gone 25 years without a World Series game. Have the mighty just fallen? Is this bad karma from the Baseball Gods? Am I personally being punished? I remember these twenty five years vividly because they were the golden years of my life. I’m going to write a little something as a postscript to this Dodger season.
The Dodgers have changed ownership four times since I became a fan at the tender age of 9 in 1988. I loved the game although I had just been introduced to the game only that year. I became a lifelong fan however in 1989. I remember every telecast beginning with the sentence: the World Champion Dodgers. I thought that this would happen every year in my youthful age. That year the Dodgers collapsed and were decimated by injuries finishing dead last. Every year the Dodgers were ready to take the title in my eyes. I remember when I was 11 and Ramon Martinez was going to bring them the title. They had his little brother the fireballer Pedro Martinez who they promptly traded for an impressive young Delino Deshields. That was a catastrophic move. My favorite memory of Dodger Stadium was in 1993 when my older brother and I cruised to the game in his Mustang he came up on for a few months. Don’t remember what happened to that car but I do remember Pedro throwing. I can’t believe how good he was that season as I look up his numbers on Baseball Reference. In any case, he was traded for someone who didn’t work out. That kind of stuff happens all of the time in life, relationships, and sports.
I have so many memories of the Dodgers because they were always my escape from poverty, drugs, gangs, graffiti, mental illness, school, work and all of those beautiful things that have been a part of my life at different extremes since I was 9. I love the Dodgers because they are my absolute passion. I want them to just win the title again. I shouldn’t feel so frustrated but I do. I remember when they signed Eric Davis and Daryl Strawberry and that would bring home the title. Entering my teens, Mike Piazza came up from obscurity and damaged baseballs without remorse. He should have brought home the title but the Dodgers decided that he was asking for too much money and traded him for the brilliant malcontent Gary Sheffield and a bunch of other peripheral filler. I remember reading articles during that time extolling the idea that the Dodgers brought over players that had just won the World Series. And they were mediocre. The Fox ownership then decided that the money that should have been spent for Piazza should now go to Kevin Brown. They paid him over 100 million dollars. He was lights out when he wasn’t injured. They traded him for a useful Jeff Weaver I believe. The Dodgers did not win a single playoff game with Kevin Brown as their ace. This just goes on. One disappointing season after another. I am now thirty-four and they have not played in a single World Series game.
I am frustrated to no end. I want the Dodgers to resign their best pitcher in decades Clayton Kershaw even if the asking price is ridiculous. I will always remember the Dodgers flailing and flailing in NLCS games 1, 2 and 6 mainly. It was such a tough series and finally at the end Kershaw gets slaughtered, the Cardinals do their impression of Babe Ruth, Puig throws the ball over the catcher, M. Ellis double-clutches, bad baseball and five innings of poor Vin Scully probably thinking “I’m too old for this shit”. I want the Dodgers to continue building the team in a smart way which doesn’t mean getting all the big names. I want Matt Kemp to come back healthy because it really doesn’t feel like the same team when he’s not playing. I want them to resign Hanley and hope he gets healthy because he has hall-of-fame type talent. I want to see Greinke do his thing because he’s amazing, just so sick. I might watch a couple innings of the World Series but it will be with a heavy heart. Through all of these frustrating years all I can say is "How many more days until Opening Day 2014". And now back to thinking about stuff.
I want to talk to you if it was at all possible. You interest me because you were once a towering figure, and a profound artist. You made it to be a young man. I remember you were so live, alive, and opinionated. I'm writing you because I feel like I am in this prison. And this I tell you not to be trivial - my aim is not to trivialize the plights of those incarcerated. I am a prisoner but I'm not a criminal. I'm a prisoner to capital, to Capitalism. I live for others to pay their bills and make their payroll. Sometimes I buy things to break me away from living for work. I have a beautiful family and I love them. The weekends make me forget about work. I feel free. I am conflicted, Mr. Shakur. I feel that I'm free and yet who am I making rich today. Mr. Shakur, I’m a prisoner but I'm not behind bars. I'm a prisoner because I am invisible.
Let me see, how can I speak about my invisibility? I’ve worked and worked until midnight comes and I feel those eyes peering at me with blame as if I've never lifted a finger. Mr. Shakur, I imagine that these people are judging me. I have embraced being behind the scenes. I'm afraid that I will go without saying all the things I've been meaning to say. I might perish behind the scenes before someone picks up my writing and says “This person had a lot to say”. I’m afraid of this ending, Mr. Shakur. I’m afraid of falling by the wayside because I never found out how I can be visible. I’ll keep on working on this. I’m afraid of the spotlight. I actually like being invisible. I like to be an afterthought: someone that you think about later on in the day. Today, I’m getting some mild notice professionally, Mr. Shakur. Believe me sir, I see what you mean when you said: “It’s me against the world!”
I want to cause people to wake up and examine everything they have been doing for years on end. That sir, is my revenge, as an invisible man. I will talk and talk behind the scenes until there is a response even a movement, and people will give credit to all of the invisible people out there. This is what I desire! I want to touch a person’s life through poetry like you did Mr. Shakur. I want to be unseen, sir. I imagine you had your quiet places away from the confusion where you wrote your poems. I miss how you would make the press stop with everything you said. I miss how people tried to piece you together because of the fact that you, like me and everyone else, is rife with contradictions. Mr. Shakur, this is the part of life that we are all connected to. I'm writing this to speak to someone about myself. I'm writing this because I'm desperate to speak about my invisibility again and again. What will come of my visibility? In essence, to be visible is to have all eyes on you. What did it feel like to be visible?
I wish that I could see all of the wonders that you have seen in Heaven. Is it as magnificent as can be imagined? Are people finally loving each other? Are places as beautiful as I imagine they would be? Is there everything you left on Earth? Are the people there waiting for you? Were people waiting for you there? Are we still fucked up people? Even in heaven? How are you doing? Do you struggle with the fact that many of your loved ones are still on Earth fighting every single day? Did you ever resolve what it is that set you off? Was the beef with Biggie overblown? Do you know anything about why you had to die so young? Do you even know who killed you? Did that person too join you in the afterlife?
I wonder how souls get judged Mr. Shakur. Is there a trial and God opens up the book that is your life and singles out certain chapters? Does God understand what it means to be human and have all the frailties associated with being human? Does God listen to you when you speak? Will he listen to me when I speak? Does God just remain silent? Does God remain silent so that we can understand things for ourselves? Is God present in Heaven? Is the Sun, God, Mr. Shakur? Does God make announcements that she or he is living and breathing? Mr. Shakur, have you figured out what life is all about? Did you find out what your life was all about? Was it worthwhile to live Mr. Shakur? I see that heaven can be paved in sand or in gold or in any element found on Earth. Heaven, to me, is not paved with gold: it is paved with the roads to recovery and I’m sure today you have finally found out where you came from. From dust to dust will we ever find ourselves back in Africa, Mr. Shakur?
This poem is about my frustrations growing up in Los Angeles County. I set up Reagan as my nemesis and treat him coldly. He's the former president that emptied out mental institutions and made the War on Drugs the War on Colored People and for this I hold a lot of anger and hatred for him. That said, I moved on to bigger and better things because my youth taught me the limits and shortcomings of humanity. Today, our prisons are filled with Reagan's lost souls and those folks resisting a force of oppression.
Looks like you
Me to get
But let's say
You loved me,
Why was crack
With my milk and
I'm a city
Kid from the 80's and
Reagan, you had me
I loved how you called me dirt-
Reagan, please listen:
I wish you good riddance
And a happy death
I hope hell is
Your new home.
To send you jelly beans.
These are selected poems from a poetry book I'm working on. The book was an idea I had in 2007 and I've picked it up again recently. The book is about revolution, about high stakes, about life in general. Many of these poems are raw. I throw words together to elicit reactions even if the details are left out. I want to stir people into action. I want people to get upset with me and everyone around them and ultimately the place they are currently in. I want people to pity themselves and the people they have become. I want them to emerge with focus and purpose. I write to bring people into a state of self-observation. I want to cause pain and then healing. I hope I've accomplished this. I believe in good, in peace eventually overcoming the battles we undergo. I see writing as my space of hope. I hope that reading these poems help in the healing that is needed to overcome oppression and the tired routines of a capitalist run lifestyle.
Lincoln's Place Mat
All these days
To wrap up night in
Another day and night gone.
Throwing clothes off to a
Big bunch in your place.
Memory is just blank
Steaks, cold steak
Hot stakes, big stakes
Hot, high, shoot
For low places.
Lincoln's place mat
Looks like big city
No lights, no lights and
Looks like big fight:
Big old robbery.
But no one knows
The trail home
The tale's own
You know it
You write your own story
Man, all alone.
Big and hard
Where big bullies
Big back yard.
Oh, you got all the money!
Need to say that
Vegas, baby, is billions a day
Of people's hard earn pay.
I want to shut down
Vegas, just for a day
So things go lopsided
In the good old US of A.
I noticed that they shut down
The government. Priorities baby!
But listen to that sound
All of that light buzzing
All of that hype n' cussing
All of those slots singing
Sin City and peekaboo
For a thought
That don't make pennies.
Billionaire says something
And all of your service
Workers will pay
Big time, big time!
All of these flowers to crush
They keep my factories at bay!
Oh, that's silly! You mean
Taking and taking
Until Katrina hits
Has nothing to do
With stakes getting higher
And my ass getting hotter.
Billionaire has nothing but
Nothing to tell me
As he makes my living
For Vegas, one smile
And pay check away.
Revolution is real but elusive like a comet flying so close. If revolution existed it would be like the folds from that big stack of cash by the dresser about to be taken. It is so close but any fool can just take it away like another one's life. Revolution is life until your dying breath. Revolution is like the lift from a finger on a trigger begging for this pain to go away. Revolution is the minute that the clock winds down and shackles are shed. It is the thought that comes after taking it all in. It is the quench of thirst after a harrowing walk. This second will pass and tomorrow will come. The revolution has not been interrupted. It has only been sleeping in the weary hearts of those millions and millions of people who have fallen to the ground. The ground is the floor level. It is the launching place, the stirring in one’s brain that causes revolution to take hold and liberation to begin*.
I am a revolution interrupted. I am a revolution in progress. I am a work in progress. My life work is the liberation and uplifting of humanity as a collective. I will not stop until a revolution takes hold of me - in all of us. I will not stop until a revolution dissolves and reforms. I will not stop until every person walking and driving and messaging and breathing has heard the word. The word is that revolution begins with your thoughts and translates into your actions. The revolution begins with oneself and one's thought process. Man is not greater than woman because he has a size advantage and so forth. No one belongs to any one else except by violence which rules the day and so forth. Every thing you have ever thought is a product of a power structure which puts things into place according to the differences needed to divide and manipulate keeping resources in the hands of a few people. There is some hope but we are at square one as money prevails every step of the way. We cannot escape the grasp that money has on us.
Every person walking this earth is thirsting for knowledge and stories. This revolution is human, humanitarian, and humanistic. This revolution will not go away because you flipped a channel or clicked on a keyboard. This revolution is all the antipathy and bloodshed before you every day whether you choose to hear and see the gory details or not. This revolution is not a free ride. It is work. It is hard. It is treacherous. It is freedom. I write this in the quiet of my room when all is still and the stresses of life have not taken hold of me penetrating into my heart and mind. The revolution is an act of kindness and an act from out of the blue.
Capitalism is an unstable source of all that we consume and live and die for. Capitalism translates into our social interactions and the places that we inhabit. The spatial element of Capitalism cannot be dismissed. Capitalism orders space and translates into the dimensions and spaces that we use on a daily basis - in how we produce and reproduce spaces from work to home to movie theaters. Capitalism is unstable. It is never sound and whole and that’s one of the key reasons it’s so prevailing - it changes and adapts so swiftly to mimic a person's natural inclination to adapt. It creates spaces of power which can be inhabited by anyone who chooses to venture towards these positions. The power structure can easily be filled and emptied out. Capitalism is all-pervasive. It is the setting for our lives whether we like it or not.
The revolution is not simply picking up a gun and spouting slogans to shed ourselves from Capitalism. Capitalism will always be. Social movements like past agrarian-based Marxist revolts are incomplete revolutions. Capitalism is firmly entrenched but is being threatened although it will not dissolve in whole. When structure of power falls it creates vacuums but be cautious because when power is overthrown, a new power emerges in its place thirsting to keep that power in place so that the powerful can keep driving those fancy cars and the working masses can continue scrambling for change in their couch cushions.
A revolution is far-fetched as I see it today but not a pipe dream. It will take those scrambling around with violence in their hearts to find out who they are truly fighting. They are fighting something bigger than their little nation, block and so forth but they do not know what**. Will revolution grow in the hearts and minds of working people? How many trays of water must be filled, how many necks to be measured and sized, how many drinks to be filled, and plates of food be thrown away before we say enough? Enough is staying on your feel all day in wait for a fifteen minute breather. Enough is going to school and wondering if it will be your last day on Earth. Enough is taking your wallet and all of its contents and realizing that without them you can’t live. Enough is enough and revolution is a continuous dream to shout down.
*Every era begins and ends but never does it vanish simply because time is treated as if it is linear. All of the struggles that have happened before have happened since. My interest is not in with what has happened in a distant past. I am enamored with what will come next. Stories are the only conduit we have of an era bygone. Because I was born in 1979 does not mean that I am forbidden from feeling the pressing calls for liberation that were echoed by freedom fighters from the 1960s. These eras are so minute in the large historical scheme of humanity. What is vast is the divides that take us back and forth in dizzying arrays to shape our minds. Please do not tell me a story that doesn’t include me as if it's impossible for me to empathize.
**All I can tell you about war is that it brings out the worst in society.
I originally wrote this on July 28th after an amazing victory by the Dodgers during a run that would lead them to the playoffs which begin for them today in Atlanta. I cleaned it up a bit for my blog. I hope you enjoy. It's about my passion for Baseball, and the amazing stories that come from following Sports. I also give my respect to the incomparable Vin Scully.
Puig takes the ball deep for a walk-off home run on an 0-1 count on a Sunday. It was a beautiful summer day when the race for the pennant was getting hotter. Baseball is just mesmerizing to me. It is a hypnotic and mesmerizing game. It is to me a picture of perfection. The score that day was nothing-nothing for 11 innings playing out like nothing had happened. The pitching though was as solid as the hitting was not solid. In Baseball, good pitching is sometimes rendered invisible by strikeouts and undisciplined swings and “what could-have beens” like a deep fly ball dying at the warning track.
Reading the score on my phone, I expressed muted joy at Costco. “They won again!”, I yelped to my adoring significant other. And somehow I knew this would happen. I knew it years ago as I grew up hanging on to every rhythm of the National Pastime. I was born from a French mother and a Moroccan father and Baseball was the last game that they thought about teaching me. After 25 years of me being glued to the television set watching my Dodgers, my dad still doesn't understand the concept of an "out". I used Baseball to identify myself as an American kid in Arleta, located in the east San Fernando Valley off the I-5 Freeway exit of Van Nuys Boulevard. I used to beg for time to accelerate so I could sit down in front of the TV—my little slice of joy where Vin graces the airwaves with incomparable elegance. It feels now like I always knew a day like yesterday would come.
Puig is a star today, an unknown yesterday, a question mark tomorrow like hope for a happy eternity. Baseball is one of a kind as the clock is finally shut off. Baseball just happens slowly but with significant crashes like a judge’s mallet. I thought it was a 2-0 count not 0-1 as I recounted the story to my sweetie. I would tell this to her but she would laugh at the idea that this meant anything to her. The pitch was such a bad pitch to throw in that count. It was tailor-made to be walloped with glee. How can a game so filled with zeroes end so easily? It ended on a nothing pitch that only a beleaguered reliever could throw.
Baseball as a game is a "head-scratcher" full of second-guessing, of sizing up, of repetition and agonizing frustrations. In the "Majors", the players all have a gift unlike any other. It’s a game where a lazy fly ball can be plucked from the sky with such ease it makes the recipient look like they never worked a moment in their lives to get where they were.
It is almost like he was born on the outfield grass born to play the game. In Puig’s maiden game, he unleashed a throw that still has Baseball fans buzzing. He screamed that he will be grabbing your attention exactly at that moment and if you haven’t stopped what you were doing you better re-prioritize your life in that instant. The Dodger season was woeful - a dreadful carcass - before Puig’s star was newly born. He had the bat, speed, and strength of an ox, a cheetah, a bear all tied into one Cuban young man. Even if his career or season for that matter does not end magnificently, we will always talk about his mythic first several weeks in the pros.
I threw down my computer bag, and unpacked my computer. “He’s been through a lot lately”, I thought and followed it up with, “Haven’t we all!” I thumbed my password and logged onto my spotty work internet connection. “Lots to do today”, I thought, “but I haven’t yet seen the highlight of Puig’s walk-off” as I spent my Sunday doing what families do - maintaining a household full of love, food, and dishwasher soap. My email had a link to the homer so I clicked as if my fingers were feverish.
Vin calls the play “and a high drive into deep left field...and that will do it for Puig!” Puig flipped his bat, paused with swagger, and ran through the bases knowing that the game had ended with the Dodgers on top because of a meatball of a pitch that he ate with gusto. He slid into home causing bellyaches across the country. There will be more days like this: people will talk and talk about Puig and his laser throws, his uncanny eye, and his mighty muscle. They will talk about this moment one day out of the blue: "Remember when Puig came up and the Dodgers went from last place to first place". They will talk about his swagger and errors too. They will talk about him sliding instead of standing and standing instead of sliding. They will talk about what he should have done until he does the unbelievable like on that one Sunday afternoon.
Baseball is always filled with intrigue in that there is no clock. The count changes continuously but time is not a factor unless you're counting the seconds off a stop watch to measure someone's speed around the bases. Baseball is filled with situations that just come up out of the blue while you were breathing in the air from the atmosphere. Puig is a household name today: a star Dodger right fielder for hopefully a long, long time for Dodger fans. I clicked on the highlight over and over again incredulous at the thought that a long, scoreless game can just go away at the flick of the wrist. I watched the highlight over and over until I believed it, and relished it. And there I realized a few things. It was an 0-1 count, not 2-0. This is important for a pitcher as he selects his pitch. I realized that the Dodgers will drive home happy and filled with happiness. This game may or may not lead them to the World Series but it will be frozen in time as an unbelievable feat. The game of Baseball goes on while we daydream of walk-offs and roaring cheers.