Pandemic Positives

There have been numerous positive ideas to be revealed through this “Pandemic”. One glaring thought is divisive, but obvious, there’s a lot of drama wrapped up in the word “Pandemic” when it comes to Covid. Yeah, it’s wide spread, and yes many folks have died; but by and large folks with underlying conditions know and unknown are the victims. Healthy folks seem to move on as if it was an additional flu season. 
That last statement brings to light a great find in health. Vaccines, masks, or quarantines can’t really protect you from catching or treating covid like being healthy can. Your bodies immune system is the best defense against this virus. We are built to withstand these conditions, it’s in our biology. We’ve known this, but this virus has  highlighted the fact that a healthy person can come into contact with an infected person and their body will protect them.  
Being healthy will help someone deal with the symptoms if they are not a symptomatic   They will be affected, but not hospitalized, or when hospitalized they will be released sooner. Many folks have become aware of the value of being healthy, and more importantly that health doesn’t mean bodybuilders or bikini models. It simply means you can live a healthy life by balancing what you eat and do in your daily life. This generation growing up will certainly value health and will have longer lives  being active because of it. 
I’m going to steer clear of the government conspiracies except to say that; we are more aware of the medicine we take, it’s uses, and misuses. We were asked to take an experimental vaccine for a genetically altered flu before it was approved by our regulatory agency. Even worse, the regulatory agencies and politicians struggled to find political ways to coerce citizens to take a vaccine that was, and is experimental. There’s nothing wrong with not taking an experimental vaccine for an experimental flu. The distrust associated with this situation has lead many folks to question pharmaceutical science and the government. 
Which brings me to doctors. You can look anywhere on line and find credible doctors citing peer reviewed evidence for and against this whole pandemic issue. This reinforced a notion I’ve had for years. Searching for a doctor is no different than choosing a teacher or finding a mechanic. They’re all the “luck of the draw” if you don’t do your homework. Our older folks though/think differently about doctors. They followed doctors’ advice because what he or she said was law. Today we understand doctors are people to and need to be vetted, and questioned when discussing our personal health. 
As to our mental health, I think folks paying attention value relationships more. Having seen folks pass in the span of a day makes some folks evaluate the relationships they have and how authentic they are. This seems to create more dialog between folks that facilitates greater understandings. Our differences are our strength. We create a bigger world when we understand each other by considering others point of view. 
There are obvious divisions between us when it comes to this pandemic. There are political differences based on authority and freedom. There are scientific differences associated with trust. There are medical differences dealing with beliefs about treatment. By and large though, most of us get along everyday and endure the political and mental stresses associated with the so called “pandemic”.
Whether it’s closer families, engaging communities, or cultural harmony, most folks are appreciating life and the folks around them more authentically. We’re valuing relationships and their effects good and bad on our lives. Remembering that “our differences are our strength” creates a tolerance and respect that goes beyond the public spectrum and into our homes and hearts. 

It’s pulling into that gas station at 03.00am and inhaling that first breath of pine soaked air floating in the dim glow of that lone soda lamp flickering in the oil slicked puddle of rainwater. 
The hum of nature responding to the dull rhythm of the convenience store brings memories flashing with the intermittent fluorescent lamp behind the sweat soaked glass. 
I stand alone in the night shaking off the weight of miles nodding between mile markers. Home is so much more than buildings. Home is attached to your soul like the kudzu wrapped around the pine trees blanketing the forest. 
The bell jingles as I open the door to a blast of 60 degree air that leaves my mind back at the warmth of pumping gas in the memories of the night. I nod to the clerk drinking coffee and staring at the phone and glancing up at me occasionally with a weary smile. 
Back out in the warmth of the night I pour out part of the Coke to make room for my peanuts. It’s become a tribute of sorts to being back where I planted roots. As I start the truck the sound of mufflers booms through the din of memories and cicadas. Slowly I pull out on to a barbed wire lined back road simultaneously rolling down my windows drowning in yesterday hoping for tomorrow. 
I plan my trip to arrive in the early morning between dawn and sunrise. Quietly I sit outside the driveway looking at the house and the woods framed by the swamp with the bay in the background. The salt in the air is stronger than the truck fumes now and laughter rumbles in my memories as I notice the yellow glow lighting the worn out welcome mat that at one time was conditional, but times are good now. 
My que is the progression of lights going on. First the bedroom, then the bathroom, and finally the kitchen where I know the coffee pot is beginning to gurgle and the vacuum seal on the refrigerator if broken with a rubber snap. 
Slowly I turn into the driveway to be awaken to the sound of gravel on rubber. I can see my pops turn towards the driveway in the herb lined kitchen window. I think I see the faint smile of recognition as I wonder what memories take him through his day. I turn off the truck and grab my bag opening my door as he opens the front door in some sort of duel. 
Walking towards the door everything is mute till the hug brings back the feelings without memories that remind me why I left, and why I come back. I’m reminded that the kudzu covers up the forest and kills the weeds for a purpose and I’m suddenly grateful to be home. 

God loves an underdog.
I guess that’s what sinners have to think. It’s what we hope I would guess. I woke up with this thought and an accompanying dream. It’s how I teach myself sometimes. 

I was caught up in the middle of a gang war and shot a few times. There was chaos surrounding my life. A divorce, lost vehicles, new surroundings had me off kilter a bit, but one of my acquaintances was a preacher who asked me to come to church. When I got to church I was still a little off kilter due to the unfamiliar nature of the service.

I was supposed to speak and that didn’t make me nervous, as much as my sins. I decided to take a walk outside to go around the building and get a better seat up front. I pictured myself walking along a sidewalk dragging a cart with my bible and my list of sins stacked neatly inside. Which may be how I roll after some thought. My sins stacked up neatly inside. 

Strange enough, I found myself sitting inside, without my cart, in a service of strangers. When my preacher friend came to que me to speak I rose from my seat, funny how rose has two meanings that indicate flowering. I started with “God loves an underdog” and folks responded as church folks do, except they kept responding. It seemed they were all acting out their sins the entire time I was speaking.

When I came to the part where I was speaking about my sins they turnt off the lights. So now I’m confessing, out loud in the pitch dark in the middle of the church. The next scene is the lights come on and folks are walking around with plates full of food. I see my preacher friend head towards me with concern that I don’t have a plate.

I realize there are others I know from the past and start to move freely through the congregation towards the kitchen. I realize I don’t have shoes on and remember I layed them on a table before I began to speak. Now I’m concerned because it’s not good manners to put shoes on a table. A group of elderly woman are observing me with disapproving looks as I search around the table for shoes. 

As I’m leaving the church shaking hands with strangers I notice my wounds from the gang war are opened, but clean. There’s a group of folks who were also involved in this war, and others who were just bystanders, but it seemed our sins were what started conversations, what separated us into clicks or groups, and the wounds are what brought us together. “

God loves an underdog” seemingly has not much to do with this story, unless you read it as a sinners dream. Then it speaks to knowing you have a place where folks will listen with concern, care for your well being, and lift you up despite your faults. This the wind beneath the underdogs wings. 

Memorial Day

I hear these faux cries about “Honoring the fallen” around this Memorial Day and I’m thinking, “fuck you and your fake ass emotional pleas designed to support the ignorance of your cause!” Honoring the fallen means picking up the pieces of your life and move forward with dignity and truth towards a life of freedom and prosperity. 

We’re tired of the fucking cliches about “Giving their lives” to support your cause. You political bitches have fucked this shit up to the point we’re losing family members on our doorsteps. We have wounded and dead in our neighborhoods that you cherry pick through to make some color point out of to support your cause. Fuck you. We ain’t safer in our own streets. 


You talk about the safety and concern about our military. What about the millions of parents here at home that have to develop action plans for a drive to the grocery store because it ain’t uncommon in many places for shootings to occur daily. There are 6 year olds in America that practice reaction to fire in their homes and vehicles. 


You go on television networks touting about the Veterans Administrations failures with PTSD as a catch phrase for privatizing veteran services so you can create a new industry on the backs of these mental health patients. 


Fuck you, my my neighbor has PTSD from watching her momma get her ass whipped to the point she was hospitalized. Then you let that bitch that whipped her ass out on bail, then probation with anger management classes so he could learn how to whip her ass and defend his actions. 


Or the momma who’s daughter was run down and killed. Shot in the back in the middle of the street by some fuckstick who grew up as “little man” and never learnt the world wasn’t revolving around his desires, or that women deserved respect like everyone else. Now that motherfucker will see daylight because you ain’t about shit. 


Yeah, I’m pissed about this Memorial Day. I have a loved one my old lady and kids will miss. Shot and stabbed to death sittin around minding her business. My family ain’t safe on the “Homefront”. How is that honoring our fallen soldiers. 


You talk about healthcare and helping the wounded as an honor to the fallen. All you did was play up this PTSD hustle so you could expend the pharmaceutical industry which bled out into society like a pariah. You benefitted with those dollars that paid for that lie about “22 a day”! You financed those deaths because you ain’t got no backbone. 


We’re a nation at war with itself. Not an “us against them” war. An internal war that our leaders profit from by stretching the game or turning a blind eye. You aren’t honoring shit, you’re profiting off those deaths as a fucking career. You’ve been entrusted also motherfucker, when are you gonna man up. 
I served and retired from the military. I honor those fallen through taking responsibility and trying to better myself. I teach my younguns about sacrifice and honor for those that have left us, both military and civilian, through stories and reverence. We don’t cheat folks or stir shit up for our own entertainment. 


Those folks out there trying to lead, forgetting they were chosen to serve aren’t honoring anyone but theirselves. We are gonna fly flags, clean our weapons, and love our families as an honor to those lost home and abroad. Because “This Will Defend” even against you. 


In honor of the fallen service members I say “get right!” You wanna honor those fallen in service stand up and protect the homefront so their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families means something. We’re tired of slogans and lip service while our families aren’t safe at a picnic. 


Peace out

Fragmented

Ok, I thought everyone knew
The key to relationships
Ain’t all about you

You can’t be completed
By someone else
And the way your treated

That Ride or die
How could you not see
That was a lie

You can’t find companionship
By waiting on bad choices
Or the next relationship

Take control of yourself
For the ones you love
Or left on a shelf

Life is too short to die
In the arms of expectations
Never met or tried

It’s never a good thought
To seek anything
Not meant to be caught

Finding love isn’t an event
It’s a journey together
And time we’ll spent

Luck is a Lie

The awakening to luck running dry is a warning. One more taste, one more sip or puff; even the one more time you lied and got a pass. These are all familiar situations that came in the form of a warning. A validation we know right from wrong and consequence is close to follow. 
I remember my first encounter with independently knowing right from wrong and luck. I passed on a rumor about a girl I liked and instantly regretted it. My friend got blamed for it, out of all the folks who passed it on, and I acted as if he was guilty to protect my own chances at love. I remember thinking I’ll never talk about anyone again, I got lucky no one brought my name up in the chain of lies. 
That example is childish of course, but the feeling is universal. It’s our inner compass reminding us of right and wrong. Like God, that compass doesn’t point us in a direction, it reminds us we have a choice. Awareness doesn’t guarantee that we won’t get caught up, because reminders are part of hindsight. 
Later in life we get plenty of practice with luck. The crazy years present us with that next drag of a cigarette or joint and addiction or cancer. That next sip of alcohol that caused us to drive home under the influence. The one where you take a look in the driveway to make sure your car is there minus any dents or blood. Some folks spend their lifetime taking that next bite of food they know could result in blood pressure issues or diabetes. The luck, like life will run out and that next disaster or tragedy will come eventually. 
When the freedom of adulthood comes along the consequences of luck running out can be just as life altering. That last time you had unprotected sex and got the negative test for pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. The time you cheated on a spouse spontaneously and face the decision of telling your spouse or living with the fact you ruined the one pure thing you’ve had in your life since birth. Many folks count is as luck they didn’t get caught failing to see their luck already ran out when they got caught up in the spontaneity of a situation.  
The point is, I guess, the luck always runs out because it’s a lie. If you’re feeling lucky about a situation because you didn’t get caught or were spared the consequence your luck already ran out when you got in the situation to begin with. Telling yourself luck was on your side is just a way to start over again feeling better about what you did. 
Maybe the best way to deal with luck is to leave it with the gamblers. They need luck, good or bad, to place that next bet. The odds of you winning the game of luck are slim. We know that the one “next time” is coming. When it does it could be something as simple as gaining a few pounds, or a trip to the hospital you don’t return from. 
Bottom line vices thrive on luck. They drive you to places you swear you never would go, and then drag you further down the hole relentlessly until you give up and destroy yourself and the folks around you. Luck is also a warning, take heed and breathe. That one breath is enough to save you a lifetime of sorrow. 

The listener


 Voices in my head mask the listener who sits silently amused. 

As she took a deep breath, I realized it was mine as my heart stopped

All I could see was the future as she whisked by me in a haze

Blind a breathless I felt numb, until her touch ignited my soul to rise 

I’m speechless for the first time, realizing I’ve never been more honest

This was the rest of my life, and I couldn’t see nothing but you

I love this space we share, no words, no touch, just our souls dancing in a gaze

And then the world rushes in reminding us what’s worth protecting, and what to ignore

Chasing Tales

Chasing Tales

Remember “back in the day” when the term “white flight” was tossed around. Back when liberal types co opted inner cities to facilitate the government run social problems. We watched as neighborhoods were destroyed. Eventually resulting in no one being able to live in these places because they were destroyed by crime and neglect. Only to later be auctioned off and rebranded as an “uptown” with chic apartments and coffee shops ringing with sounds of acoustic guitars and bad poetry.

Later we watched the mall hopscotch occur. Upscale businesses consolidating in mega structures to create a theme park feel. You could take your child prodigy to a photo shoot where they could become the next super model, or teen idol. Christmas photos with Santa in the winter. Even a chain restaurant that served alcohol for day drinking parents or pre-drinkers warming up for the club.

Then the discount and video stores moved in. The courtyard started serving specials that anyone could afford. Soon kids with busy parents were hanging out, then the folks who enjoyed their themed mall needed somewhere else to shop local so the upscale stores moved to a new strip mall and boutiques came back into fashion. No more hanging out in the mall. Eventually they tear the mall down due to crime and neglect. Green spaces return to replace them.

Over the summer we watched the game take a step up. They didn’t take over a neighborhood, or a mall, they took a city. Seattle is lost. No one knows how they’ll get out of that mess. Surprisingly they doubled down and not only legalized drugs use, but they made the three things we know destroy communities conditions to use as a legal defense. Over 140, probably over 200 now, businesses have relocated or shut down in that city. Making Seattle a green space may be the only option at this point.

Now Georgia is the prize. Not a neighborhood or mall, not a city, but a state. Atlanta is our downfall. They’ve co opted Atlanta and it has continued to fall prey to the liberal notion that philanthropy is a valid approach to assistance and crime is an affluence problem. They’re fighting hard to gain power in and through Georgia. This is a fight that no one will win, because the opponent is interested in one thing, money. That’s better than folks seeking power over its citizens, but hardly noble.

The common man or woman sees this and feels powerless to stop it. It’s big, like “where do I start” big. Undoing years of attempts to destroy a way of life doesn’t happen over night.

Heres what I know. When my dog starts chasing it’s tale, first I laugh, the I tell it to stop. If that doesn’t work I smack it’s ass. If all of this doesn’t work I find a toy to distract it. This ain’t gonna be easy, and it doesn’t rest on the shoulder of Georgians. This is a notional disaster that has me understanding how brother fought against brother in the civil war.

Make no mistake. These folks want the country. I don’t know where we go to wait them out until they destroy our nation and move on so we can move back in with coffee shops and green spaces. Minus the bad music and poetry. I do know this pattern is 60 or 70 years realized and we’re screwed.

For now I’ll sit still while the nation chases its tale. Make no mistake though, my freedom trumps bloodlines. Listen carefully to those fools you follow for a dollar or a deal. Listen carefully when those dollars ain’t reaching your pockets and you find yourself turning in circles wondering what you chased. If you support folks who seek to control any aspects of my life, you maybe my brother, but you’re my enemy.

Equal Rights

Equal rights

Be you, do you, fuck them you don’t need approval. You don’t need a path, you blaze a trail and don’t drag the world with you. They gotta get theirs.

Don’t give me that history lesson as an excuse for your fear. Fuck you, you can’t be Mike’s mom back in the 60’s and 70’s with 4 boys and a dad who walked out. You can’t recreate a world with no daycare or relatives in a steel city gone soft. You can’t be forced to pack your belongings in a car full of noise and drive 700 miles off a cliff. Working like a dog taking vacations for a couple days at a beach in the woods with plastic table clothes and prayers to civilize your offspring. She had no shelter, no housing, no visibility in a city of families parading around during the day only to slink around at night. You ain’t got those kinda shoulders!

You don’t want equal rights if you’re looking for exceptions to who you are. It ain’t equal if you use your privilege, color, or family status to lift yourself above someone else. You can’t claim your ancestors pain as a check to support your fear of failure. You can’t ever be that person who labored under the sun their entire life finding little joys in a large field of oppression. Stop it, you won’t ever have that constitution. Let go of our heroes and quit strangling their legacy like the chains. You just want to keep them in your bonds for a come up.

Don’t confuse poverty with the working poor. We ain’t the same. You don’t know the shame of working till your bones hurt and your body goes on because your mind remembers that family at home that needs to eat. You don’t know about being raised by a father who sleeps at your house till it’s time to go back to a job that he can’t distinguish from prison just so you can have washing powder to clean your hand me downs. You ain’t got those stones.

Sittin around creating stories of pains like a young boy playing Superman. Pretending like a little girl playing dress up with a wire rim tiara made from aluminum foil. That check got you carving yourself up giving away pieces of your soul. You clog a system that could work with your thoughts of pain and fear you might have to go to work. Then roll around in public like some stunted zombie wrapped in bacon establishing your place in a system that resembles a dog chasing its tail.

But your fine now. I hear ya, You just smoke a little weed. It don’t hurt nobody, and it cures all those quasi psych medical problems in the PDR and the Diagnostic and statistical manual for Mental Illness. It’s all good, You ain’t hurtin no one. Until that bitch you buy weed from pissed of one of his other customers who’s graduated then someone lies dead in a yard littered with broke down vehicles and trash from association. Yeah, ain’t your fault, you were just gettin yours. Fuck you!

I see you posing up there in your jacked up truck pulling into your circled driveway with the manicured lawn. Gettin home so late you don’t know what that poseur bastard your raising from a distance has been doing. I see through that facade you’ve built to carry around. I smell them dollars your stacking wrinkled and wet from the pockets of folks with holes in their pants. You need that money.

You’ll need those dollars to keep that bastard out of court or put that heifer in rehab. They’ll come out and hide in church where their story won’t mention the collateral damage their lives has perpetrated. It’ll be a denominational re-entry into the next warped circle of life you created. Poor folks can’t afford the buyout of the dependence you came up off of, they just work it out and and see you for who you really are.

All these characters don’t want equality. They want a leg up on someone else for doing nothing. You gotta give it up to them folks who are stand up. They make no excuses for who they are and take what’s coming to them as a reminder life ain’t fair or easy. Living off ghosts or some symptomatic existence is just a hustle. You don’t want equality. You want what someone else worked for so you can sit back and stir shit up so no one sees your hustle. Fuck you.

Family Matters

Family Matters

Their ashen fingers point south as they block the northern lights with remnants of infantile tantrums. Rusted icons hang like dilapidated advertisements swinging on broken lamp posts. Shards of sunlight glisten in oily puddles filling potholes and intentions. This is the pungent smell of ignorance.

All grown up they roam cities like children at a party where the adults indulge their fantasies starring at their phones oblivious to the smell of shitty diapers and beer cans strewn around their feet. They grew up before you knew it and now all you have are photos of the kids in the background wondering where time went.

They learnt how to hide malevolent intentions behind dramatized causes from your photo shopped existence and emogied compassion. Their eyesight is keen and hearing sharp. Like feral animals they assessed your intentions and understood your actions to be egocentric, but never learnt to spell empathy.

Now starting shit is a path to acceptance, a way to make friends for their narcissistic circles. Each one walking their own fantasy towards a collective cause of confusion. No more truths. No more opinions. No more talk. Like kids in a daycare the loudest one leads each dream along like a young boy dragging his dead puppy on a leash dreaming of the hunt.

You created these idiots, you know who you are. Raising little man or the queen as an insurance policy for your inept drive. Perpetrating parasitic behavior as love so you can sleep at night knowing someone will pretend to care. You raised a pariah dressed as a prom queen or king who either rules or destroys every poor unsuspecting soul unlucky enough to be in their court.

We see you. We know your motives and we don’t text SMDH, we just drive in another lane and turn the radio up louder in case you decide to yell our way. You destroyed family, culture, and society with that caustic cooch, or psychotic swag. You trapped baby daddy’s and baby momma’s like lizards underneath discarded pieces of tin. Then pulled their tales off so you could watch them lose their balance and become victims of stray cats.

Now I drive slowly through the mourning fog as sunlight shines through broken glass illuminating salvaged vehicles and smoldering plywood. Blood stains and oil soak the asphalt with the same weight. Wet smoke rises from torn clothing and plastic water bottles like the frenzied perfume of an unfortunate lover.

Feral parenting got us here. The narcissist and the enabler copulated in a green screened room. Their computer generated delusions have them wiggling their toes in dog shit believing their posting photos of flip flops in the sand. We see you and the innocent offspring you flipped into some twisted sister or running nosed bastard strung out on meth you got prescribed because they interfered with your delusions. You did this.

I’m not casting stones, I’m throwing boulders. I ain’t got all the answers, but I’m smart enough to know the questions are more important, but you gotta care about more than yourself to ask questions that have meaning. We let you out from under those rocks, so now we gotta deal with you. You’ve had your moment. You can talk shit when you’re old about “back in the day”, but we’ll be here to shine a light on how you crawled out of that puddle of oil and water believing you were posting a photo at the beach. You can bet on that!