Monthly Archives: September 2014

Little Johnny

So I’m listening to the local news last night waiting to catch the weather report for the week and heard some crazy stuff from the education folks talking about raising expectations, standards, and test scores. Now I know about this hustle, I taught for six years and fell for that game for a minute. These bureaucrats justifying their positions on the backs of six year olds stressing through a bubbling nightmare. They have to keep re-inventing that wheel or they would be in that line downtown where all the classes have to mingle.

What caught my attention was this lady dressed in her best business suit. It wasn’t her looks per se, it was her title and statement. She was an executive with the state board of education and the “sound bite” she chose to run with was, “We need an educated workforce and students who are educated to fill those positions.” Wow!!! This said a lot about the industrialization of education and the blatant manner in which the bureaucrats unknowingly give their true intentions away. Our children are not students, their means to an industrial ends and education is not for personal growth or community cohesion. It’s not to increase the social awareness of the world around us and the folks in it, the intention is to have smart folks to make things that the wealthy can benefit from financially. Some folks say it like “feed the Machine!”.

So I’m looking around at the parents in the audience nodding their heads in
agreement and solemnly viewing the current test scores for the previous year. They skeptically look at the goals for 2020, which none of them will have children in school by then, and the idiot who thinks he is going to get a 97% ave in the state will be retired and talking about “back in the day” by then. But they all appease themselves and pat each other on the back with unknowing smiles. They justify this hyperbole by saying, “Well we can’t sit around doing nothing!”. When in reality they are doing nothing but taking long range planning out to the stratosphere where no one will ever see it but the few interested researchers who are sitting around wondering how some bureaucrat came up with that plan out of what they’ve concluded.

So “low and behold”, I think that’s the saying; I’m reading my boys student handbook a couple days later out of boredom waiting for “Momma” to come out of the pre-k class and what do I read, what I can’t do with my child! I do a “double take”. Then I quiz my “old lady” about vacation time during school just to hear her response. She tells me we can’t take a vacation during school because the kids can only miss so many days. So I ask about getting the work they would miss and we could have them do it while on vacation; knowing I’d never do that anyway. She says they aren’t allowed to miss more than so many days and they wouldn’t let us.

Well damn, excuse me for thinking they were our children and we determined what was best for them. Looking further into this usurping of power I find they have to have notes from other adults to excuse certain types of absences. This is ridiculous to me that someone would have control over my children above me. What really gets me is folks buy into this as normal. If you asked folks about it they just shrug and say “Yeah, they can cause you trouble if you don’t send them to school. Wait, I graduated, a couple of times, I can’t get in school trouble anymore.

So I start digging deeper, like a lost coonhound trying to dig a gravedigger out of a river bed! Ok, that may have went over the deep end with metaphors, but I’m pissed and trying to stay “country”. They have these list of things to do when a child gets home. I did 11 pages of homework with “Little Johnny hyper boy” one afternoon. He’s six, in first grade is what it says on his paperwork. Now I told you I been a teacher; so I know this work I’m “helping” this six year old with ain’t getting graded by no means. Impossible!!! There are 23 kids times 11 for just Monday, not including what they did in class, if they did anything I’m guessing at this point, but I drive on for my boy.

I read, write, and think a lot, possibly too much! I really don’t care what my children decide to become as long as it’s happy. My worst nightmare would be that they chose some career path or position out of prestige or financial gain, rather than happiness and fulfillment. We seem to be taking this “control”thing a little further every minute. There is no way that some educator focusing on test scores and which Island in the Caribbean is most popular is going to usurp parental responsibility from me. I have to protect my children from the bureaucratic pitfall that I thought was realized back in the 50’s.

There are many folks out there interested in your child. The sports maniac, the corporate monopolized, the usurping educator, even the non profit scrounger. Balance is the key, as always. “Little Johnny does need to know how to get along is his world. So I guess i’ll have to teach him at home that folks don’t really care about your wellbeing and if they do it’s probably because they have a stake in it somehow. So guard your freedoms from the folks who are saying they are here to protect it, because they are the same folks who want to organize and direct it. Chance are that “Little Johnny” won’t be happy living someone else’s version of happiness, he’ll just be another Poseur lost in the latest trend!

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Within Us

You’re a beautiful story living to be told. Silence quietly wisps the injustice of your struggle tightening the noose of loneliness. Your screams echo off the walls of your heart traveling no further than your pulse, no one hears the pain. So you walk in silence towards the dawn of a new day that marks time as a faded memory, a clouded sunrise of hope where pain can only sift through the grey lining like wet sun beams streaking your cheeks.

All of your chapters have yet to been written and the world may not hold enough beauty to write an ending for you. I long to hear your pain and feel your thoughts reverberating through my soul. I want to touch your spirit with my lips dripping words of light. This place I found you is a passing moment, it passed as we moved through the us in the sky burning through clouds and mist.

These scenes you’ve created are an artist dream of tomorrow. Love and pain swirling in the myst of lust and hate creating a storm of confusion and clarity that only the dedicated lover can feel. You never feared this space where love is so prominent the world stays distant and only our breath and pulse mark time. I followed you and found solitude in your desire, now I know fear. How can you take me to place that only you hold the key, then lock the door to bliss. This was our secret garden, and in the end it doesn’t exist without me dreaming.

Each chapter of our existence leaves me wanting to devour our future like a swimmer gasping for air. The intensity of our moments have no sense of time and minutes and days are just you and I, memories! The focus of our hopes are us and one more memorable second of desire. Your time is my clock wound around memories and dreams replacing minutes and hours with you and I. The interludes are for dreaming that one day we’ll drown together in us and the world will finally leave us alone.

But each paragraph of existence leaves us pulling at each other. Trying desperately not to fall to far from bliss. The thieves linger in the dark corners waiting for unaware moments to steal our desire and sell our souls to expectations and jealousy. Vigilance is the key; guarding what’s ours with all our hearts and minds because we are one. Never separated by time or space, never compromised by antiquated views of love and life.

One sentence says it all, I love you. Everything else is white noise scratching at the perimeter of love like static on an AM radio station. So we turn off the world for our greater good knowing that mankind is an oxymoron. Man is many thing but kind. Men sometimes find the space where love is genuine and the world doesn’t exist, but man is a creature with a jealous nature and desires what we have in us. The world will steal us and send us in separate worlds wondering, longing for what could be, what should be.

The final word is ours. What others see can not begin to create an understanding of us. I’ve built a wall around us, a wall of love protecting us from them. I’m within your spirit mingling hearts and desire towards an explosion of light. A prism where we fuse into a rainbow of color and heat sparkling for all to hope that at the end of the arc love blinds your mind to the madness all around.

Before the final word a thought was realized. A silent smile crept across my mind while my heart swelled with you. My pulse beats to the rhythm of us and all anyone can see is me, all they understand is their perception, they can’t be a part of us. I’ll guard us through the ages and the world can continue to turn, but you’re the only one who can make me dizzy.

Bombarded

Its real hard to keep things straight nowadays. You can’t be half awake and step out your front door off your game. There are messages fighting for your attention and dollars as soon as you turn the radio on to drive to work, and catchy billboards that really put a dent in your texting and driving deal. By the time you get to Friday, (payday), the repeated hammering of messages has you reviewing lists of things to buy and do that can only be fulfilled by joining the plastic nation.

The funny thing is, you know your being hustled, you know the claims are half truths, and the photos are airbrushed with phrases designed to “sell” you on whatever’s being offered; but we always end up bragging about the “deal” we got. Like when your wife comes home with another outfit she won’t wear and she’s convincing you she saved money.

The other day I heard an ad on radio for some real estate folks. Their advertising was about selling your home at the best price and letting you out of the contract if you weren’t satisfied. They promised to sell your house at the best market price for your market area.

I started wondering what this realtor told the guy buying the house. I’m sure its something along the line of we’ll get you the best market price for the home you want in your market area.

We accept these half truth, or lies, as the cost of doing business. We accept many half truths and lies due to the cost of keeping this dream alive, but don’t verbalized that, cause if many of these folks had to wake up to the true cost of “the dream” they would have to realize they live a compromised life of self imposed illusions.

If you think this paradigm doesn’t color all facets of our lives you should probably wake up; but if you let your sub conscious loose things would have to change, and that’s way to far into the comfort zone.

For some it might mean changing your family structure and leave a spouse to chase incomplete dreams, but there’s the kids, the house, the friends, and the wide open space on the other side of that choice is empty, filled with possibility and fear. The fact that its empty and full at the same time confuses you to a paralyzed state where at least you’re home.

For others it may be a job, or even worse a career. We spend all of our childhood, teenage time, and years as a young adult in school learning to be a citizen and an employee. Sounds creepy when you think that over time we’ve extended the school ‘experience to where we have 3 years of pre school, 5 years elementary, 3 years middle school, 4 years of high school, and 4 years of college. That’s 19 years, and then we hear the government mantra over and over, we need an “educated workforce”. If you think there’s no connection here you need to use that education to think a little!

There are many facets of our life where this corporate mentality oozes into our life. From our belief system we know is skewed by dollars and greed and promoted for the first 19 years of education. That experience takes years to retrain. To see through the Stars and Stripes to the purple mountains majesty where freedom rings is a long road. It’s like when you put on an extra 30 pounds over 6 months and you spend the next 2 years trying to return to what you think is normal, imagine reversing 19 years of weight out on your shoulders!!!!

Divisions

Wrapped in all of our scars and fears we walk through this life trying to be what we’ve been taught. Smiles cover pain and frowns beg concern.

Laughter becomes a resolve and as we cry and our tears get wiped with intention. Each tear becomes a new scar unseen to the world and its blind cruelty.

We are born determined by the spaces constantly seeking to define us. We were not born to be an occupation, or an entity to be occupied by tradition, industry, or culture. Life can conquer our brains and our hands, while our minds and spirits break free.

This is where we’re human and worth, color, and culture melt into humanity. Where hearts beat together with minds that seek solutions and divisions make no sense because the greater good saves your own soul.

From the macro dysfunction of dividing our environment, to dividing our intellect, or dividing our value as humans; inevitably we end up with the micro dysfunction of a schizophrenic existence dividing our loyalty, ability, and physical being to blend into this euphemistic melting pot that only exists in the minds of maniacs. We can just be human!!!

Suicide By Degree

Suicide by degree.
Seldom do I meet someone who doesn’t have something in their life that effects the quality or longevity of their life negatively. Many folks seem to put so much effort into not having a vice the act itself becomes a vice.

“Food folks” have it the worst. You can’t put on make up to cover the extra fifty pounds. You can’t suck in breath mints to cover the smell of the burger you just ate and the ketchup dropped on your new shirt is a sign to everyone you really enjoy your meals.

You can hide in a remote parking spot and enjoy the milkshake with two large fries, but it will come back at the cash register when you go to buy new clothes every week cause you aren’t comfortable in last weeks skin. Besides, you’ll have to replace the one you stained with the ketchup anyway.

You can justify this caloric catastrophe by joining the “Thick” club. These are the group , (mostly woman) who have embraced an illogical excuse to justify their eating habits, after all, being overweight is about eating habits. Some will say exercise is this issue, but that’s marketing the “fat” issue.

There are plenty of us around who remember a time when folks didn’t view food as an activity and eating was something you had to do, and if you wanted to it was because you were actually hungry, not bored or manic.

If drugs are your issue you’re the “Long Hauler”. You can hide a little easier during the “honeymoon Phase” and shift the reason for your new found confidence or beaming personality on a new boyfriend, or weight loss, or a promotion at work.

Then the awakening comes and you realize that you latched onto something bigger than you. Your confused look can still be explained away by the boyfriend losing his job, the weight coming back, or the pressure of the new promotion at work.

Years later you’ll walk around like a dog chasin it’s tail recycling these reasons till everyone knows “the deal” but goes along with you because they either benefit from your addiction, or your struggles remind them their life’s not really that bad, they could be like you. So your circle shrinks to a co dependent cluster &@$%!

Then the bottom rushes up like the troth on a roller coaster ride and your life revolves around nausea and out of body experiences. Then you find yourself standing in strange places surrounded by strange folks with very bad habits and intentions, and this is where the work begins!

Now you have to accept that your really not perfect and the road back to normal is so long you question bargaining your humanity for a hit, but the sun shines and you find yourself lying in 800 thread count sheets again with a fresh scented pillow and outlook.

The clouds roll on and you hold onto yesterday’s that were a distant memory. The urge to let go and fall resurfaces with a vengeance. You fight it with all your senses while your desire flashes like lightening. This is the new circle you travel, not perfect, but if you spin around it fast enough and long enough the centrifugal force will lift you a little further away from death and destruction.

So if your the alcoholic you’re on the slow role. Your tracks are easier to
hide over the long road. Social drinking is an entrenched tradition in America. You can act crazy drunk at sporting events and claim team enthusiasm or losing seasons for years before anyone looks twice.

The bad side to this is the slow role doesn’t really show itself physically till the damage is done, and its too late. So if you manage to avoid the mid life domestic violence exhibition or the DUI coming home from the party where you got out of control; you may just end up being the “Fun Guy” who passed away unexpectedly!

We all have heard the term life’s a gamble; well some folks take that literally. You don’t have to be rich to be a gambler. We mostly think of the person at the horse track or the smoky room with cards and sweaty guys drinking double scotches till the loser leaves in a fit if rage and goes home to abuse a family member; but that’s the television view.

There is an overlooked group of folks the state helps out with their addiction. The lottery playing Keno winning gamblers aren’t “real gamblers”, to most folks.

You can actually watch a television commercial for Gamblers Anonymous followed by a commercial for responsibly playing the lottery here in Georgia. The state had actually developed a commercial to ensure you sign your ticket so the thief can’t steal your earnings, or is that winnings; I’m not sure cause the whole scenario don’t make sense to me.

It’s all good though; cause this re-enforces to the guy or gal who stops at the convenience store to buy $50.00 worth of lottery tickets while taking their Keno earnings and funneling them through groceries to cash; everything’s good.

Well this has led me to the “Sexy Suitor”. You know the guy or gal who always has a “dirty joke”. The one who has two computers, one for work and one for play. He or she usually walks around with strange ideas about other folks habits in the bedroom.

You would think sex, as an addiction or vice, would be fun; not!!! Needing the attention associated with looking at folks for their physical value can be exhausting if you’re acting on your fantasy.

We’re all probably familiar with that feeling of remorse after doing something we no was wrong. You may even be able to assimilate the feeling of waking up next to someone who doesn’t resemble anyone you recall from the night before. Imagine if you never went to sleep and just came to that same nauseous feeling after a heightened hysteria, possibly more than once in a days time.

There are other folks out there who like pictures more than people. The possibilities of a photo are boundless, while the possibilities of a person are bound by communication and humanity.

The co dependent theme runs through situations like these and is its own addiction or vice. Needing someone’s attention to the point you enable their dysfunction is cruel on one level, and sad on another.

It’s an obsession to try to avoid these problems, and others not mentioned. Even if you do manage to live an abuse free life someone in your family or circle of friends surely is all in, somewhere. It’s tiring dealing with all the dysfunction, even if its the kind where we ignore the problem out of proper decorum.

My circle is small. It doesn’t include some family, and some old friends. The emotional energy it takes to deal with someone constantly “trying you” is exhausting. If you find yourself realizing intentions days after a conversation or request from a friend or family member; it’s time to tell someone to “kick rocks”.

Just on the other side of all this dysfunction is a whole “addiction industrial complex” that markets everything from global wars to cheating wives. Way too many folks benefit from food, drugs , alcohol, sex, etc…..

The whole middle class is tied economically to its own dysfunction due to being marketed for the media which fuels production. There are entrepreneurs who live off everything from objects associated with pop culture to houses lost by the unsuspecting who couldn’t keep up their game.

I saw a survey once about culture and life span. The folks who lived the longest owned the least, worked less, napped during the day, and had small circles of what seemed healthy friendships. This is diametrically opposite to what values we teach our children. We throw them into the machine from birth,

I’m gonna try out this longevity thing. I’m shrinking my circle, doing work I love regardless of the financial gain, and not buying ” stuff” just because its ” cool”. Some folks who know me think I’ve went off the deep end. Maybe I have, but ill never be shallow again, and I won’t miss much during my nap anyway.

From body concept, to clothing designer, all the way to media choices; I ain’t participating anymore.

Ill still smile when you pull up in your Mercedes wearing Polo underwear and matching cologne to discuss the latest criteria for the poseur nation. Just don’t expect me to follow you to the car dealer or the clothing store cause I can’t afford the drama that comes with chasing a dream that’s truly a nightmare.

Goodnight!!!

Dream Church!

I want to go to that church where they use a tuning fork in the beginning of praise and worship because musical instrument are a tool of the devil. It would be so cool,; you walk in and there’s a box in the narthex where you put your offering and no one knows who is tithing what. I’d walk right up and slip a note in there that says “Sorry, maybe next time!”, then pull up my britches like a just put a years salary in there.

So in anticipation of the “praise and worship” I’d walk down the aisle looking for the biggest woman in the pews, ( I always wondered if they called them pews cause the cushions stink from fat folks doing that “silent fart” thing), anyway I could snuggle in real tight and smile at the awkwardness of the moment. I know my “Bathroom Polo” gets on folks nerves, but it cover the smell of the “silent farts”!

Then Hubert walks to the front of the aisle and stands in front of the communion table and holds up a tuning fork in one hand and a metal stick in the other, “Ding”! The tone and pitch are set and everyone goes “Aghhhhhhhhhh” till we’re all on key. Then the coolest thing happens! The preacher breaks out with KC and the sunshine bands “Get Down, Get Down!”

All the big girls start wiggling with their hands up and I’m in the middle gettin thrown around like a middle schooler at Six Flags singin and laughing. Little kids start flying around as a result of getting hit in the head with oversized breasts not properly secured. Old dudes with walkers and oxygen tanks breathing hard and rocking out with one hand on the pew and the other on the seat of their pants holding onto the last moment of dignity. And then the silent prayer happens and everyone stops and thinks of the sins they just committed against their neighbor.

Then the message. It starts off slow and quiet, adjectives drip with guilt as verbs silently fly like daggers in a den of thieves. Remorse float in the air mixing with silent farts creating a green mist that’s mistaken for envy and the preacher starts raising his voice and his hands out towards the guilty, the sinful! Now the pitch is venomous and I’m reminded that about this time the church next door is letting the snakes out of the cage, I silently prat that none gets loose and slithers our way, cause they don’t like Baptist, especially primitive ones!

The preacher starts to quiet down a bit now that we all feel guilty, but he gives a break and let’s on that there is one more roller coaster ride coming with the closing hymn. Everyone’s facial expression turns from solemn to hopeful. I’m wondering if it’s because the preacher says it’s ok we just gotta try harder and pray, or if it’s cause in a few moments we’ll all be gettin down again.

As I look around I feel good. I made it to church again and I’m gettin saved. I don’t know if God is smiling down on us and our prayers are heard all the time. But I believe he gets a good laugh and shakes his head at the unruliness of this service. He may even shake his hips a little when Hubert hits the tuning fork and we all go “Aghhhhhhh”. Cause in a few seconds we’re all gonna get down, (not on our knees) and praise him like its 1999.

Piddling!

Searching for a second
When a minutes in the way
We piddle through the hours
Making up a day

Silent hands at work
Setting our minds adrift
Through moments thoughts wander
Where dreams slowly sift

Together time and thought
Create a wondering soul
Putting hopes and efforts
towards a single goal

Peaceful moments still
Our hearts and minds as one
Beating as a single thought
The world is finally gone

Shadows move with time
As clouds loom over our heart
Feeling each emotion fade
Giving me a start

So here ill sit and wonder
Thinking the day away
Thankful for life’s treasures
Just a moment away.