The End.

and he died.
The end.

and they lived happily never after.
The end.

and the howling winds reminded them
that the demons would forever be there
to torture their ancestors
for the crimes of Toreador.
The end.

and Alabaster swore
he would never leave the tea off the kettle
unless it were an especially frosty Tuesday
and they all laughed and laughed and laughed
except for Alabaster’s aunt
who swore in a tongue that nobody understood
but that is a tale for another day.
The end.

and we danced.
Swept away for a moment,
by chance,
by the Hooters,
we danced, romanced,
liars in love.
We danced,
‘til the end.

and in the end,
her majesty was a pretty nice girl
so we just let it be.

and Doctor Manhattan told Ozymandias
that nothing really ends
in the last chapter of Watchmen
after which The Original Writer thought
eventually
the credits would revoke back to him
but Doc Man was right
and DC kept the credits
because they were worth so much
and anyway, stories never really cease,
it’s just a matter of when you stop pay

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Lost Days

You’ll remember none of this, I’ll bet.

All these days
in the car
on the road
with the radio
with the questions
with the pestering
with the mustard on the fries
– which you know I hate,
but you purposefully put on,
time and again…
these times, they’ll be a’changin’,
and we’ll be changing, too,
and I will treasure all of it
but I can’t say the same for you
because you’ll remember none of this, I’m certain.

The hours we spent
just dancing about nothing
and glancing at architecture
and séancing seashells
looking to get a rise out of something beneath the waves
on gray days and moonless nights
and fogged over afternoons,
you”ll have forgotten me, I’m sure of it.

These coins trickle down slots of memory
filtering through paths of weight
and shape and form
going to exactly the place
they were fated to go
as destiny designed.
These coins go
where they are meant to
and I place my bets
that your coins
are not weighted so heavily
where I am concerned.

You’ll consider these days a little
every now and again
and wonder who I was
once in a while
but while I may have echoes of our yesterdays
blasting through my everyday
I very much doubt that I will be quite so much your concern
nor will my concern
be your consideration.

This will be a long lost time for you,
and for me, too,
but probably in a very different way.

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Big Al

I saw him once
before I knew what he meant
before understanding the breadth and width of his accomplishments
prior to generations of best minds howling out prayers of proper devotion to the dead
… the word for that escapes me…
I saw him read at my school.

Some hyper pretentious TA knew him
– he knew the guy from That Championship Season, too –
and brought them to our school
for Show & Tell
to talk about art
or Art
or do a little dance
or sing a little song.

He sang a little song
– not the guy from Championship Season
(who was also in the Exorcist
{another thing I knew nothing about
when I got to meet the guy}
back in the day).
He was nice
but he didn’t sing anything –
based on William Blake’s
“Tyger, Tyger,” which isn’t really called that at all
but rather “The Tyger,”
which isn’t spelt right anyway.

He was trying to show us,
I think,
how visceral poetry could be,
and we knew even then
he was a big important guy
but I don’t think we really understood
his place in the firmament.
I’d been on a couple of roads at that point
but it’s not like I’d been on the road,
if you catch my drift,
nor framed any’s fearful symmetry
(he’s pronounced it like try, by and by.
Don’t ask me why).
The context of his greatness
was a little bit lost.

I lived in the greatest city on earth
with this amazing word warrior at my table
happy to teach all the young nubile minds like mine.
I could have learned so much
but I did nothing
and the opportunity was simple squandered
just taken out of my hands
like a magic scepter
I’ll never have another chance to manhandle.

Since
I’ve had to learn how to mangle the language
as best I can
with whatever other resources I could eventually muster.

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Rememberly

I’m not trying to start a fight or nothing
but wouldn’t it be
kind of the best thing
if nobody remembered what we were supposed to be memorializing?
If we somehow got it in our heads
that we couldn’t consider the concepts
that brought so many people
to those so many places
where they met so many disturbingingly sorrowful ends
to so many stories?
What if we didn’t understand
what we were here to celebrate?
Why if it was only
about taking a day off work?
What if some callow youths
didn’t understand what we fought for
what we died for?
What if war was so foreign
they couldn’t consider it?
Wouldn’t that be
some sort of victory?

Agree or not
I’m fine with result.
I don’t need to be combative about this
or anything else.
I’m just willing
to surrender the rest of the day
to whatever you think best.

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The Last Cause

Maybe it’s time to admit that your talents haven’t been wasted that you’ve lived up to your potential
that you have always been
the very best that you could be
working your hardest
at all times
and this
is everything you deserve to be.

No conspiracies have you restricted
No bad luck has cursed you.
No dark gods have had it in for you
since your earliest days.
Nothing has held you back
because you haven’t been held back.
Maybe this is the best of you.

This.
Take it all in.
Soak in it
and decide
if you maybe have any more in you
to prove this possible prophesy
into something closer to heresy.

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You Know You Want To

Be generic. Be be generic.
Be generic. Be be generic.

There’s a time and a place to be original.
But that time is gone, son. It was fun.
Now it’s done.

Be generic. Be be generic.
Be generic. Be be generic.

You could be you, or you could be cool
but you try to be both, that’s the path of the fool, so:
be generic. Be be generic.
Be generic. Be be generic.

You had your chance to dance in the spotlight
under the hot lights at the brightest midnight
but it got uptight with all of the not-quites
mixing with the do-rights ending up in white flight
so now it’s best to
be generic. Be be generic.
Be generic. Be be generic.

Be generic. Be be generic.
Be generic. Be be generic.

B-E. G-E-N. E-R-I-C. Let’s go!
B-E. G-E-N. E-R-I-C. Let’s go!

Be generic. Be be generic.
Be generic. Be be generic.

They paid the cost; the Rubicon crossed.
you grabbed the brass ring: it’s since been tossed.
You were different all summer, but with winter’s frost
you’re rushing to defeat and the war’s all lost.

Be generic. Be be generic.
Be generic. Be be generic.

Slip into the background like a good drone.
You gave your best shot to “to each their own,” now
be generic. Be be generic.
Be generic. Be be generic.

It’s our genetic disposition to
be generic. Be be generic.
Be generic. Be be generic.

B-E. G-E-N. E-R-I-C.
LET’S GO!

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Trial of the Century

Just as you think that nothing’s sacred today
and if almost anybody can always get away
with just about anything there under the sun
it’s fun to flash back on old bones of contention
when the people of the public got pissed at all their peers
for hassling the issues of the day in active spheres
of influence – and arguments could everywhere be heard
about innocence and guilt and the punishments incurred.

What with Sacco and Vanzetti and Leopold and Loeb
and those Rosenberg spies with what they sent across the globe?
That other Adolf had his day decided in Israel.
The desk murderer was hang-ed with no chance of an appeal.
Let’s talk about justice. Let us think about crimes,
pondering on all the victims cut down in their primes.
Let’s consider injustice, however cruel and elementary
as it’s been judged and adjourned in the trials of the century.

Both man and a monkey got some press in twenty five,
debating which one might be the best source of how we thrive.
A Lindbergh baby loss held our attention for a while
until a German patsy took the fall and lost the trial.
Each of these adventures were the story of the year
until the next one came along, simply leaving us all queer
and excited – just to sing about the latest greatest thing
trilling on, thrilling to what the new big case could bring.

Jeez! With Patty Hearst and Claus von Bülow, plus that Alger Hiss
it’s like there’s not a Century-Trial that a year did miss.
What Helter Skelter’s family did to Sharon Tate
was horribly banal, and hardly tempting fate.
Each of these rough stories, though they held our interest fast
were clearly not enough to make our attention last.
For as soon as the juries sent perps off to penitentiary
we’d move on the next week to the subsequent trial of the century.

But now we live a life
where whatever sort of strife
people might get up to
will not be enough to
get in the people’s brains
`so that they will sustain
the energy to maintain
the interest to contain
a trail of a new century…

We have a country that has judged all others for a century
and looked upon the planet as plenipotentiary,
which suddenly must ask,"What has happened to me?
Have I been played the way I’ve treated them: unconscionably?
Is this the world I’ve made: no democracy,
which, after so much done to others – ironically –
seems somehow, appropriate, at least, symbolically."
And asking this, must realize, ashamedly

that blaming other nations for their influencing polls
while we have done it often in much reverse-ed roles
is somehow some relation to a kettle smoking pot,
or asking to judge others while ignoring your own rot.
In any case, in this new age, with these new eyes, we see
a brand new hundred years and new crimes to prophecy
and though this nation has just seen some righteous heresy
it’s possible we’ve yet to know our latest, greatest, without debatest
most heinous trial of the century.

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Sucktown

Third period is the worst. It’s Science with Doctor Death-Smythe and he spent the entire class talking about alternate realities and Harmonic Convergence
– but did he ever – even once – pull out a dimensional portal to show us Earth 18
or Earth 95
or even Reverse Earth B?
Of course not!
Something about Justice Squad insurance having lapsed, he said. Still, this could have been interesting;
but it’s become one more exciting opportunity
squandered
here in Sucktown USA.

Another worthless day in Sucktown
Another day when no one cares
Can’t wait ’til I can escape Sucktown
Nothing to do – anywhere.

After home room is Gym, which is even worse than Science,
which, yes, I said was the worst but, just…
just stay with me here.
Rocky Carson is the instructor
and he denies it, but everybody knows he’s really Major Combat. He wears the same outfit, except for the pit helmet. It’s so lame. He insists on drilling us on super acrobatics, saying, “if I can do it, a mild mannered gym teacher, than anybody can!”
and then rolls out a quadruple flip with no start. He’s so damned smug.

Just another worthless day in Sucktown
This one-horse, one-store, no account place
Counting days ’til I’m outta Sucktown
and they’ll find me gone without a trace.

The bus is late again because of the Wombat Army invasion last week. Even though the Divisive Duo kicked their asses
back to Marsupial Island,
now there’re burrows all down Grand Street
and traffic’s just been ridiculous.
Jenny Smith smiles at me, but that’s just because she’s psychic and knew I was checking out her butt earlier. Maybe I’ll ask her out at some point. I dunno.
The comic store didn’t get any new shipments
so I just went straight home and put on the TV.
Some news report out of Concourse City, and how the Colts are gonna win the series. Someday, I’m gonna move there. That place is so cool!

Lost here in the middle of Sucktown
feel like forever I’ve been here
Can’t wait to escape my fate in Sucktown
so afraid I’m gonna die right here.

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Endings and Start

This may not be the day that you die.
This might not be at all the day you die.
This may not be the day you die
but believe it, my oh my,
that day is coming soon,
by and by.

Since birth you’ve had an expiration date.
Since birth you’ve had an expiration date.
Since birth you’ve headed for that date,
at first real slow, but as of late
the velocity’s been getting great.

Every day is closer to your death.
Every day is closer to your death.
each day you draw closer to death,
whether kissing babies or huffing meth
keep that in mind with every passing breath.

Today may well not be your last on earth.
Today may well not be your last on earth.
Today may see you stay on earth
in healthy form, jolly with mirth
but the last one’s coming, surely as your birth.

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Pete 100

It’s been a long time – hell! Long changing times
of many long roads, over oft-changing climes
and some may have gone on to roads far less travelled
while many more brethren’s voyages unraveled.
Still, since olden ages, and all the years past,
it is grand yet to see that some legacies last
and no matter the protests and everything
we still have bells to ring and songs to sing.

Look beneath the clouds; look across the waters
and ask yourselves, grandsons and granddaughters:
what shall we overcome today?
What shall we overcome today?
Look under the sun, my son,
and see out into the sea.
Say whatever you may, my daughter:
convey what we’ll overcome today.

There is more to do – there is always more!
It seems that this world is in ceaseless war
but there is hope – there is always hope!
Just as hemp can twined to rope
to pull up a friend or tie a knot
or be used for crimes that time forgot
for as long as we live, our memories won’t cease:
the war never ends, but nor does the peace.

After all we’ve woven; after all we’ve spun,
answer me granddaughter. Respond to this, grandson:
what shall we overcome today?
What shall we overcome today?
Unwrap this best toy, my boy, and tell me what you see.
Spin the top and play, my girl,
and finally display what we can overcome today.

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