Some have fought me and lost, where other’s fought and won. Some of them turned upon each other, and the days ran into one.
Some fought the days and works of hands, golden dawns, wanna be crowley-esque mages. Other’s battled Faith and Fury, and came up with the losing hand. The Tower, the Hanged Man and Debauch laughed at me as I tried to outrun their hold.
Some fought the sound that thunder makes. Some battled against the flood. Some tried to hold back the tide. Some fought with the disease in their blood, others fought with foreign forces on that further shore. Some fought for less while others fought for more.
Some walk up to the top of the mountain, and once they get there realize it is but a hill. Some fought Strange Siturations: moving vans, antique tables, foggy mornings and their mother’s counterfeit pills.
Some pedal violently against the grain, chasing a fleeing dog. The leash is off, the sun is up, and the hill is bound to stop even the most determined of pursuers. That dog is free, even if freedom isn’t the best thing for him. Even if freedom is dangerous. Even if freedom is deadly. Even if freedom could crash cars, bite babies and end life under the wheels of the Uber that is coming to collect me.
Some fight against the clock. Some battle against change. Some, finding fighting boring, shout “Dharma is the Home of the Brave!”
A child battles with his laces, his shoe turning mortal foe. The moggie never catches the pigeon and wishes he were not stuck upon the earth, but fighting gravity never budges, and it wins each time in the end.
There’s battles with the bottle, campaigns against the spoon and spike, forward marches against go go leaves and lazy hanging lascivious Moroccan carpet rides.
The table will never fit into that van. That mattress cannot be folded. A square cannot be forced into a rounder hole, and you can run but never can never run quite far enough, no matter what your goal. That plastic bag will still float upon a wind that cannot be ghosted, and that tree’s branches will not let go, until a large gust comes along and it falls upon someone’s newly washed hair.
T____ walks on up the street, solemnly carrying a Starbucks bag. She takes a sip of coffee and regrets at once she had.
A young man crosses Geary, cardboard on his feet.
The sirens are unrelenting: there’s no warmth, no heat, no sun.
The door it knocks and then is knocked again. The questioners are unrelenting, and one roused me demand both my presence and my departure. Pick one or the other, I am no human yoyo to be bounced by my own politeness. I want to scream “what do you want from me!” but they don’t know even if they demand something other than what I am doing. My snowy disguise screams privilege in another person’s eyes….and I sit here hungry wondering what would have happened had I played the correct games. The secret is a woman has to apologize for surviving. “I didn’t want to’ is never enough. “he would have killed me” won’t suffice. “But WOULD HE HAVE KILLED THE KIDS” asks the woman, shaking her head disapproving as she demands to know if the man who smashed my head, who broke my stitches, who raped and abused me, who broke and starved me, was a good father. A boy doesn’t find it funny, as he watches my shoulders shake with laughter.
The circus is in town, the sporting hero is all a- bleeding. The shit is going down, the phone is smashed in anger: the bitter is on the rise, and the gall drips through the torn wineskin. I would have liked a pony. I would have liked a day. I would have wanted different. I would have coped with life. I could have accepted mundanity and not cut it up with this butter knife. I am not asking for mercy, and besides there is little in anybody’s eyes. The tongues are all telling fury, and the jackboots are on the rise, the lines are being drawn and cannot be revised. The Zeitgeist is drunk on hatred, Rip Van Winkle is rubbing his eyes, the wolf is blowing the trumpet, the sheep have left the fold but don’t understand the price.
The dice have been unloaded, the wheel is spun in vain, the old man he coughs maskless over the child with years ahead. He calls it freedom. I call it petty death.
I wonder about shouting from a balcony, “How do you like it now when it’s your lives being wrecked! Are you coping with destruction? How do you like looking at death?” It is one thing when it is me being pushed from pillar to post and strung upon some castle walls of motherhood that have been spray-painted with “someone else would have been for the best.” Paint me as the devil. Demon me with twisted history. Break me of my habits. Slice me with a word. It is another when the world is going insane, the mass graves are being dug, and more died from fentanyl here than covid and the city doesn’t care to give out free safer drugs.
There is no point in sermonizing. No reason to kick against the pricks. I think I’d like to be on the radio and play Television and The Circle Jerks.
In memory only waiting there’s a photo of you and you and me.
I never would have played
if I had known