Nostalgia always comes with a bit of bad memory
back in the day, I remember life being calmer
but who’s to say?
My father stumbled in stadium parking lots drunk back in those days
+ I still had depressions that didn’t seem to go away
So what’s so different ’bout back then + the present day?
(Photo by Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash)
Cindy parked her work truck in the shade by a McDonald’s and took a big bite out of her Quarter Pounder. Her lunch breaks were always interrupted by phone calls — the endless calls from dispatchers. Today was no different.
When her phone rang, she turned down the Brad Paisely song on her radio.
“Hey, sunshine,” said Marcus, the dispatcher. “Feel like catching any more dogs today?”
It wasn’t the call Cindy wanted to get. But at least it wasn’t the call, the one she constantly feared getting.
Alcoholics like to talk about rock bottom –
the moment they recognized the bottle is filled with lies
the moment when they open their eyes
+ know they don’t have to drink anymore
I hit bottom in a rehab far from home after unkind words
from a social worker who told me
I was running from life – but that’s in the past
I’m still running, I know not why
the sky is falling, fireballs shooting like comets
+ I think this recovery thing is never over –
it’s a life-long process that can’t be defined
by our constant categorizing.
(Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash)
The woman asks me for ten dollars – she demands it
I’m reluctant, standing in a pock-marked city,
but feeling pity for her, as she frantically talks
her eyes yellow like harvest moons
her voice shrieks like an urban banshee –
the realities of poverty and addiction,
the rich getting fatter off broken backs.
I reach into my wallet, hand her a ten-dollar bill
she hugs me + hurries away, vanishing into the night,
and as I walk home, I wonder if I’ll ever need to
ask for my ten dollars back
(Photo by Vitaly Taranov on Unsplash)
We are damnifacados: homeless, junkies,
people deem us less than human.
When you pass us on a hectic street, we’re resting with
backs to the wall asking for mercy, spare change –
you look away from our weathered faces,
we feel disgrace, in our soiled clothes, our tired eyes.
A teacher told my mother I’d join a cult –
that was in the ‘90s + twenty years later,
I was a recovery zealot, driving through
snowstorms to share my sorrows with
strangers, always thinking I was in danger,
fighting my impulses + a mind that
seemed to want me dead.
(Photo by Karl Fredrickson on Unsplash)
Okay, so I’ve become a bit of a Jason Isbell fanatic. Rachel can tell you that I listen to this Americana songwriter constantly, especially the song “Outfit.” I wanted to highlight one of Isbell’s songs off his new album that I connected with from the first time I heard it.
Where do those neighbors get their money?
They’re up late on weeknights, drinking beer,
playing games in the street – the young woman
has glazed eyes, she’s always stoned;
the boyfriend doesn’t have a care
in the world, in a world
where so many are dying
and a feeling of impending doom
clutches us by the throat.
(Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash)
Why come out of your cage
when it’s so cozy in here?
Don’t emphasize the warring world:
it will never change.
Sit in solitude – no one can reach you here.