Thursday, July 16, 2015

poem of the day 07.16.15

sonic youth

i won’t lie
back then the muse
was pretty slow in coming to me

i grew up in a neighborhood
where all of the kids listened to rap

dressed like rap stars and tried to prep the role
by adding that ghetto inflection
to their suburban drawls

now everybody does it these days

white rappers, the spawn of rich white actors
are online justifying their use of the word nigga

but back then it was penetratingly dull
to be around this even if it was new

it felt hollow and unearned

i got a job closer to the city
that kept me out of my neighborhood more and more

the people i worked with painted
or drew comics, or made some other kind of art

a lot of them were in bands
they made me mixed tapes with the kind of stuff
i’d never heard before

bands that put on scream shows
or jangled low guitars that felt like the sunset

some of it was bad some of it was good
the point was that it was different

it was a coming of age story, i guess

but i remember one time
riding around with my old neighborhood friends

we were going for pizza
or to kill another night
at the chain diner we all went too

someone would hit on the waitress
someone would spike calvin’s coffee with salt
someone’s ex-girlfriend would show up
with her new boyfriend on a leash

and as we rode off toward
the same exact night that we had last week

i put on one of my new mixed tapes
let the haze of sound fill the car

thinking that i was taking us all
into a bold, new direction that we could share

when one of my friends
ripped the tape out of the deck

he tossed it in the back seat
and put on the same old same old

something with a beat
enough bass to poison a neighborhood

and finally whatever else
had kept me tied up
to that time and place.


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