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Tyler Matthew Mar 2021
It is one thing to advocate for equality, representation, and unity.
Indeed, each is an inalienable, fundamental right.
But it is a whole new beast to lay waste
to anything that frightens you or that challenges your beliefs,
or that simply does not mirror your very own ideologies.
How heavy the hand of tyranny that now lays across our mouths,
yet how light our opposition.
Though I do acknowledge the delicacy of the issue at hand,
the fragility of the minds of hysterical mobs
who resolve to smashing windows in blind anger,
who ***** out free thought in daft castigation,
or who ban books even, it seems, like those monsters of history
to which they declare themselves to be diametrically opposed-
even in light of that, it is no excuse
to remain subservient to senseless autocrats
and the absurd legislations they bludgeon us with near daily.
To do this – to do nothing - is to lay down and die
without dignity, spineless and shameful,
though it seems that only myself and a handful of others
can recognize this.  Indeed, how easy it is to glimpse from the fringes.
I, a man of only twenty-seven years, do not recognize you, America.
I long for the days of comfort (so far removed from them, I am)
when I could safely retreat into the lofty and quiet halls of my mind
to enjoy a self-assuring thought that only I created -
a thought with no real purpose but to occupy me for a time,
to entertain me in my moments of dull apathy.
Now I shudder in a cold and contrived prison of vetted words
and unnegotiated mandates where I am told
to wrap myself in our flag to keep warm, to feel safe,
that this is for my own good.
I do not recognize you, America, for this thing you have become.
Tyler Matthew Feb 2021
I left home when I was young
To the fringes I was flung
And I never wrote a letter
to my home, Lord, to my home
No, I never wrote a letter to my home

I set out for Tuscaloo’
Just my baby sister knew
She hung her head and handed me a dime

An’ it took me pretty far
I hopped on the next boxcar
I waved goodbye to her a final time

Not a coat upon my frame
nor a penny to my name
But I never wrote a letter to my home
to my home, Lord Lord,
No, I never wrote a letter to my home

I was settled on the track
A cold wind tried to ******* back
But I held on an’ swallowed all the pain

I stepped off in Alabam’
Boxcar door shut with a slam
And I tried to build a house there in the rain

If ya missed the train I’s on
Count the days that I been gone
You can hear that whistle blow a hundred miles
Hundred miles, hundred miles
You can hear that whistle blow a hundred miles

But when it rains it pours
When it’s done, there’s always more
And it’s hard to build a home out in a storm

My Papa warned me, “Son
you’ll be sorry when you’re gone”
I thought that he was bitter - now I know

I left home to chase the sun
But it moves faster than I run
Now I cry alone the end of ev’ry day
I can hear my Mama call
“stop your runnin’ ‘fore ya fall”
I don’t wanna go home, let me play

Not a penny on my name
ever since the bankers came
I got a letter on a lonesome day

Said “Your Mama’s dead an’ gone
and your sister’s all gone wrong.
Son I need you home now right away”

Not a coat upon my back
and I’m still livin’ on the tracks
No, Papa can’t see me thisaway
Thisaway, Lord ya know
that I can’t go home thisaway.

And if ya miss the train I'm on
count the days that I been gone
You can hear that whistle blow a thousand miles
Thousand miles, thousand miles, Lord
You can hear my whistle blow a thousand miles.
After Bob Dylan's "I Was Young When I Left Home."
Tyler Matthew Feb 2021
Go ahead and point your crooked fingers at me
I bet you’re dying just to get them inside
I know your nature, your sins, your reasons
A creature like you’s never satisfied

You pick a new face from the gallery
Practice everything you want me to hear
You’ll be anyone, say or do anything
then raise the blade when I let you get near

And when I’m bleeding for the world to see
you’ll tell them I was always dangerous
No doubt will linger, there’ll be no debate
and you’ll be praised for being generous

So go ahead and make a fine example of me
Frame me, hang me there on your wall
Rip and pull me apart, take hold of me
until I can’t be recognized at all
Tyler Matthew Jan 2021
Within the blinking of an eye
we live our lives and then we die
with no time left to ponder why
A baby's breath, a tired sigh

We look back on how much we've grown
the loves we had, the threads we've sown
to find ourselves here all alone
with weary heads and hearts of stone

Fighting just to say goodbye
and when we do begin to cry
we sing ourselves a lullaby
and finally we shut our eyes
Tyler Matthew Jan 2021
Dallas, November 1963
Fifty-seven years since they shot Kennedy
Everyone saw then live on T.V.
what happens when you challenge
secret society

Some say the mob or the CIA
Either black or white, but the truth is gray
and long since buried 'neath Texas clay
right next to good ol' LBJ

I ask not what my country can do for me
Blood on her hands, Lady Liberty
Let sleeping dogs lie, leave history be
The truth died in Dallas, 1963
Tyler Matthew Jan 2021
I'm lying in the sun
I've got church bells in my ears
Even though work starts at nine
my mind is miles away from here

There upon its banks
I hear the river washing past
Some say everything's eternal
yet sleep never seems to last

Always waking in a hurry
Hardly any time to shave
And when the day is done
reflect on everything you gave
Realizing once again
there's never any time to save
And so I lie between
the river and the grave
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