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It was a Saturday afternoon
The legion branch was full
The band was playing some old twangy country song
The front four tables were singing along
Up at the bar
A steady line up of Nevada players
hoping for another jackpot
to cover another few beers
And to make the afternoon last
Nothing worse, than having to milk
a weak draft for an hour
Until the men came back from horseshoes
About three o'clock
the branch livened up as Jimi McGonagle arrived
grandson of the past president
and general all about me, *******
He was strutting around
showing off his new tattoo
No different than his other
thirty or so, but it was new
and it was Jimi McGonagle
so everyone wanted to see
He was proud he now had eight peacocks
All up one leg....there's a joke here
But, even I won't go that far....
The crowd swarmed around him
But, in the back corner
The table....I mean THE TABLE...
didn't move a muscle
In fact out of the three individuals at THE TABLE
Two continued with their dart game
while the third just chuckled, let out a loud
and went back to his screwdriver
with the quickly melting ice cubes
famous at all legions for helping water down the drinks
Jimi, heard the HARUMPH and looked back
The old man took a slug from the glass
and HARUMPHED louder
Jimi, perplexed, came over to see what was the matter
"Don't like my tattoos Mr. Stein?"
HARUMPH..."they're fine, if you like that kind of thing"
said the old man, knocking back his glass again
"Gives me eight peacocks on my leg now" said Jimi
Again, no response from me on the possible joke here
"cost me almost $700 bucks to get this one done"
"HARUMPH" said the old man....
"What is wrong with you Mr. Stein?"
"Don't like it?"
"Like I said...."
"I know, I know"....said Jimi
"Got any ink?" asked Jimi
"Yep" answered the old man, as a fresh glass arrived
He took a slug...
"So?"...said Jimi, "Is it any better than my peacock?..
"Maybe..maybe not"...said the old man
"It just depends"
The crowd had moved away and was dropping back to the bar area
"Can I see it?" asked Jimi..."What is it?"
"'tain't much to speak of...but I'll show you"....
"Just quit strutting around and sit....and I'll have another screwdriver"...
Jimi sat, and the old man looked him in the eye
"Don't have much colour, like your'n do...don't have any at all"...
"But, a tat's a tat, and you want to see it"...."You sure?"
Jimi nodded, ordered the drink for the old man
"HARUMPH"...said Mr. Stein
He unbuttoned his shirt cuff on the left side
and rolled it up, with his big, beefy, work worn hands
"There she be" he said
"Where", said Jimi
"There'n, on my wrist....just there"
"All I see is a number, an old, worn number"
"That'd be her" said Mr. Stein...."It's all I got, and it's all I need"
"What is it?" asked Jimi
"It's who I am...who I was reduced to"
"It's my curse, and my strength"...
"I was 17 when I got this in Hammelburg, Germany"....
"It was 1943 and we were rounded up"
"and sent to the camps...we were some of the last jews"
"they missed us in the first go round"
"gave me this...don't need another one"
"It's me...this's me"
"Yours are nice...colourful....but are they you?"
"Mine is me"...
"You can see...I have ink....only one....don't want anymore"
"Can I sit a while?" asked Jimi
"Sure, son"...."you can tell me 'bout them silly peacocks"
"Bartender....two screwdrivers"
...and so developed a new and deep friendship....
Diane Aug 2013
Jimi was procrastinating in the bedroom with Lizi; his performance anxiety had become unbearable.
He could tell she was trying to “******” him tonight. She didn’t wear a bra under her ratty t-shirt and
snuggled up against him when she climbed into bed, this was his queue to come after her. Hmmm,
does she think he’s so simple? At least Pavlov’s dog had the respect of his owner. So he lay on his stomach,
pretending he was asleep like he had done so many times before. After what seemed like an eternity, Lizi
sighed with disappointment and rolled over.  When Jimi dared open his eyes he glanced at the clock,  
2:17 am. His stomach felt hard as he choked back tears, there has to be more to life than this…
when could he stop pretending?

“Shhh it’s ok. You don’t need to talk about it.” He said, pressing her head against his chest.
That angered her. She did need to talk about it, and he was treating her like a child. She glanced
at the clock, he had already overstayed his available time.
“You need to go. It’s past 3.”
He sighed, “Yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry.”
“No problem. Can’t keep the wife waiting.”
“Please don’t be mad.”
“Hey, it’s my own ****** fault for getting involved with you.”
Jimi didn’t say anything. He never did when things got uncomfortable. Instead, he reached for
his coat and put on his shoes. “I’ll call you tomorrow morning, ok?”
Mango sat silently, staring out the window. No you won’t, she thought, and you’ll get busy
and forget to even ask me, because you don’t ******* really care.
He walked over and kissed her softly. “Bye honey.”
“Bye” she answered, not returning the kiss, or looking at his face. How could he bring up
this ****, and then leave her alone with all of her emotions?

There was really only one friend from college that Jimi trusted enough to talk about anything
of substance. But even so, he didn’t dare talk about Mango. He’d been telling her that he was
going to move out, but no one in his life knew there were even problems in the marriage. Lizi
didn’t know there were problems in the marriage. This was much bigger and more complicated
than he had imagined, and how long could Mango hold on?  He didn’t mean to **** her around,
but she cried more than she laughed these days….he really missed her laugh. When he and
Mango were together, his feelings for her were powerful, literally full of power. He had fallen in love with
her, more than he had ever loved anyone, or even knew he was capable of loving anyone. But the
pathway to her was terrifying and treacherous, and once on that path, there was no turning back.

“At this point music doesn’t comfort, poetry doesn’t comfort, my work does not comfort and you
do not comfort.  I don’t remember the last time I felt so empty and out of control of my life.”
The other end of the phone remained silent, every passing second bunching the muscles in her
back and neck as if her whole self was shriveling into a contorted form of a human being. “Jimi,
just face it—you lost me. You thought I’d be a cure for your boredom and dissatisfaction, but
you didn’t expect to fall in love with me. Okay, you love me. So what? So ******* what? You
aren’t going to leave your wife and I’m tired of being treated like your concubine.”
“Don’t give up, please don’t give up. Don’t you love me anymore?”
“Right now, I hate you. If I leave now, maybe the hate will fade and we can be some sort of friends.”
Nothing was heard but the faint sound of breathing for the next ten minutes.
“You know what Jimi? **** this whole **** game that you think is love and ******* too.”
and she hung up.

“I know who you are.”
“Excuse me?”
“You are the woman who has been having an affair with my husband.”
Mango looked up from her register. Large round hazel eyes bore through her, burning with anger
and refusing to cry. An enormous scarlet letter “A” seemed to be melting into her skin. They stood
there, sizing each other up, Mango could feel her lip begin to quiver.
“I can see why he wanted you, you look nothing like me.”
Side by side it was true. One woman refined, statuesque, well bred. The other thrift store coordinated,
pierced lip and pigtails.
Mango tried to think of what to say “I’m sorry. It’s over, I ended it over a year ago.” was all she
could come up with. How do you say I’m sorry for intruding on the bond between a husband and wife?
How do you say I’m sorry for something that can never be undone and has forever seared pain
onto the heart of another woman?
They stared at each other for a full minute, neither willing to break the gaze. Finally, Lizi sighed and
began to walk away.
“Lizi…” She turned back to look at Mango one last time, “He didn’t make me happy either.”
Diane Jul 2013
I’ve heard people say on various occasions “if it’s meant to be, it will happen.” I don’t buy it.
Lots of things never happened that should have.

Talking to Jimi was like having a conversation thru the plexi-glass of a prison visitation room.
They could see each other, they could almost touch each other, but a layer of bullet proof glass stood between them and true intimacy.  Yet, there were times when the wall was more like the shell of a bubble—thin and pliable and sticking to her fingers when she pressed against it. And Jimi’s shape
would begin to take form with her touch, and the reality of his true self would show in defiance of his expectations.

Jimi just didn’t seem to get it. It was like he thought every word Mango uttered about her crushed spirit and just trying to survive was some sort of manipulation tactic.  
“You don't act like you did before.” She said.
“I'm sorry for that, you never leave my mind though.”
“The things going on in your head don't talk to me or spend time with me or hold me....they just
stay with you and I am all alone.”

“Jimi, I can’t focus, I can’t concentrate on anything! The sound of my thoughts are so loud that reality is just background clamor and white noise!”
“I’m trying, I’m doing the best I can. What more do you want me to do?”
“Move out! Make the leap! If you’re not happy there, if you don’t want to be married to her you shouldn’t be there. If being with me isn’t enough motivation to leave, then leave because Lizi deserves more than a fake husband.”
“I’m ****. I’m just a coward. I don’t like myself for what I’m doing.”
“The only one who can change how you feel about yourself is you.
Sitting around thinking about how ****** you are isn’t going to change a **** thing.”
“Neither is yelling at me.”
“Then I guess we’re at an impasse.”

Something in their relationship had died. Not unlike the many times Mango’s heart had been broken and her hope had been lost. But it was harder for Jimi, taking that leap of love in the first place was
the most difficult thing he had ever done.  And now, he had never experienced such intense levels of pain, he thought his heart would literally stop beating, and he would be swallowed up by the enormous cavity in his chest.  Mango wanted to know if he could love her again, and he didn’t know, he honestly didn’t know. He wanted to, but now the part of him that feared he would not be enough for her had taken over, and his sense of fear and overwhelm was too much for him to bear.
Tyler King Jan 2017
A guitar, a kiss, a river, a lighter, a flag, a country, an idea
A glorious fire, a beautiful catalyst
They told me quit playing politics
I can't hear them over the noise from the streets, from the gutters, from the shelters, from the welfare office, from the edge of ******* nowhere,
I said speak a little louder now,
I said open this **** up right now,
I said tear this ******* prison down,
I said get all these ******* cops outta here,
I said storm this ******* courthouse,
I said hold them all ******* hostage now,
I said get real now,
I said organize right now,
I said build that barricade now,
I said stop talking ******* now,
I said **** them up for real,
They descend on us angry and vicious and afraid
They strike but we strike back harder
They **** us but we get back up
They ask us to forgive but we're fresh outta redemption
They asked Jimi Hendrix to forgive centuries of racism because he could eat a guitar and they loved what he spit back up,
Jimi Hendrix told em to go to hell,
Jimi Hendrix died believing,
We'll all die believing if we're lucky
Guns out, masks up, screaming as the breath fades from the lungs
Come on, take my Earth
Take it if you dare
Take it from my cold dead hands
We've been through this, we'll go through it again
But it's getting late and we're running out of options
It's liberty or death and we all have a choice to make
It's liberty or death and Jimi Hendrix chose both
Jimi Hendrix rolled the dice and landed on eternity
Jimi Hendrix took the world on his shoulders and rode off into the wind with a guitar and a book of matches,
And I wonder,
How many fires he would've set, before he could call himself free, and believe it
Aztec Warrior  Jan 2016
POEM 116
Aztec Warrior Jan 2016

India Pale Ale nestled comfortably
in one hand,
Pilot G-2  .05 rested anxiously in the other.
The ale went down
like it was the end of the day-
smoothe, cold
and tasted like more.
The pen just looked at me,
daring me to let it
caress this page,
spread its inky passion
like the rainbow of colors
Jimi created with his guitar.
It reminds me of recent conversations
with Brian Greene
about strings, resonance
and vibration;
about the make up of the universe
and the meaning of symmetry.
Conversations about the harmonics
of Calabi-Yau shapes,
expecially as multi-dimensional
expressions of gravity,
time and space.
But I think
if you want to really understand
the elegance of the universe;
feel the fabric of the cosmos
and its loops of energy,
then you have to listen as
the stretching of Jimi's guitar strings
vibrate, bend and fold.
Jimi created rainbows
when he played.
And what are rainbows
but vibrating color in various shapes.
These colors, escaping his guitar
and melting into the vastness of space.
Some say Jimi was an alien.
He stayed awhile
but then slipped out again
into the 9th dimension.
But I think
he emerged from the resonance
in a Calabi-Yau hole of infinity
found in the notes of "9 to the Universe".
He then disappeared in the rhythym
of flaming color arising out from
"Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)".
Jimi would pick those strings
at Planck length speed
causing flames to leap
and go higher,
igniting the universe
with vibrations of blues
and riotous laughter.
Jimi knew how to fly
and amuse.
He knew how to laugh
and play jokes
on the universe!
He would make us smile,
keep time with our feet,
and 'kiss the sky'.
Finishing up the last of the Pale Ale,
putting down the Pilot pen,
I am ready to seek rainbows
and listen to the universe sing.

Aztec Warrior 1.28.16 (re-worked)
If you ever listened to Jimi Hendrix, you know what I mean
Jeff Gaines Aug 2018
Mark A. Williams
                            SEPTEMBER 14, 1962 – JULY 23, 2018


Wow Mark,

Was so, so saddened to hear this news. I haven't seen you in over ten years, but as kids, we had some amazing adventures, didn't we? Partying, camping and swimming at the Hudson lime pits. Mowing down on Pizza and pitchers of Pepsi (and as we grew up, BEER!) at Pizza Hut. (We knew the numbers to ALL the songs on that jukebox by heart!) Hanging out and looking at the stars through Budvido's telescope, listening to Doctor Demento. Laughing hysterically as we ran through Monty Python skits as everyone looked on in total puzzlement because THEY wouldn't discover them until YEARS later!

Building underground forts in the North Woods. You, Budvido, Zeke and I playing pinball at 7-11 for hours and hours. Watching Bands, chasing girls and playing Foosball or Pool at the Touch of Class Teen Club. You gave me my first Imported beer . . . a Lowenbrau. I will always owe my passion for those German beers to you and it was fitting that Budvido bestowed you with that moniker.

All through Jr. High, sharing a seat on the school bus. You, Matt, Tom, Buddy and I cruising around late night on our bikes for hours. Hanging around in the Jasmine Lakes sign with hijacked beer or getting free bags of Burgers from Burger Queen when they closed at night! Jousting with shopping carts on our bikes in the Winn-Dixie parking lot. Sitting up all night in Jimi's room after climbing in through the window or going on endless space cruises with him and Raymond in the Toyota.

(RIP Jimi Carlsen)

Sneaking into the nudest Colony and skinny dipping! Always cracking up at the school lunch table. Swimming in my pool and terrorizing my sister and her friends. (Allegedly) Trashing that crook Fast Eddie's produce stand after he refused to pay us for a full day of picking watermelons!

Good times, indeed . . . Some of my most precious memories.

I can only pray that you know that I wouldn't trade my youth or you in it for anything in the world and you will be sadly missed, Lowenbrau, my old friend.

I hope that where you are, your beers are ice cold and that you and Jimi aren't having to glue the Hookah  back together.

Jeff Gaines
July 28, 2018
Such a sad task, to say goodbye to a friend with last words that may never had been spoken up until then. As it happens, this friend and I often relished in our youthful exploits, but still ... I'd not seen him in ten years. Because ... life happens. He had fallen on hard times and was bouncing place to place and I too was moving and living all over. We had spoken on the phone here and there and that would have to suffice.

I  haven't posted in weeks and I haven't read in almost 2 months. THANK YOU to those who have the patience with me to still read me, even though I can't reciprocate at the moment. I will, when time permits, come back and catch up on all of you. It will take me days and days!
the dirty poet Oct 2018
night after night in all those arenas
we hippies understood
only three songs where it happened

was pop sculpture
1983 (a MERMAN) multi-track symphony
FOXY LADY and PURPLE HAZE *** and drugs
nifty covers

but it was only in those three fluid blues jams
launched by deep bass and lurching drums
standing on albert king's shoulders
that acid and sonics unlocked the rigid gates of reality
the landscape melting in a psychedelic instant
the trip coming on inexorably
then at warp speed
fillmores became colosseums
roofs shrugged off, slicing treetops
delivering us to a battlefield no one had known existed
a war without violence but with neural flashing conflict
and fantastic consequences

twirling his guitar like a magic lasso out out out
making contact with patrols buzzing through the galaxy
he grabbed the slurping wah and whammy,
wrestling them
into enormous axes, chained maces and
networked nuclear swords
jimi riding elephants and african curtains past the clouds
rushing through different dimensions, pinballing
across the stars
carrying us longhairs with him, jimi
the grooviest warrior
castles disintegrating as he stepped through them

the lyrics were peripheral
singing about longing in HEAR MY TRAIN
****** swagger in RED HOUSE
confronting the issues more directly
laughing about his colossal strength
his ridiculous psychic power blasting open
every wretched door
jimi so brave and bold and debonair
charging past speed limits, not with scales and chords
but with lightning bolts, blue notes and a carpet
of feedback
which he captured and twisted into climaxes
galloping across a cosmos of souls, way past calculation
spilling emotion, blues and riffs over the earth
in a scramble
to overcome the forces against us
we could even SEE the armies as jimi confronted them
all alone but with our ears as eyes upon him

and all the seas that jimi hendrix swam through
here on earth
the hydraulic groupies, carnivorous managers
drugs and rock star glamour
NOTHNG next to those cosmic dogfights

and when he was finished, when the battle was over
and the song ended in victory for everyone
and the tendrils returned to the soil
and we all had our final ******
and he tuned up for the next number
the entire firmament revolved once
and applauded itself
Diane  Jul 2013
Jimi and Mango ii
Diane Jul 2013
Mango was terrified of getting to know people. Her vivacious personality would never give this away, but talking to a stranger or an acquaintance? Hell, that’s easy. Nobody knows your shortcomings, your failures…your past. Basically you can be whomever you want to be for a while, that amazing, intriguing woman from afar, as long as you don’t let anyone touch you. Married men in particular liked to call her name, their wives had the whole reality thing going on, while she reminded them of a time when they still had choices.

He used to love Lizi’s strong emphasis on home and structure, but now it seemed so meaningless. If he couldn’t talk to her, if he couldn’t make love to her, if they didn’t laugh anymore, she may as well have been his mom. Lizi had said they felt like roommates when they got into fights about ***, which was fairly often. But she didn’t create the arousal that he was looking for. She was pretty and smart, **** smart truthfully, but she treated him like an inferior. He didn’t want to share his ideas or accomplishments because she nearly always shot them down and picked them apart. He wasn’t even going to try to tell her about his religious or philosophical observations, or expect her to understand why the sound or lyrics of a song made him cry.

Mango did not like to talk about her past.
“I don’t know,” she shrugged “maybe I was in a time warp. You probably shouldn’t put me in your mouth, you don’t know where I’ve been.”
“I’m going to ignore the fact that what you just said was ****.”
He stopped for a second to recapture his train of thought.
She put her feet on the dashboard and grinned.
“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, but I will figure it out somehow.”
“Good. That guarantees me that you’ll stick around for a while, or at least until the mystery is solved.”
“Oh, I have a feeling that as soon as I solve one mystery, you’ll give me another.”

“You aren’t afraid of the truth and you aren’t afraid of yourself.  And those are the very fears that have
gotten me where I am.”
“Which is?”
“Doing a job I hate. Living with a woman I don’t love. Still trying to please my parents.” He looked away from her for a moment, “Afraid to let you love me.”
“Why does my love scare you?”
Jimi looked up and found eye contact again, “Because I might find out that I’m not really dead, and
I might find out who I really am.”
Mango moved in very close, putting her hands on either side of his face. She smiled and the intensity made her eyes appear black, like portals into another realm.  
“And why would that be a bad thing?”

Was he just the cliché guy who needed the mystery or the forbidden?
No, he had to give himself more credit than that.
It had more to do with being with a living human being who allowed you to feel alive too.
sorry for the can get tedious
If six were nine
And Jimi Hendrix a nun
Would nine be none
Null and nil ?
And if sixth were ninth
And Jimi Hendrix a ninja
Falling like a sun into the sea mountains
on Ninety-null street
The world famous Quatre-vingt-dix-nullième rue
Would you mind ? Would you mind ?
Would you mind if September stopped to exist
And all the dead of September came back from Null None or Nil
And Jimi Hendrix were seventy-six.
Odysseus needs a job he calls pima community college art department chairperson sends her his resume she does not respond after a week he catches her on phone she says he lacks proper credentials laughs to himself his whole life never worked lucrative or reputable position gets job working at thrift store wacky group of coworkers customers store frequently smells like public latrine job expires after 7 weeks he gets better paying job working at record exchange Odysseus always loved music everyday he learns new artist or band his coworkers are at least half his age they pester him about being slow on keyboard he never learned to type neither he nor his generation could have foreseen future would revolve around keyboard he plods on register keys people smile politely kids he works with fly fast making many keyboard mistakes November 29 2001 george harrison dies of cancer he is 58 years old Odysseus recognizes he is from past world different era of contrasting standards ‘80’s behavior is totally unbefitting let alone ‘60’s beliefs it is 2002 and one badly chosen word is sure to send someone flying off the handle he watches his language carefully co-workers mostly born in 1980’s grew up in 1990’s they live indifferent to hopelessness he struggles to bear none of them believe in higher power music is their religion he wonders what their visions concerns for humanity are? they seem addicted to consumption as if it is end in itself he questions what is hidden at root of their absorption? loneliness? despair? apathy? absence of vision? where is their rage against social conversion current administration? he warns them about homeland security act privacy infringement increased government secrecy power they shrug their shoulders why aren’t they looking for answers? why don’t they dissent? do they care where world is going? he realizes they will have to learn for themselves few coworkers read literature or know painters philosophy their passions are video games marijuana “star wars” most of them are extremely bright more informed than he often Odysseus needs to ask questions they know answers to right off the bat he is like winsome uncle who puts up with their unremitting teasing “hey you old hippie punk rocker get you fiber in today? stools looking a little loose! peace out old man” in peculiar way he finds enough belonging he so desperately needs they tell him stories about their friends *** addictions eating disorders futile deaths he is bowled over by how young they are to know such stuff job includes health insurance which is something he has not had since Dad was alive having some cash flowing in he buys laptop computer with high-speed connection cell phone trades in toyota for truck opens crate of writings he abandoned in ‘80’s begins to rewrite story sits blurry eyed in front of computer screen his motivation has always been to tell truth as he knows it he wonders what ramifications his labor will bring positive or negative results? he guesses his story will sound like children’s fable in stark brutality of distant future october 2002 3 week ****** spree terrorizes maryland virginia  district of columbia 10 people killed 3 critically wounded police believe white van responsible october 24 man and 17-year-old boy arrested in blue chevy caprice juvenile is shooter assailants linked to string of random murders including unsolved shooting of man at golf course in tucson Odysseus mentions incident at work speaks of prevailing terror madness in america co-workers kid tell him he is crazy “did you see a white van parked outside the store Odys?” they seem desensitized to increasing national atmosphere of anger panic or perhaps they are overwhelmed by weight trauma of modern life lie after lie prevailing  havoc slaughter make for dull numbness in world they know suicide is compelling option december 22nd 2002 joe strummer dies from heart failure at age 50 Odysseus’s eyes wet he adored the clash everything they stood for loved joe strummer and mescaleros he plays “global a go-go” over and over listens sings along with first track “johnny appleseed” march 2003 president bush launches attack against iraq united states seems drunk with “shock and awe” zealous blind patriotism many people politicians countries around globe question unproven line of reasoning saddam hussein possesses “weapons of mass destruction” Odysseus gripes “not another **** vietnam” record company allows employees to check out take home used product Odysseus stopped watching movies in 1980’s he has lots of catching up to do particularly likes “natural born killers” “american history x” “american ******” “fight club” “way of the gun” “******” “king of new york” “basquiat” “frida” “*******” “before night falls” “quills” “requiem for a dream” “vanilla sky” “boys don’t cry” “being john malkovich” “adaptation” “kids” “lost in translation” “25th hour” “28 days later” “monster” “city of god” “gangs of new york” “**** bill” list goes on perfect circle becomes his favorite band followed by tool lacuna coil my morning jacket brian jonestown massacre flaming lips dredg drive-by truckers dropkick murphys flogging mollies nofx stereophonics eels weakerthans centro-matic califone godspeed you black emperor magnetic fields fiery furnaces dresden dolls smog granddaddy calexico howie gelb sufjan stevens warren haynes dax riggs john vanderslice alejandro escovedo sean paul elephant man bjork p. j. harvey ani difranco aimee mann cat power sophie b. hawkins kathleen edwards mia doi todd kimya dawson regina spektor carina round neko case fiona apple nina nastasia beth gibbons mirah rasputina dr. dre talib kweli immortal technique murs slug atmosphere trick daddy eazy-e tricky list goes on october 21 2003 elliott smith commits suicide stabbing 2 wounds into his chest Odysseus thinks about music when jimi hendrix stood up at woodstock deconstructing national anthem on guitar it took courage when punk emerged with ugly screechy sounds attempting to divorce itself from melodious harmonies of 1970s complacent crosby stills nash  the dead kennedys and *** pistol did not pander to conventional commercial success what they performed were desperate gutsy songs trying to reclaim music rock’n’roll is no longer about inventing instead it imitates its glorious past hip-hop and rap come nearest to risking rebellion but are caught in gangsterism infantile self-adulation no longer does music offer vision of what is or could be instead it conjures looping escapism from hopelessness of modern life he continues working at record shop for several years store contains every genre of music cinema he grows weary of retail sales weary of higher-ups constantly changing rules dictating what to do head manager is manipulative drama queen thrives on crisis once in private admits stealing from company Odysseus nods not knowing what to say head manager works Odysseus hard keeps him down atmosphere of conspiracy betrayal hang at start of each day assistant manager routinely taunts berates bullies teases regularly calls Odysseus “dumb-****” or “****-up” other times laughs after goading Odysseus to flinch eventually bully backs off and they become friends retail pushes Odysseus to brink of misanthropy corporation requires all employees to exercise overt courteousness while serving a public of disrespectful gang bangers demanding “show me black market brotha lynch mac dre why ya godda keep dat **** behind da counter? dat’s ****** up hey old man i ain’t got all day” it always amazes him when shoplifter is caught with product stuffed down his pants thief blatantly states “i didn’t do it i don’t know how that got there” thanksgiving through christmas to new years is most swarming stressful he feels like automaton greeting customer scanning product looking at screen to see if price agrees with product typing money amount counting money into drawer counting money out handing change to customer handing customer product receipt next customer cockroach capitalism packs of masses line up in endless stream of needs stupid remarks job also involves trade appraising condition value resale probability of cds dvds video games tapes vhs vinyl news of  iraq war gets dismal mounting civilian casualties suicide bombers hostages beheadings beginning of 2004 reports of torture ****** psychological abuse **** ****** ****** of prisoners at abu ghraib prison guantanamo bay white house cover-ups denials growing insurgency increasing u.s. body count other costs he thinks about men and women who are so much braver than him then comes re-election and lavish republican parties parades cheney rumsfeld tom delay and whole regime smirk portentously on tv none of it makes sense anymore “we the people of the united states” what does it mean? the dreams and aspirations of his generation have long since faded away he is citizen of forgotten past current world is barbaric place he barely recognizes there are real pirates with machetes rocket launchers on the seas big drug corporations hiding harmful findings kidnapped children abandoned children crooked politicians corruption at every level of society horrifying stories daily ******* priests slave markets extreme heinous cruelties abruptly everyone is acknowledging society is worsening life is not the same he does not understand people and certainly does not understand america or the world he remembers when all could be so good modern existence has turned everything into madness what happened to lessons of history? it is as if Odysseus fell asleep and when he woke everything is changed he is mistaken about what he thinks he knows feels pity for people america pity disgust sorrow he misses his dog
Remember, dancing with the devil
In life will take it's toll
For, dancing with the devil
In the end will take your soul
Many who have done it
Reached the top only to die
Many souls we thought in heaven
Could never get that high

The Forever 27 club
playing in the band
Janis, Jim and Jimi
In hell, oh....ain't it grand
We thought them all as angels
But, the truth it rings a bell
They were dancing with the devil
And they ended up in hell

Cobain and Amy Winehouse
Oh yeah, they're down there too
Brian Jones and others
Playing hard rock and the blues
Sell your soul to Satan
Where you do not choose
If you spend time with the devil
It's nothing but bad news

Remember, dancing with the devil
In life will take it's toll
For, dancing with the devil
In the end will take your soul
Many who have done it
Reached the top only to die
Many souls we thought in heaven
Could never get that high

There's others there who did the dance
Hit the crossroads, sold their soul
Drugs and drink and suicide
That's how this devil rolls
Some may get redemption
For the things they do in life
they sold out with their talent
They were dancing on a knife

The band is hot, and so's the place
They play here every night
We wish they were in heaven
But, deep down you know I'm right
Elvis, yes, the king is here
He did drugs and did the dance
Now, he's singing for the devil
He never had a chance

Remember, dancing with the devil
In life will take it's toll
For, dancing with the devil
In the end will take your soul
Many who have done it
Reached the top only to die
Many souls we thought in heaven
Could never get that high

So many tortured people
So many who did wrong
They traded with the devil
For the price of just a song
Rock and Roll in heaven
Has a great band, just the same
But, with Janis, Jim and Jimi here
They just don't have the game.
rock and roll

— The End —