Sept. 10, 1987

Inside old ladies on bicycles
I see ghosts of young girls,
pigtails flying from beneath their greying hair
eyes sparkling behind thick glasses.

I search in me, for ghosts of hopscotch
and double-dutch, two-balls and tag.
I can feel them shimmer,
holograms of my youth.

I search, too, for the ghost
of the old lady I will become.
I sense her, frail but determined,
fading, but not dead before she dies.

If little girls live inside old ladies,
and age hides just beneath young faces,
there is no such thing as time.
Rickrack, got cataracts
My vision is so blurry.
Surgery done, not much fun
I wish healing would hurry.
Zip zop, roota zoot.
Hate backless hospital suits!
Clap clap, standing ovation.
For a successful operation.

Wave pompoms, ziss boom bah
For magic modern medicine
In just one day, as they say.
The right eye is all fixed again.
Go back in a few weeks
And have the left one done.
Huzzah hurrah and yippee kai yay
And the healing has begun.

Colors I never noticed before
Are now bright and shiny.
If I had known that before I
Woulda been petulant and whiny.
But, nothing noticed, nothing lost
I am looking forward to the day
When I can see completely better.
Harroo and blinking hurray!
What’s new about Hipsters? It’s not that they're the first co-opted counter-culture, far from it. The Beats were co-opted. The Sentimentalists, over 200 years ago, were co-opted before capitalism was so industrious. It’s not even new that calling a spade a spade is offensive. “Hippies,” “Beatniks,” “Emos;” all insulting labels for youth that thought they were much more.

There it is, or some of it, perhaps. Does the current so-called counter-culture feel like they’re part of something much more? Even without labels, I don’t think they think of themselves as a counter-culture at all. The worst part about it is the Hipsters and  non-Hipsters are really much the same. Falling for a similar niche, but feeling like they ain’t.

We all like flannel, thick glasses, and good beers. We’re all killing Applebee’s. We’re the waitstaff there who laughs at ourselves, cause we’re just so low-down. Not the last, but toward the bottom rung of a ladder that once meant progress beyond our parents’ lives. We stand for nothing and everything, because a secure tomorrow seems unlikely and unwanted. Beget suburban kids like our parents did? Could I buy them as much as I had? A student loan on top of a mortgage, I think I’m better off paying exorbitant rent. Plus, it just feels more temporary, like everything else.

Late twenties, long passed the age my parents conceived, I’m getting old. Lack of full adult independence, still feel floated in embryonic fluid, trying not to give juvenile hopes up.  Qualified for that secure job, but is it open? Maybe I’ll have to move down South. Just like everyone else.

At least there’s always music. Nearly a century of recorded songs. Indie, Scene, and Emo; the last real counter-cultures associated with rock genres, and most practitioners scoffed at these labels. Why didn’t Punks or Metal Heads care?

More pressing, what is the newest rock genre? Emo faded nearly 10 years ago. Some formation of Americana seems sorta fitting now. Not far from that “Indie” umbrella,  it’s what Hipsters seem to like most, at least in the TV commercials. These more choral, sometimes bluesy bands. Some are good, but it’s nothing new.

Now, the algorithms anticipate evolution years in advance. All tastes like Styrofoam, so we spit it out fast. We keep skipping tracks to futility escape the same persistent hum. All the price for our growing clairvoyance. Telescopically, we are flying fast into a wall that ends originality. Too many citations needed. We enter them into software to manage. Our fear of plagiarism makes one uninfluenced instead of inspired. We just make homages. Turn anything creative into a list of allusions.

We forgot to forget
Suspend St. Anselm
patron of using rationality
to explain away one’s faith
in magic and mystery
God exists because
all we can imagine must exist
Your unicorns are but
a mind’s fusion of
horse and narwhal
and your culture is but
a culmination of has-been trends
So it’s all been done
Why try to change a thing?
Why try to be new?

This is the end. Not reflecting and absorbing past cultures with an eye to the future. But judging and consuming past cultures with with a carnal now. There are some niceties to be gained in solely present preoccupations. Yet, no Buddha abounds in these selfish meditations. We are no longer the bodhisattvas, suspending enlightenment to save all beings. “We’re woke, because we know we’re fucked” Then we type a symbol for “laugh out loud,” while our mouths stayed closed. We take a morning slug and drive off to work. The complexity of our controllers v. the simple fleeting pleasures. What can I do? Why should I bat an eye at the way the world works?
In lines of age
we find a trace
of history,

weathered responses
that come to haunt us
as we are weighed down
by all the gravity
that we have found
in this life,

creases of flesh
molded to express
all of time’s

We earn each line
with perseverance
resisting death’s

Until, the end
when death finally
takes its revenge
and wins.

Bets placed
eternity takes
all the wrinkles
on our face,
and turns them to rot
and decay.
Lost a piece of my mind,
To gain peace of mind.
I feel as if I've been left behind.
It's someone else's time.
Merlina M Mar 2
so magical and so scary
when time flies
and it doesn't think about you
it let's you decide
your own destiny
If you have money,
You're expected to be self-reliant.....
To stand on your own two feet,
But what if you're feet hurt?
Young people fear
That you might become
A Burden
They don't want to feel obliged
To take care of you
In this society.
Whatever gifts.....
Whatever wisdom you might have
Are negated.
Capitalism is Survival of the Fittest.
The Old and the Weak
Are Useless
Brent Kincaid Feb 21
I am sharing this opus
It's more of an onus
Of just how things went
But were not really bogus.
I earned my life lumps
Racing over speed bumps
Trying to outrun cards dealt
That were not quite trumps.

Still I made it this far
And while I’m not a star
I suited and showed up.
Things are what they are
And I can debate them
But I can’t dispute them.
It would be a big lie
If I tried to refute them.

So my doddering totter
Gets odder and odder
Telling me loudly
I am Grim Reaper fodder.
Some bridges burned,
Another corner turned
Dealing with the effects
Of the lessons learned.

Now an irascible rascal
Far too frequently wrathful
Warring with too-small print
I am the long-retired radical
No longer marching around
Supporting causes I found.
No longer a crusader, I am
A kind of sad circus clown.

I never expected to have it made
Like a grandee in the shade
Sipping my iced mint julep
Rich from making the grade
But  with youthful short sight
I never saw it in this light
That I would fall so short
Of playing things just right.

Still, I have to cut some slack
When I sit here looking back
At where and what I was.
The view is not so black.
While superstars never came,
My lottery dreams were lame,
I feel I did all that could
To honestly play the game.
The end comes near for all of us sooner or later.
I refuse
         to grow old
              and die like
              most men who
                         only count
                       the downward
                                   steps from
                                          cradle to
Couldn't sleep last night without writing this down. Happy to be writing again.
Mx Malady Feb 17
My dream love
You know you are mine
As I'm yours to walk alongside
Til the dream is due to die
Regardless of what pains
Illustrate the future coming
We'll draw into the night
Two children toward emptiness
At the line to heaven or hell
At the end in private whispers
You'll ask if I did the dishes
Turns out there were some
Things I forgot
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