Archive for October, 2010

Lost

Where did I go?
I thought I was right here
But now I’ve disappeared
Again.

How long until
I find myself
How long before
I can stand
On my own?

Don’t want to be
The broken girl
The one who’s lost
Her way.

Wish I was
Here to stay.

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Samhain, Remembering

With the upcoming holiday, I’ve been thinking a lot about death, and about my grandfather.  He was probably the most important man in my life–ever.  He was a man who was embarrassed of his middle name, so much so that some people didn’t even know it until after his death.  He had an odd sense of humor.  He was nicknamed after a hobo that used to come begging in his neighborhood when he was young, because his brothers teased him for being scared of the man.  He married a woman with 4 children, and acted as a father to them.  He was quiet, and spoke only to make a point or bring a smile.  He was once a marine, but that was the smallest part of his life.  He only joined because he thought he’d be drafted eventually anyway, and he didn’t have to fight.  He was on the “cleanup” crew, and saw the worst part of the aftermath of the Korean war.  He never owned a gun again.

He was like a father to me and my brother.  Since my mom was single, we often stayed with my grandparents while she worked or went to school.  He was there for me at every stage of my life, guiding me.  He stood up for me when I needed it.  And he loved me, completely, and unconditionally.  There aren’t many people I could say have loved me like that.

He was strong, and steady.  Even when he was dying, he didn’t want us to worry.  He pretended it wasn’t so bad, until night time when he thought we couldn’t hear, but I could.  I wanted to help him, but I didn’t know how.  So instead, I ran away.  When he was finally hospitalized, I came to see him every day.  But when he was struggling at home, I did my best to stay gone.  I knew I was losing the most important person in my life.

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t done much to honor him since then.  When he died, I kept running, trying everything short of drugs to forget.  I let my life go to hell, destroying the little girl he raised–and the young woman he’d wanted me to be.

May was 4 years since he passed.  It’s time I got myself back together.  It’s time I honored the man who really knew me, knew who I could be.  And if he were here now, I know he would forgive me, and help me get back on track.  Real men like him are so rare today.  I love you, Papaw.

my grandfather

My grandfather, holding me right after I was born.

untitled

Change things when and where you can,
But remember, you’re just one man.
You can’t go it alone forever,
There could be a change of weather,
And the only will become the none.

Identity

http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1635666/20100408/lady_gaga.jhtml

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Fall in line, sweet child,
After all, you know
You’re just another brick in the wall

You have a right to be you
We all know that’s true
You just can’t be you
Here at school.

I hope you understand.
The other kids think
You’re less of a man
So you can’t say that here.

We won’t interfere
Because it’s them against you,
Majority rule,
You’re the trouble maker
For speaking your mind
Instead of fading back.

Don’t you know
You’re not allowed to have an opinion?
We didn’t teach you to think that way–
We didn’t teach you to think at all.

We don’t need you
To think for yourself.
Fall in line with the thoughtless masses,
Spoon-fed the answers
That we wanted you to believe.

The BP Fiasco

Being a resident of Alabama, I have been following the BP oil spill in the gulf since the beginning.   It is an awful tragedy which is still unfolding.  But, as predicted, people have been reacting instead of acting.  Instead of thinking things through, and doing something useful and helpful, they are acting on their emotions.  It’s not their fault really, it’s the culture we have been raised in.  Governments have always and will always try to control their people in whatever way works for them, and they will say anything to justify it.  Is that wrong?  After all, the government’s job is to keep people in line.  Is it possible to control such a large and vastly different population without even a smidge of injustice or wrong-doing?

In the US, they have chosen to control us with fear.  This has been happening since at least 2001, with the 9/11 attacks.  Our government has continued this by adding WMD’s in Iraq to our list of fears, and then creating a terror alert system, and continuing a war “on terror”.  You can win a war with a country.  You might be able to win a war with a group.  But terror is an idea, one that can breed in many circles, and is bound to resurface.  The beauty of an idea is that, once shared with others, it can never truly die.  It will always be there for people to learn from or build on.  And so, by creating an unwinnable war, they have successfully created an environment of constant fear.  This is how we have been raised for the past 9 years.

By living in a constant state of fear, we are taught to react on instinct and emotion, without evaluating the facts.  The BP spill is no exception.  When we heard about it, we were outraged, and not without merit.  These people were killing our environment, and our livelihood.  And they were in no hurry to do anything about it.  So, if they aren’t going to do anything about it, what are we going to do?  Well, many people did think of what they could do to stop it–trying alternative methods for stopping it, donating hair and other things.  But the most popular idea was to boycott BP.  Now, that is the natural standby when a company won’t do what you want them to do, so it was the natural reaction when people are reacting immediately, on instinct and emotion.  It’s their fault and they better fix it, and quick.  But after taking the time to think, you may see the problems with this.

  1. Is it possible to stop the oil flow quickly?
  2. What needs to be done to stop the oil spill, quickly or not?
  3. How much does it cost to stop the spill?
  4. Where will the money come from?
  5. If BP is paying, where are they getting the money from?

Ay, there’s the rub.  We can reasonably assume that if BP is responsible for the spill, that they are also responsible for stopping it, cleaning it up, and more importantly, paying for it.  Those rotten bastards are going to pay, and we’re going to make sure they pay good, just like we did to Germany after the World War.  What’s that you say?  There were actually two World Wars?  And the second was started because Germany was too broke to pay up?  And they were broke because we got mad and kept them from doing pretty much anything that could reasonably help them make money to pay off their war debts?  And so, by trying to stop them from making a big mess of the world again, we actually contributed to a sense of fear and injustice in Germany which led their people to be desperate for a solution.  Now, I doubt that BP will go waging war to get funds to pay back all the reparations we expect from them.  They’ll probably just declare bankruptcy.  Oh, and just so y’all know, those CEOs from BP won’t be hurting for money if BP has to file bankruptcy.  They don’t own the company, and even if they did, BP is a large enough company that they are probably set up so that they can’t have their personal assets seized if the company has to file bankruptcy.  If they have to file bankruptcy, it will hurt alot of people, but it won’t change a thing in regards to the oil spill, and it won’t prevent future spills.

“But BP is the bad guy!”  A fallacy.  There is no good guy or bad guy.  There are only the guys in control, and the sheep that follow them.  We are taught to believe in good and evil, right and wrong, but most people never learn that these are social constructs, created by some of the people to control the other people.  BP is just the guy who screwed up.  How can BP make this right?  They have finally stopped the oil flow.  They have started clean up, but efforts are ongoing, and I’ve heard they’ve stopped cleanup in some areas that still need it.  I don’t know why that is, but maybe I’ll do some digging later to find out.  I can say that it’s possible that they just don’t care and have moved on.  But it’s also possible that they don’t have either the funds or the manpower to clean all the areas that need to be cleaned, and so they are prioritizing the worst areas, while leaving the other areas for a later time or for volunteers.  And then there’s this whole “claims czar” business.  Why did they choose the term “czar” instead of “manager” or something?  But that’s beside the point.  The point is, people have been hurt by the spill, and they expect to be paid for it.  They expect BP to pay for it.  BP has agreed to pay for it, or at least part of it.  Where is BP getting the money from?  Their sales and profits.  If BP’s sales decrease, then they can’t afford to pay as much.  Or, they have to cut employees.  Maybe both.  Either way, somebody’s getting screwed.

So, the CEOs still get their share of the money, while others further down the line lose their jobs.  Station owners are losing money because people don’t want to buy BP’s gas.  Never mind the fact that stations are usually independently owned, and that the owners have no control over BP’s decisions.  So now the station owners are thinking of switching to other fuel companies, to keep themselves in business.
[ http://blog.al.com/wire/2010/10/bp_stations_consider_other_bra.html ]

We’re forgetting something…. BP is not the only company with oil rigs in the gulf.  Besides, BP will probably sell their rigs either before or during bankruptcy.  So even if the BP rigs are actually different than other rigs (which I doubt), some other company is bound to acquire the BP rigs anyway.  Who said they could put all those rigs out there anyway?  We did.  We voted to have these, or we voted for a politician who voted for these.  Or we didn’t vote at all, allowing someone else’s opinions to be forced on us.  Only a few spoke out–not enough to keep it from happening.  We let it happen, or maybe we welcomed it with open arms.  We just can’t envision a world that doesn’t run on oil.  But that’s okay… we don’t have to figure out how a world without oil works, we just have to ask for one.  It’s up to our politicians to decide who will create our new world.  We are the tyrant whose demands must be met.  “But I thought the politicians were in control??”  No, they aren’t.  The politicians want one thing–your vote.  You can give it to them mindlessly, or you can make them work for it.  BP isn’t the only company hurting our environment.  They aren’t the first to have a major disaster, and they won’t be the last.  It’s time for a change–now.

Train Wreck Dream

Last night I dreamed that a train wrecked downtown, when I was on my way down there.  I don’t remember the exact numbers, but it was either on 11th or 13th street, and either 6th or 8th avenue.  I remember I was driving when I heard the sirens, but I couldn’t see where they were coming from, so I pulled into a gas station.  Turns out the Fire Department was right next the to gas station, both on the right side of the road, with the FD being first.  So I just pulled in really quick and waited for them to leave.  Then we all stood outside, talking and wondering what had happened, before someone finally heard that there was some sort of accident involving a train, and the location.  I remember asking if that was north or south, but no one knew.  Some people were worried because they had friends or relatives in the area so we started walking.  I was thinking about the people I was with.  I don’t remember how/when, but I had been watching them before, and judging them by how they dressed or acted.  One girl I thought was probably a snob because she dressed kind of high maintenance and was constantly texting.  She’s the one who stood out in my mind, but there were others I had considered to be more cold.  But as we were walking, and people were talking or otherwise revealing themselves, I noticed the softer side of these people, something I would not have noticed otherwise.  And still, it was inconsequential.  After the accident, we would all go our separate ways, and whether I knew them or not would not matter.  We finally saw a piece of the train wreck, but it was the main part of the accident.  Apparently, there had been some sort of explosion or malfunction either with the train or near the train.  The part we saw was after the fact.  Either the explosion had reverbed up to that part, or a car had hit it.  That’s when I woke up.

I had a dream earlier last night, and I’m not sure if it was part of the same dream, or a different one.  I was in my grandmother’s house, learning some sort of class.  The teacher was standing beside the glass door talking to us.  The door was completely clear, like it used to be.  Then she said something about maybe one of her old students was upset with her, because she had noticed someone lurking in the shadows outside the door.  I remember staring at the door until I made out the figure of a person who appeared to be squatting, and he had mohawk.  I thought it was my ex-husband, and maybe he had been spying on me, which was soon confirmed.  I wouldn’t let him in the house, and he got angry, but didn’t do anything.  Another of my ex’s, one who I am friends with, was also outside.  He acted nice and asked for something (I don’t remember what) so I let him in.  This made my ex-husband mad, but I still didn’t let him in.  He stayed outside, in the dark, plotting.

At some other point, either in this same dream or maybe another, I was walking to what was supposed to be my house, but it was in the country, way out in a field.  And before I got to the house, I heard people talking about fire.  The FD was already there, and trying to put it out, but some people were suggesting shovels to put dirt on the fire, so me and another person both grabbed shovels and headed that way.  The fire was in a little piece of the field behind and to the left of my house.  I had been coming to my house from the left of it, and when I saw it, I was a bit in front of it, and I only had to turn left to go to the fire.  My house was on top of a hill, and though I could see it, I was probably still about 5 minutes walking distance away from it.  I walked to the left, and as I started to go down hill, I could begin to see where the fire had been.  They had already dug some dirt to throw on it, in addition to spraying it, and the fire was already out.

Moving On

Hurt
But not broken

Down
But I’ve chosen
To live

Don’t need your love
To hold me up

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Sorry for all the fragments I’ve been posting lately.  It just seems like the best parts of the poems are the first bits that come to me spontaneously.  I always try to flesh out the fragments when the muse runs out, but lately the “fleshy” parts sound awful, so I’ve chosen to spare you from them.