Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Idiots

It's the moment of truth, the spotlight is on
It's just you and the idiot on stage
And the idiot harasses you and calls it a good time
While you're out for a good time and being harassed.

It's the sound of the hammer as it drops on your head
It's just you and the idiot before you
And the idiot keeps asking you all the wrong questions
And judging you for giving all the right answers.

It was a new beginning, but it's now beginning to end
It's just you and the idiot across the table
And the idiot once represented a world of promise
But now the idiot promises to overturn your world.

It's a moment for decision, a time to make a stand
It's just you and the idiot in charge
And the idiot makes you question what constitutes good fortune
As you utter the words, "I quit!"

It's the time to check all egos; still, they remain oversized
It's just you and the idiot on your screen
And the idiot hurls invective and you return the favor
Until you sink as low as the idiot's level.

It's a ring on your phone, a knock on your door
It's just you and the idiot called your kin
And the idiot reminds you that blood is thicker than water
But leaves you thirsting for a glass of something stronger.

It's another useless hassle, another waste of time
It's just you and the idiot on the street
And as you attempt in vain to match wits with the witless
You remember you have options -- and you walk away.

For you're better than the idiots; you deserve better as well
And you cannot let the idiots turn your paradise into hell.

The idiots are everywhere, they cannot be avoided
But their foolish words and actions can most certainly be voided.

The idiots will get you down anytime they can
But you don't let them get you down because you have a plan.

The ones who understand you, and who take the time to try
The ones who, if you had the chance, you never would pass by...

They're the ones who matter, and with all that they are giving
They're the only ones who help you make your life worth living.

The idiots are not your friends, nor will they ever be
And now that you know better, you can finally break free.

So here's to all the ones who bring you more than a mere pittance
And to the idiots, what can you say but...good riddance!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Model Minority

Am I The Model Minority?
Do I need to check my privilege?
Or am I not so much privileged as...lucky?

Am I The Model Minority?
And if so, a model of what?
Am I a role model by design?
Or is this just the way I am?

Am I The Model Minority?
Or am I simply getting by...getting through...getting off?

Am I The Model Minority?
Embraced by all colors, but especially white?
Am I even trying?
Can I even help it?

And if I am The Model Minority
So much better off than my peers
Why am I still struggling -- more so than some of them?

Why am I still afraid for my freedom?
For my reputation?
For my life?

Why am I still a stare object?
My appearance a conversation piece?
My name a curiosity?

Why am I too colored to be white
And too white to be colored?

Because I am The Model Minority.

Too much "model" to be "minority" -- too much "minority" to be "model."

Am I really The Model Minority???
Or am I the imperfect entirety?
No less, no more, and fundamentally...no different.

I am NOT The Model Minority.

Who is?

The Nothing Man

The nothing man looks into the mirror and sees no one there.
Looks at all his friends and finds that they don't care.
Your heart is love, his mind is hate.
Don't try to save him, it's too late.
Too long he's had this cross to bear.
The nothing man hopes and prays for all the love he needs and wants.
The joy, the fun, the pleasure everyone else flaunts.
Don't worry, just enjoy your ride
Don't let his pain hurt you inside.
He's seething, acting nonchalant.
The nothing man opens up his heart and gets it closed again.
Opens up his mind but narrows it back when
He sees and hears what cruelty
Replaced the love that used to be.
He's had it better, he pretends.
The nothing man looks into your eyes and sees a stare so cold
Looks into your face and does not find a soul.
You have nothing to offer him
His light's gone out, and you've gone dim.
He'll keep his weakness and not be bold.
The nothing man knows of his intelligence but feels a fool.
Doesn't give a damn about the golden rule.
The world has done too much to harm
His sense of fairness, don't be alarmed
Just watch him spiral down the pool.
I am the nothing man.
You laugh at me because you can.
But you will never understand
The nothing man.

The Interloper

You are the new face in my life
The new name on my lips
The new voice in my ear.
But who are you?
Nobody really knows.
I want to bring you into my world -- but you don't belong in my world.
So why do I belong in yours?
And how?
The line between us is easily crossed...but sharply drawn.
And no matter how you get to me
No matter how you inspire me
No matter how you move me
You'll always be the outsider.
The intruder.
The interloper.
Getting to me...but not my people.
Inspiring me...to leave behind the ones who were already here.
Moving me...perhaps in the wrong direction. 
Maybe you mean no harm. 
But you're destructive.
You're destroying the unity in my universe.
You're upsetting the balance in my life.
No -- I cannot let you. I WILL NOT LET YOU! 
For I have room in my life for someone to care for like I care for no other
But I have no room in my life for an outsider

An intruder

An interloper.

Hate For You To See Me

I'd hate for you to see me -- the failure I've become.
Sitting at this desk, cheap whiskey in one hand, pen in the other, glare of the computer screen full of images which cannot rescue me.
The success you made me is a success long-gone.
The faith you had in me is nowhere to be seen.
The trust you put in me left when you did.
But I don't begrudge you for leaving -- you had to go where your path took you.
And, I thought I had to do the same -- but where is my path taking me?
What is my path without you?
So now you're back.
And you say you miss me.
But you don't.
You miss the success you made me.
And that's not the "me" I am tonight.
Tonight I am low.
Oh, you've seen me when I was low -- but never this low.
And you could always pick me up -- unlike now.
No, there are no doors left for you to open for me.
For your path has led you to new things in new places.
And that's all I want -- a new start.
I don't ask for my former glory.
I don't ask for the good old days.
I just ask for a better today, and an even better tomorrow.
And for once, you can't help me with either.
So I'd hate for you to see me -- the failure I've become.
And I'd hate for me to see you -- for you'd help me if you could...
but we both know you can't.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Way Things Ought To Be

They say the good lord giveth and the good lord taketh.
Well, if he is so good, why does he take back what he gives?

They say into each life, a little rain must fall.
But what about a downpour everyday you live?

This wouldn't seem like hell if it didn't look like heaven to everyone who knows both you and me.
But everyone is no one who can fill the gap between the way things are and the way things ought to be.

They say you need the bad times to appreciate the good.
Well, the time to appreciate is long overdue.

They say nothing worth doing in this life is ever easy
But should everything worth doing be done by me and you?

It wouldn't be so hard if only we could comprehend what makes us speak and act so inconsistently.
But that's why we can't throw the wrecking ball at the wall between the way things are and the way things ought to be.

They say that love requires patience, time, and perseverance
But who has time and patience persevering through this sadness?

And love requires understanding, hard work, and trust.
I trust and understand we'll never work hard past this madness!

I know what true love feels like, and I know true love's great sorrow, but I also know the feel of true love's glee.
And in the intervening space lies the difference between the way things are and the way things ought to be.

[Note: In the first verse, the words "lord" and "he" are not capitalized because in researching whether they should be, I found no definite answers, so I decided to publish those words in their purest forms and let the reader judge whether or not they should be capitalized.]

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Atheist In A Foxhole

We were born to be afraid of every friendly face we meet
To think that every shaken hand is followed by two kicking feet
That every smile, every nod, a vicious glare will soon delete

There's a war out on our streets

And like an atheist in a foxhole, I haven't got a prayer
So if you ever get to heaven, don't expect to see me there

The recipe, we've known for years, the ingredients on our shelves
In heaping lies we must indulge, into the truth we must not delve
Then battle on, midnight to noon; no sleep, no lunch when clock strikes twelve

There's a war within ourselves

And like an atheist in a foxhole, I haven't got a prayer
So if there's such a place as heaven, won't you please tell me where?

Load your gun, then point and shoot; spare no child, woman, or man
Or load your tongue with words to kill, claim what victories you can
Count your conquests, ask yourself how you used up your lifespan

There's a war within our clan

And like an atheist in a foxhole, I haven't got a prayer
So if there really is a heaven, as of now, I don't care!

We are running to no place; our eyes open, still we're blind
We are searching for nothing -- that's exactly what we'll find!
Push the "other" hard enough, the "other" will respond in kind!

There's a war for our hearts and minds

And like atheists in foxholes, WE haven't got a prayer
But I'm not afraid of hell because I know I'm already there.

The Fix

Is it safe to talk to you? To reach out for you? To be near you at all?
Or have you been at it again?

You know what I mean.
You pretend not to -- but we both know you do.

You're right; you don't get drunk.
You're right again; you don't do drugs.

But how many times this week have you been...to the coffee shop?

No, don't tell me you don't have a problem!
Because you're one person before your cappuccino fix...and a whole other person afterwards.

The brilliant mind I've always loved is reduced to a sludge of idiocy.
The kind, considerate person I admire becomes a monster.
And you go from the greatest use of my time...to the biggest waste of time.

How many coffees have you had today?
How much caffeine before you finally said, "Enough"?
Too much, I'm sure.

For like the alcoholic who drinks himself stupid and insists he's fine
Or the druggie who gets so high she can't come down without crashing
You are an addict.

Yet you refuse to admit you have a problem.

So go ahead...say you shouldn't have another mocha latte...then have another anyway.

Deep down -- not too deep -- inside, you know it's wrong. But it feels so right in the moment.

Except to everyone you drive away when the creature from the caffeine lagoon wreaks its havoc
While you sit back in blissful, coffee-soaked ignorance.

Just remember to tip your barista.


More beautiful to me than any other woman
But representing the ugliest of emotions:
- sadness
- anger
- frustration
- hate
No, I don't hate you, Chelsea; I hate that I love you.
For you will never love me...at least not the same way.
I may wish to take you out to dinner and a show, arriving at your door with a bouquet of roses and leaving you with the most passionate goodnight kiss...
But you're content to shoot the breeze with me over a cup of coffee and give me a hug goodbye.
I may wish to call you anytime I need some comfort and talk for hours on end...
But you're content to call me once a month, if that often, and talk for ten minutes, if that long.
I may think you look lovely in that outfit -- and wish I knew what you look like without it, what your body feels like without all those layers of clothing...
But you'll never let me find out.
Chelsea, you may think the solution is easy: find another woman.
But it's not that easy.
Other women are around me, and still others I've yet to meet
But I want you, Chelsea.
The one it will never happen with.
The one it will never work out with.
The one who's not the one, or even one of many.
So why do you have to be you?
Why can't you be who I want you to be?
Why can't you be...anyone but Chelsea?
Oh, no.
I've been wrong all along -- I don't love you, Chelsea.
I love who you could be...if only you weren't you.

Chelsea, you're right. The solution is easy:



Mr. Well-Off

I see you, Mr. Well-Off
Sitting in the coolest apartment in the hippest part of town.
But do you see us?
Living in our parents' basements, our uncles' guest rooms, our aunts' attics...or sharing a cramped, dreary space with six of our closest friends?
I see you, Mr. Well-Off
Wearing the flashiest clothes from the trendiest stores.
But do you see us?
In our threadbare sweaters, jeans with holes from overuse and not for fashion's sake?
Jackets we bought when our favorite department store had a sale?
Do you see us?
Because I see you, Mr. Well-Off
Sipping on your 18-year single malt Scotch...neat, of course
While we throw back another shot of Jack and another beer.
Do you see us, Mr. Well-Off?
I see you -- in your prestigious job at that big-name company.
And I know you see us...working at the bars and coffee shops and restaurants you patronize when you're not at work.
But Mr. Well-Off...I see you
Using three credit cards to pay each other off -- taking out a five-year loan to pay them all.
I see you...strapped for cash and playing it cool because there's nothing left in the bank 'til payday.
I see you...taking your girl to the dive where I work and saying it's cool because it's ironic.
No worries, Mr. Well-Off: I won't blow your cover.
For you and I are both living the new American Dream. Make that, American Nightmare:
Live in debt until you die -- then it's someone else's problem.
If it's good enough for our government, it's good enough for us!
And as the song says, "we'll never be royals..."
We'll never be Trumps, either.
So, Mr. Well-Off, let's both make do the best we can. Just do me a favor...
Save me a glass of that Scotch.


You are damaged.
Your mother always criticized you.
Your father always sheltered you.
Your sister was more popular.
Your brother always picked on you.
Well, aren't you special?
No, you're damaged.
You love that boy, but he doesn't even like you.
And the first boy you ever loved hurt you.
And you hurt the first boy who ever loved you.
But you didn't mean to.
Well, aren't you special?
No. You're damaged.
You're sick. In your mind. In your body. Not normal. Not typical. Not right.
Not special; damaged.
And I love you. Not because you're special -- because you're not special.
I love you because you're damaged.
I love that I could be the one to fix you...or at least understand you.
I love that you could be the one to fix me...or at least understand me.
I love that you and I could be a match most perfect on paper...if most flawed in practice.
Well, aren't I special?
No. I'm damaged.

My Life As A Cardboard Box

Build it up, burn it down
Tear it up piece by piece
For burned and torn is how I've always felt
Leave me out in the rain and I just might drown -- leave it out in the rain and it'll melt
Cut it up to match my cuts, my scrapes, my bruises, and my scars
Break it down with bricks and rocks
Or simply throw it in the trash, in any case you have my life as a cardboard box
I started off a goner, cheating death inside the womb
And only half-alive at birth
But I hide my bitter soul and the anger in my heart behind a shield of merriness and mirth
I play just like a winner though I know I'll always lose
But at least I'm not just sitting on the bench
In the war with what's within me and the war with what surrounds me
You'll never find me outside of the trench
So build it up, burn it down
Tear it up piece by piece
For burned and torn is how I've always felt
Leave me out in the rain and I just might drown -- leave it out in the rain and it'll melt
Cut it up to match my cuts, my scrapes, my bruises, and my scars
Break it down with bricks and rocks
Or simply throw it in the trash, in any case you have my life as a cardboard box
I live like I'm dying, and for this life I'd gladly die
But there's too much I don't want to do without
But the lonely, desperate figure lurking quietly in the shadows has no sex appeal, no glamor, and no clout
Still I laugh as if it's funny, being denied and deprived
To be empty like a hollow paper square
But my corrugated sides are tough enough to stand the pressure
'Til the weight and volume prove too much to bear

So build it up, burn it down
Tear it up piece by piece
For burned and torn is how I've always felt
Leave me out in the rain and I just might drown -- leave it out in the rain and it'll melt
Cut it up to match my cuts, my scrapes, my bruises, and my scars
Break it down with bricks and rocks
Or simply throw it in the trash, in any case you have my life as a cardboard box

A Man Is Not A Man

A man is not a man unless he's conquered all the world
Unless he's a man of great experience in every place, with every girl
A man is not a man unless he's solid as a rock
When the going gets tough, he's the toughest on the block
A man is not a man if he shows that he is worried
If he shows that he is troubled, he must hide it in a hurry
A man is not a man unless he's steadfastly aggressive
Unless he owns every room, and he's unfailingly possessive
A man is not a man unless his riches can't be counted
Unless his money flows like water and his wealth cannot be doubted
A man is not a man unless he always stands alone
If he loses independence, he might as well not be grown

A man is not a man unless he's ahead of all other men
Unless he towers above the competition who used to be his friends
A man is not a man if his body is not the strongest
Though he may get a free pass if his penis is the longest
A man is not a man unless he drinks the hardest liquor
And when he sees a lovely woman, all he wants to do is dick her
A man is not a man unless a woman is an object
And every woman that he loves has got to be no less than perfect
Well, my friend, if that's a man
Then I have disappointing news
You see, I am not a man --
For that matter, nor are you.

Change of Life

32 is just a number, unless it's your age
And you're starting anew.
"Can't things be different," you ask?
But that's the problem.
Things need to be different.

For you ask yourself, time and time again: "Can't I go back to the way things were?
The same old job, the same old places, the same old life?"
But no...
The way things were was not, is not the way things ought to be, the way things need to be.

So you wait...
For something new, or someone new

To inspire you.
To motivate you.

To make you feel destined rather than doomed.
To get you to rejoice rather than resign.

Meanwhile, you stress -- until you can stress no more.
You care -- until you stop caring.
You ponder -- only to find you already had it figured out.

Yes, you know...but when will the universe catch up?

This life is too precious to give up...yet too fragile to live.

That bottle of wine might as well be water.
The whiskey only a liquid sleeping pill.
For you know you can't drink yourself away from the challenge before you.

You leave town, but your town doesn't leave you.
You leave yourself behind...but wherever you go, you follow.

So you forge ahead
With a greater sense of direction than ever...
...and more directionless than ever.

Pass me that pen and paper.

It's gonna be a long night.