thought lung #1 – breathe again

 

 

entreaty #1 – huffin points

the fame a frame the maze the games

the blame a haze the hate a craze

huffin points

like it’s

ok

america

throw open your windows

bust the   f   out of your frames

punch a hole through the haze

climb the   f   out

and breathe

america

breathe

stretched to breaking on these pegs

of points empty points the empty point

friendship

love

life

earth

framed into a contagious game

about which name

can make it

use it up

then break it

then escape the flames

our looping thoughts

thoughts in stretched knots

stress knots

and can’t do that for you

and won’t do that for us

america

throw open your beautiful eyes

bust the   f   out of your selfies

punch a hole through the lies

help someone else climb the   f   out

and breathe

america

breathe

have you checked your points yet today !

Hey America !

How are you doing !

Everything is performative, you are too !

Have you checked your points yet today !

You want it, you like it, you go do it !

How many points did you win today on the Social Media Games !

Hey America ! Why not win even more ! 

Hey, take a sexy picture of yourself right now ! Ok, now share it with the world !

And win a Gold Plus Points Package !

Hey, take a thousand pics of the sandwich you just made in your kitchen !

WTF is it ! Doesn’t matter ! The pics ! The clicks !

Go ahead ! Share them a thousand times with a thousand people !

And win ! Yea !

You just won the I Must Be A Cool Person Points Package !

How many people liked your new selfie? Really !

More than your horrid selfie from just 23 seconds ago !

Then you’re a winner, chicken dinner !

Did you have good Sexy Time last night?

Did you perform well ! Did your partner perform as well as you !

Good job, now share the news with the world and you’ll win !

You’ll win an exclusive 75 point Extra Plus Points Package !

Does your body get good ratings ! Got a sexy bod baby, bod baby, baby bod !

That’s great, now take advantage of it !

With the Happy Me, Happy Feelings Points Package !

Did you perform well at the job today? Good job !

Now, reward yourself with a Special Treatment Just for Me Points Package !

Weren’t a loser today? Ok ! Win a 5 Extra Points Daily Tab ! 

You know the behaviors that win the most points ! So perform the behaviors then !

Everything is performative ! So are you !

Just like China’s Social Credit System !

But here it’s about physical appearance, identity, dna, income, religion and politics !

Stir it up every day ! Light it on fire with doubt and hate ! Watch what happens !

Was that a brag? Points !

A cheat ! Points !

A steal ! Points !

A lie ! Points !

Made someone else play your stupid game ! Points !

Hurt someone else because you feel like shit about yourself !

Points !

Whatever it takes to get those points ! America !

Enter all your information into our Algorithm !

For a chance to win !

Enter the Algorithm ! 

Go ahead, it’s ok America ! You do it ! You like it !

Enter your Life into the Algorithm’s Text Boxes !

And you could win the most special prize of all !

The Happy Times, Happy America Points Package !

Yea !

Now get to work getting those points ! 

Everything is performative ! So perform the behaviors then !

what’s crazy is

 

after a loooong thursday working my job

i sit with a pint behind a big window

as i like to do at this small craft brewery

cuz of the music they play and the beer they make

and how their large store front windows

looking out onto the corner of south 10th ave and east lake street

allow me to watch minneapolis and the world go by and today

i see in front of me

through the double glazed glass panes

a young woman sitting alone outside at one of the brewery’s tables

chatting with someone

speaking out loud to them

through the speaker on her huge tv phone

listening to the replies of a person who isn’t there

on her white wireless headphones

then gesturing and laughing

meanwhile, directly in front of both her and me

beyond the brewery’s patio

through the glass panes of the metrotransit bus stop

across the rush hour traffic flowing west, then east, down lake street

at the bus stop on the opposite, eastbound side

i watch as a man wearing white and orange medical bracelets

and dirty jeans and a muscle shirt and red ball cap

dances and gestures and speaks and laughs to himself

grabbing pieces of trash from the ground and spinning around

as the others waiting for a bus watch him and smile

or snicker and frown and step out of his way

until the 21A stops then pulls away

and the man is gone

and i sit alone writing this down

and the young woman gestures and laughs and speaks out loud

to a person who isn’t there

all hands on deck #1 – there is no American race

yo, this is heatflow

and this is all hands on deck

not some hands, not a few hands, not a majority of hands

this is all hands

all hands on deck

now check this

 

must we identify

by identity

cuz America is more

than you

tripping about you

and me

tripping about me

 

vaping image, huffing ego

chasing selfies, clouds of pixels

shivering children, fractured families

bombs of blame, addicts of pain

identity made

into a no winner game

and yet

we tripping on it

all the same

 

brothers, sisters

fellow humans, next door neighbors

must we identify

by identity

America is stronger

than you

tripping about you 

and me

tripping about me

thought lung #2 – breathe

human being,

stop huffing, start b r e a  t  h  i   n   g

stop tripping, start dreaming

 

stop hating, start b r e a  t  h  i   n   g

stop dying, start living

 

stop greeding, start b r e a  t  h  i   n   g

stop starving, start feasting

 

stop choking, start b r e a  t  h  i   n   g

stop hurting, start healing

 

paycheck to paycheck

cuz imagine if the billionaires were living paycheck to paycheck

imagine how better off all of us would be

if they spent half those paychecks at the corner store

waiting in line to pay for chips, toothpaste and the lottery

 

cuz imagine if the billionaires were living paycheck to paycheck

maybe then it wouldn’t matter if you’re in a boardroom or working the frontlines

cuz your family would be fed and clothed and housed and schooled

and you’d still have good money left behind

 

cuz imagine if the billionaires were living paycheck to paycheck

like do they need that one and only Ferrari for their collection

as much as i need to buy my one and only ride to their job across the river

a used chevy malibu and a wage good enough to drive across a city

that says it can’t afford a bus line way out to my small town

 

cuz the billionaires ain’t living paycheck to paycheck

telling everyone self reliance is better than relying on the government

yeah and then paying us all wages so low

that self reliance is a way of life that’s only affordable on billionaires row

 

cuz the answer’s never been in some impossible ideology

some simple minded utopia

where perfect people follow a perfect ideology to some perfect result

it’s just been i’d like to feed myself and my kids without losing control

 

cuz imagine if the billionaires were living paycheck to paycheck

imagine how better off america would be

if they spent half those paychecks at the corner school

waiting in line to invest in a healthy america that could not be beat

 

maybe then our kids won’t be forced to live on rafts made of plastic garbage

floating down the flooded city streets their grandparents skipped across

no longer choosing to learn chinese and russian at a university

but being forced to speak it when the fresh water’s all gone