Had we finished dreaming dreams
And lived on legendary lies,
Lived the story that redeems
The past with heartfelt alibis
(The past to which the backward turn,
The past the dreamer learns to burn),
We'd have it made. And what it takes
To never suffer from mistakes.
A dream of fire. A dream of war.
The last and dream it nevermore.
From the ashes, through the haze
A dream is going to manifest
The unbound love a dream can raise
And all the peace a dream's possessed.
Miles of smiles--our cheeks will ache--
Then, my love, what love we'll make.
X number of dollars a day
Is equal to what I produce.
A fifth of that makes up my pay,
An equal part cuts owners loose
From bankers' loans--then equity
Makes a fifth with profit: net.
A fifth then goes for bossing me.
Then taxes come and taxes get
Another fifth it calls its share:
Protection for the millionaire.
Burning hot. A blue-white star--
Suns don't shine as bright.
When glances linger, eyeballs char--
Flashburns from the light.
Eyeballs water from the pair
Of dry sandpaper-lids you wear.
Nothing that the arc can't scorch--
Cold steel starts to run.
The arc is faster than the torch
And hotter than the sun.
The steel puddles, bubbles, spits
A redhot pearl. When it hits
You'd swear the devil's making rain--
Never any drought.
Redhot pearls and the pain
Are leaving you no doubt
You better rubber band the sleeve--
How much burn will this one leave?
"Penetration!" foremen yell.
"So she told me." Macho joke.
Meanwhile balls of fire shell
Welders who are going to soak
Dry throats with a cool one that
Cools them off in nothing flat.
The Truth shall make us free? Bullshit.
The Truth will show we're not.
The Truth will show we took the bit;
The Truth will show we're caught
And harnessed to machines--
Think you're free? Truth intervenes.
Says the matter
's simple: just surrender.
Some turn devout
And follow some mind-bender,
Who gets them thinking they've been chosen
To see the ever lasting light.
Meanwhile some of us sit frozen,
Freezing on the streets at night.
Mystic patter, in accord
With status quo, says our reward
Awaits us on the day we die;
No heaven here on war-torn earth;
Our kingdom's in the bye and bye,
So great that we can't judge its worth.
And that's the way it's always been
For those of us who won't give in.
There's a foreman--name of Duke.
Making foreman was a fluke--
You never see him getting heavy,
Cool like his cherried Chevy;
Speeds sometimes so he can get
Through another Monday yet.
He has a weakness. He's the boy
To the owners who employ
Foremen who can snap our slack
Should they catch us kicking back.
But Duke's O.K., he treats us right.
Later on he even might
Be worth saving should we vote
To grab the business by the throat.
When truth becomes a rarity
And love's a dreamer's notion,
Finds ways to set in motion
New ideas to take us where
We would have gone but didn't dare--
Take us where the truth is seen
And love is something felt between.
I'm no flunky spiritualistic
Seer with a crafty snitch
Who's dredging up your past.
I'm no phoney hind-sight mystic
Fortune teller fooling rich
Seekers, hooked to last
With predictions bound to come
True, blowing their minds some.
I don't try to mystify,
Dumbfound you or get you high,
Camping out on inner space,
I'm not pushing junky rhymes
Whose rhythm throbs
Up some apex.
All I want are better times
At play and jobs;
Through dreams and sex.
The point that junky rhymes'll make
Is dark and too complex
When losers turn their life's mistake
Into tortured flex,
Thinking there're no consequences
For not touching basic senses
That give us feeling, taste and sight.
Tell me how the mystics know
The ways by which we make things right
When they let their senses go--
Bumming sensual, sound relations;
Bombing foreign populations.
I write for change. I have a cause.
Zip to do with cosmic laws.
I like to clown around with folks
But never liked the shabby jokes
Told by some redneck who thunders
Pent up monumental blunders.
Won't salute the battle ax.
O.K. I salute the facts;
I love the earth, the sun and rain
And every blameless thing there is.
I like when art finds its refrain
In everyone. When some hair is
Up someone's ass and someone's only,
That's when I've no time for lonely
Souls who whine their soul complaint--
Pretty picture, that it ain't.
What I say is said to share;
The feeling's right and laid out bare.
Some work working out their heads
To blow it out their ass;
Then wind up working for the feds
Of the ruling class.
Unwitting agents, green, star toads
Who jump the chance to make inroads
To where the traffic's just a breeze
And only danger's falling trees.
But toads are toads, not what they claim--
Kiss one, they remain the same.
Boring holes in healthy fruit;
Dropping waste and idling;
Nothing these worms can't pollute
Once they get an opening:
Ruining seeds and laying eggs
That hatch into the social dregs.
They sabotage and organize
To wreck a season's plans;
Their criticism's spreading lies
That break us into clans--
A little gang mentality
That's splitting up community.
Isolate them, that's for sure--
Turn the worms, mix in manure,
And let them do some good:
Alive and squirming to convert
The waste into some healthy dirt.
You know the Rockefellers work
To keep the system going.
I'm working for this up-tight jerk
Who thinks the system's owing
Him a living--on his way
To make his million any day.
He has a shop. It's sort of small,
He qualifies as middle class.
He works to oversee it all
Every day he makes a pass
Around the floor to see that we
Do everything we can to free
Him up to go and play the links,
Hit Las Vegas with his wife;
Make some deals over drinks,
Philosophizing over life:
My boss, a true survivalist
The college social Darwinist.
The way to tell my boss
From wealthy Rockefellers--
The Rockies face a bigger loss:
Bosses I got jump from cellars.
Jerry Lewis made a living
As the movie's dumbest clown.
Richard Nixon's no misgiving
Keeping everybody down.
But neither one came off so clean,
Washed up by a guy named Dean.
Some sweet babies reach the top
And hardly raise a ripple:
Smooth as yogurt, zero slop,
Baby sucking on the nipple;
Nursemaids deal with the dirt,
Cleaning up the little squirt.
Baby's drinking from a cup;
Diapers off, he's running.
Someone still is cleaning up
Later when he's gunning
For a spot that baby takes,
Someone watches for mistakes.
Grown-up baby's learned to juggle
Discord for a show.
Talks a lot about the struggle--
Nursemaids sit first row.
What a pretty sense of timing--
Rating's up and still he's climbing.
Teddy Bear's a soaring eagle--
How'd he get so high?
Maybe on his family's legal
Tender standing by:
Good for cleaning off the mud,
Sopping up the spills and blood.
Funny things came down at work.
Let's be careful what we say;
Daddy's acting like a jerk--
Better not get in his way:
Something happened on his job,
Look at daddy's temples throb.
Kids had met him at the door,
Day-old stubble brush-
Off. Kids know now what's next in store:
Trouble, so they hush.
Off to bed. Some day he had.
Look out mommy, daddy's mad.
She never had been so alone
Until she married him;
Down as anyone I've known,
Future's looking dim--
Like off to work and learning fast
Your dreams are something from the past.
What she got for being wife,
We kids would suffer too.
Defenseless and it shaped our life--
Forced the foot to fit the shoe.
Not easy getting past the pain,
When we tried it got insane.
"Why's the cowling off the press?"
"Right. That machine is down."
"No filters for the paintroom?" "Guess
Our order's lost downtown."
"That power cord across the floor?"
"They won't do that anymore."
OSHA grants a bill of health
To owners drinking to their wealth.
I'm someone he'll never trust.
Honey thinks I'm out to bust.
(No shit honey, what you hiding?
Maybe honey's simply biding
Time until the man can be
Himself again, all over me.
Honey won't come clean with it;
Someday he'll be seen with it
On his face next time he goes
To someone else up on tiptoes--
Honey, honey, where's the man
I knew back when it all began?)
Jesus Christ, I've tried and tried;
I've tried you straight and mystified.
Church was fine, the kinship grew,
You even got your message through,
Though I left it feeling blue
To see the world in ruins.
Jesus Christ, the wasted time
On phantom, mystic pantomime.
It's too easy for the bubble
To get broken over rubble,
Leaving me knee-deep in trouble--
The world reduced to ruins.
Jesus Christ, it felt so good--
The brotherhood and sisterhood,
But seems so weak and acts so lame
That I go back to work the same,
Feeling I've myself to blame
To see my world in ruins.
Jesus Christ, how will you give
Us all a better life to live?
You bear the standard for the men
Who take you into battle when
They fight to climb on top again,
Reduce the world to ruins.
He took my dreams and took my hopes
And using words I use,
He took those dreams and took those hopes
And pinned them to the Cruise.
Nixon saved his tapes, but why?
He said they're things he needs to know
How history went, now would he lie?
Yes, Nixon made the tapes to show
Some businessmen--who stand four-square
Behind a fifth they know will swear
To uphold free-enterprise.
You bet Nixon saved his tapes,
Sounding like one of the guys
Getting in and out of scrapes
He brags about to show he's loyal
To U.S. Steel, guns and oil.
Mein Kampf stated Hitler's battle
Plans, and business said, "All right!
We're going to hire him to rattle
Sabers--get us through the night."
Hitler was their man to psyche
People for another Reich.
The tapes are Richard Nixon's leak
He sprung to show the ruling class.
Nice try Dick, a little weak
To be their boy for busting ass.
They need somebody acting bold,
Not some act that's getting old.
They push and nothing's there:
The opposition's fled;
They push against thin air;
The opposition's dead--
Heros looking for a cause
Blind to revolution's laws.
Suck back beer and drag in smoke
To get a smile from this mean joke
My life's become--becoming more
For every day that I stay poor.
Mean-joke drops me to my knees,
Tumbling for a breezy tease,
Catch pneumonia when I freeze--
All the rich folks do is sneeze.
Mean because the only slack
Is got by riding someone's back;
A joke because the news I get
Is things are getting better yet.
Mean-joke's got me thinking that
I'm to blame I'm busted flat.
Mean-joke just keeps getting fat,
They smell roses, me a rat.
Drink and smoke to kill the time
It takes to wind down from the climb
Of getting up before the sun
To work into oblivion.
Mean-joke gets me nowhere fast;
Don't know how long I can last;
Lost my patience long time past--
Stormy weather's my forecast.
Some social workers get their kicks
Off being uptight cunts and pricks.
The grants are squeezed from millionaires.
These workers think the money's theirs.
I swear those people are perverse--
And every day it's getting worse.
Just when someone has it made,
Or just about, they cut off aid.
Welfare really burns my ass--
I'm drinking from a jelly glass;
Beans and brown rice suit me fine,
Get my kicks on dope and wine.
Use my time for getting back
To cause a little cardiac
Arrest for those who waste my time
And make me grub for every dime.
I'll conspire with some friends.
What we do...it all depends.
Just might break some stupid laws;
Maybe break some bonehead jaws.
Everybody knows what's wrong.
Can't sit and wait for lucky breaks.
How'd we let it go this long?
Trembling, facing our mistakes.
It's a key made for unlocking
Doors to hidden treasure.
My, oh my, the thrill so shocking:
Such wonderment and pleasure.
Fading fast and I'll be damned,
The key is stuck, the lock is jammed.
It's someone's estimation,
Someone's careful measures
That follow some equation
For keys to locks on treasures.
They fit and work but leave behind
Shards that jam locks to the mind.
Now a door is blocking treasure,
And denial's shocking;
Memory's all that's left of pleasure--
And energy is locking
Up on you, you're left behind,
Locked out on a jacked-up mind.
Starting out each day with measures
To balance the equation
You can open doors to treasures
Without the estimation.
Hey! The real thing be dammed--
Nothing's real when it's jammed.
Guru groupies, gentle fascists,
Hear your master speak
Of perfect order, love and kindness,
He promises the meek.
He'll pull you from the planet's madness,
And dangerous inside curves;
He'll show you how the terrible sadness
Is karma Man deserves.
The sound of your new master's voice
Is one you'd follow blind;
He'll choose for you and every choice
Will bring you peace of mind.
Everything he says is right
No matter how it's said;
Then one day you see the light--
He's diddled with your head:
You've been a slave to his caprice,
It was your life, he took a piece;
He promised you the cosmic hum
And you became a pious bum
Running through an empty trip
That you're better off to skip.
His attention stretches thin
When I need to talk with him.
Talking with her's such a struggle:
Look at lies I have to juggle.
She's the woman you hit on--
Your come-on is dead and gone,
But still an aggravation.
Hassled since she turned thirteen.
What you got she hasn't seen?
How's it feel, the times your boss
Treats you like a piece of shit?
When you make a woman cross
The street to miss the macho bit,
You've made the tears come to her eyes.
It gets you off, to terrorize?
She found a job. Afraid I'll lose her.
She's always been a flirt.
She might find someone who soothes her
Anger and the hurt
I inflicted, dominating--
Hurried up and always waiting
For a sign from me that shows
Her, this is how the story goes.
Infants, innocent and frail
Grow up mean and ugly--
Parts they often learn to veil
While grinning at you smugly:
A product of man's condemnation,
Sins passed through a generation.
Prisons in our lives:
Avoiding others' eyes--
Sharp and steely knives.
Fear and anger rise
To chase each other through the yards
Beneath the laughing prison guards.
Long before these modern times
That we've been ruled by men,
Citizens have coupled rhymes
That bear repeating when
We need reminding we can change
Relationships that men arrange.
Ever since those ancient times
That we've been ruled by men,
Citizens have coded rhymes
They set to music when
We need to hear that we can change
Relationships that men arrange.
How far can you get from fear
Of an unexpected death?
Turn your back, it inches near--
Until you feel its heavy breath;
Victims unaware or lazy--
Sucks the angry in like crazy.
Fear's no lamebrain psychic ghost
Held in from an ugly past;
Fear's no hot act from the coast,
Fear's a freight, bears down full blast
So fast your skin becomes alive--
So fast you've only time to dive.
Fear lives on and on and on--
Finding me, then finding you.
Superman and Amazon
Are included in the stew
That Fear cooks up, for it cares less
If you're a jock or wear a dress.
It's sounding, I know, off the wall--
Conclusions paranoids would draw;
I'm either crazy after all
Or my weak eyes surely saw
The face of Fear unmasked and staring
Back at me dead-eye and daring
Me to say its name aloud.
I'm too scared to say my own.
Fear then melts into a cloud--
Leaving me with my mind blown,
I have seen it like it is:
Fear is sure of getting his.
Fear's a Bomb, cold-blooded killer--
Catch you off-guard faster than
A slasher in a 3-D thriller,
Doing what no movie can;
Awesome, savage, and it's real--
Tearing through the Seventh Seal.
Just the mention of the Bomb
Makes me start to squirm--
Tends to make me Uncle Tom,
Resistance less than firm
Because I know the Bomb can do
All it says and then some, too.
Sure, I give it what it wants,
Meanwhile keep my head,
Buying time with some detentes
From better dead than Red--
Stay Red any way I can,
More than bombs I want to ban.
Sure, I give it what it wants,
Meanwhile, keep my head,
And follow Fear back to its haunts
To strike the killer dead;
Into the blazing sun it's hurled--
Leaving us in peace, the world.
Thinkers swing their swords of truth
And mighty giants fall.
Down come devil, wrong, uncooth--
And truth is standing tall:
Cutter, slicer, quite precise
When coming to ideas they dice.
I've heard labor talking
Like there's no in between:
You're either out there walking
Or running some machine.
Idle talk to them's a waste
Of time philosophers embraced.
She escaped her past, I hope--
She says she did it smoking dope.
But with the dope she kited free
Of rifts in seach of ecstasy.
I don't mean she'd never suffer
Or that others had it tougher,
Or dope would help her face the change
That's making everything so strange.
On dope the usual course she'd take
Was one a drawn out puff'd make.
When she had her bearings straight
I never saw her hesitate
Facing off a shaggy wind
And fall into undisciplined
Flights of fancy to no end,
Winding up with me, her friend.
There, her gaudy tales would find
A place to put it all behind,
To hear me claim that I'm no liar
When I say she's just a tease;
Dope will never get you higher
Than a lovely summer breeze:
Not bad, but you crash so soon--
Together we could shoot the moon.
Escape? You kidding? Show me how.
I'd love to live and feel no pain,
Living out the here and now,
Finish singing in the rain.
Escape? O.K. You know a way?
Movie? Music? Finer booze?
A path? A drug? A chic cafe?
All I have's enough to lose.
Walking California shores,
Looking for some peace of mind;
Welcome to the great outdoors,
Leaving all your cares behind.
Listen as the water breaks,
Crashing up against the rocks;
California coastline makes
You forget the city blocks.
Nothing in the world's the same
But everybody I got news,
I'm looking at a crying shame,
California coastline blues.
I didn't have to walk too far--
Walking barefoot in the sand,
Before my feet picked up some tar.
Right away you understand
That when they start to drill off-shore,
They'll be spilling more than drops--
Drilling through the ocean's floor
Starts a leak that never stops.
You know a spill is going to kill
More than ever makes the news
When equipment starts to drill,
It's California coastline blues.
Flying up and down the coast,
The seagulls know what's going on--
Knowing who'll be hurting most,
From Mexico to Oregon.
California's going to see
Troubled waters needing help--
See the oil and debris
Floating over dying kelp.
Sea-life needing changes quick,
But all it gets is clean-up crews
Mopping up an oil slick--
California coastline blues.
Forget the rule
When rules prohibit
The rhyming fool
From keeping time.
A rule's a tool,
When rules inhibit
The rhyming fool,
There goes the rhyme.
Rhythms fenced by rules are cold
Chicken-hearted steps that wreck
A rhyme. Constrained, a rhyme is told
As graceful as their hunt and peck.
I've been swimming like a frog:
You want to see the butterfly.
Not like falling off a log--
I've seen swimmers try and die;
Butterfly is more than splash,
Few can take it past the dash.
I don't do it. Tell you what
I'll do to cut my rhythms slack:
I'll double beats until they strut,
Then I'll float and kicking back
I'll stroke them slow and work my tongue
Around them till the rhythm's sprung.
Things aren't flowing
Like they should be;
If it could be
My imagination or
Is the explanation for
Things not flowing
Like they should be
Caused by crowing
Cocky, but I'm limping?
Or, is somebody crimping
Off the flow between us two,
Withholding what I send to you?
Your silence also makes me think
That maybe you can't figure how
To tell me, Hey! The stories stink.
And so I'm asking you right now,
Are you thinking, mediocre?
Has a wild card or joker
Added to the stuff I send,
Sent you something on to end
The friendship I would never break?
My name on a packaged snake?
Their rhythm's fine
And so's their style,
Their notoriety so wide-spread
You see them shine--
For miles. Meanwhile
Something tells me they misled
Me. Am I nuts?
I swear the shine on them has glared
At me the times I stopped and stared.
So I'm a putz?
They've got us paired
Up with notions they've declared
The way that we
Should rightly be
And think about the world and such
Things as love
And God above
We pray to when we hurt too much.
But their conceit
And crippling fashion,
And stifled passion
Focussed our attention on
The ugly duck and future swan.
But on the wall
The writing's seen.
Forget the call
From Mister Clean
Who'll do his cheery best to grease
The contradictions they release.
Their lips deny
The reasons why
My empty pockets stay that way--
I'd soon as die
Before I'll buy
Into their sweet, perfumed decay.
Sure it flies when you have fun--
It crawls until your shift is done.
I feel half the day has moved
Between the tick and tock.
I swear my eyesight has improved
From squinting at the clock.
Only when I bust my butt
Do I see the big hand strut.
Card in and out five days a week,
Minute late, the clock'll squeak.
Gives up thirty for my lunch
That's taken from a paper bag;
Think about a face to punch
In for what a drag
It is to clock in every time
While wages fall and hours climb.
The market's slow.
So they reduce
With lay-offs, lock-outs, flashy sales--
Even war if all else fails.
Those left on the other line
Are sped-up doing twelve in nine.
Liberal is what liberal does
And liberal doesn't do.
Liberals hedge on truth because
They think they know what's good for you.
Liberals never seem unkind,
You'll never see them fight--
Putting all bygones behind,
Sleeping tight throughout the night;
But liberal's dream is deadly owing
To the tragic aftermath
Because the liberal has been going
Down the gentle garden path.
The path has now come to an end,
And liberal's left without a friend.
Milk-fed Crooner--Orange Juice Queen,
And vigilantes getting mean,
Right-wing out to vent its spleen
With hate slicked down with razzmatazz.
They launch into a hyper-spaz
With all the grace a blind thrust has.
A scapegoat's what they have in mind;
Ganging up they search and find
Someone who's a different kind
Who're soon to find out just how tough
These guys can be when things get rough:
Opposition simply fluff.
Down the silo, hammer dropped--
The Berrigans again;
Hey! Those brothers can't be stopped.
How can you blame them when
They dink a warhead that's been aimed
To kill God's children. They were framed!