Inspired from Mike Mills’ 20th Century Women
Santa Barbara 1979: the era of Ford galaxies
and 40-year old moms, I got in late huh?
Late to this shindig, a grand decision in this
Parisian dream, as I put my finger into his palm
and he’d squeeze, wheezing for breath with
each sigh lingering and I’d whisper to him.
Life is big and beautiful, bold like a race horse.
There were fantastic beasts, cities, synced sounds
and moving pictures – we call those films – and he’d
reel his own love stories, like his own Casablanca with …
passion and meaning, changing fashions gleaming
with hopes and dreams, and he’d live a life –
unlike me, born in the 20s, raised in the Depression
living through a war, driving sad cars to sadder
houses with not a dollar to my name, – no phones,
food or TV – the 50s gave birth to Technicolor
but not before I volunteered to fight at sixteen, with
the skies as my domain – wondering if I was happy
– you could call that a shortcut to depression,
but the people were real, especially the women.
The 60s came, and then the Me Decade. I smoked
Salems because they were healthier and wore
Birkenstocks because they’re contemporary and
listened to the best jams, pretty little sounds.
Can’t music just be pretty, like having your heart broken
and put back together again? But then we’d have to
admit to the corruptness of society. This is my son’s
world, and it sucks, I lucked out here didn’t I?
I grew up with the Depression and smogged streets. He
has Nixon, Nam, Civil Rights, nice cars – computers
and intelligence-supressing drugs hugging the life out
you like Churchill’s Curtain choking your voice box.
Does it take a man to raise a man? History is tough
on men – the expectations are high, and all that
not being allowed to cry must be exhausting but then
we have problems like breast cancer and bloody sheets.
Man or woman; it’s all redundant when age is a
bourgeois construct, obstructing the capacity for
free thought in this common-senseless era.
We’ve lost the way, paying into a system
of greed and self-indulgence. – Capitalism, if you will.
It’s an unsatisfying quest for meaning that leans into
the 2017 down this yellow brick road, paved with
gold in this crisis of confidence.
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