I’ve seen the best minds of my generation flirting with rebellion to drown in stagnation, scrambling, screaming through urban nightmare flash, chasing feeling in a world of anesthetic whiteness,
who were born too young to dream, choking on the dregs of the greatest generation, boomed into solitude by nascent parents, gnashing teeth against the ideals of their fight,
who skipped through the flashing, neon-dusk, telling stories of monsters and missiles and things that pass out drunk in the night,
who were told to dream big, then sent to institutions that taught them to have reasonable, bite-sized dreams, dreams that can be discussed in an elevator ride, over drinks, in the “safe nature” of a suburban golf course in the morning through a haze of lite beer and politics,
who crashed cars and parties and crashed hardest after years of baiting Nancy Reagan, getting off the train, these street kids, hustling change to change into powders and pills and bags and sometimes rent money, pouring desperation into Daddy’s Volvo,
who slipped through grimy punk rock clubs, slumming forties in parking lots, waiting for the beer to warm in sun-drenched sand,
who went to wars that we pretended weren’t wars,
who fought soldiers we pretended were enemies,
who died for rich men who were in conflict with rich men half a world away,
who went to lie on foreign soil in the oil-black night while Presidents smiled with bone-white teeth,
who found love in forbidden rooms, where Jesus never stayed, turned into a weapon by the ideologically barren suits selected by foreign powers to weaken the power of the citizenry,
who stumbled into flashing hospitals dragging unresponsive friends with pinprick pupils and hooded sweatshirts covered in blood and beer and bravado.
I’ve watched the country of my forefathers tarred and feathered, redesigned for easy sale, slipped under rugs of scandal and intrigue, left to rot on the vine of a dwindling independence, soft and brown and hollow in the sun while the sow bugs squirm,
and I have watched in horror, mind wrapped around the fruits of deceit, our inheritance chopped up and branded while old folks go bankrupt trying to die, while poor folks tell their children lies that they hope will help them sleep, eyes shut tight against the glare of nuclear dawn.