DISTANT EARLY WARNING FOR GENERATION X
By Victoria Rivas
I have been there...
That man there, with the health
spa tan, Star Trek necktie?
He used to wear a headband,
tie-dyed, and remembers that
hit of acid,windowpane,
with the one night stand, when they
went insane, the motel room
melted, the girl named Noel
licked his cock, transformed into
Grace Slick as White Rabbit rocked.
See that grey haired woman, thick
in the middle, with teenage kids
in toe? Did you know she marched
against war? She burned the flag.
Policemen dragged her to jail,
where she drummed hard on the bed
and led "We shall overcome."
When the guard joined in, she knew
they would win, peace would end war,
they would send our boys back home.
I can't convince you, I know; I've been there...
That teacher who averts his
eyes at the sight of students
with pierced skin: nose, eyebrow, tongue?
He hitchhiked to Woodstock. He
helped tear down the fence. He mucked
naked in the mud, felt strange
flesh and fucked while Hendrix played
the daw's early light. He found
god in a psychedelic
revelation and lost her.
It happens. It will happen
to most of you. The Ghost will
haunt you of this life you want,
taunt you out of reach, but each
of you is most likely doomed...
a normal life, husband, wife
dirty dishes, diapers too,
hyperactive kids will call
you mom, dad, as you wonder
what happened to times you had.
I have been there; I should end there.
The first time you take metal
from your flesh to get that job,
settle for less, need before
desire, when you rob your pierced
tongue of words to stay employed;
the first time you style hairs so
adults smile, the first time you
donŐt dye it--yellow, green, blue...
the first time you compromise,
then you will remember me
I have been there.
By Victoria Rivas
I sat in the fourth floor window, six weeks old
infant boy who cried with colic for days, rocked
in my arms. And I with the knowledge that
if my arms opened he would drop. It would be
over, easy as a farmer downs a bag
of kittens who would not survive anyway.
"It's the same," she said. "I take care of my cats."
Life grew from bulges in my womb to people
I cannot recognize as parts of myself
except around her mouth, sometimes from her mouth,
except around his eyes, a foot above mine,
grown different each day, shed their yesterdays,
eight thousand days, more or less, every day.
"It's battle scars," he said. "makes you different."
I picked her up from jail, barefoot, dark circles
under eyes that stared resolutely past me,
mute witness to distance between us. Those
cold wars can sometimes outweigh the many nights
she spent with her head on my lap as my hand
stroked her hair and I watched my teenager sleep.
"I miss nothing," she said, "not having children."
She was three first time she went missing, wandered
off to another trailer park. He was in
high school last time, three hours late before we found
he was missing. He came for Christmas. She moved
to Texas, showed her boyfriend photos of her
as she grew, took a few more snapshots and left.
Volume 8 Index