Now, because I know that, although I’ve referred to my former home as “the city”, I’ve also called it by its name on at least half a dozen occasions. And well, though I’ve vowed to remain as anonymous as possible, I know that only a select few people from that city would even have the faintest idea of who I’ve been writing bout in these blogs. Those people are as follows: people who directly know him on a very personal level and people who directly know me on a very personal level.
So, this post is not so much about the atrocities and the wrongs that went on behind closed bathroom doors because that’s the only place where the lighting was ever half descent. This is about the poetry read. This is about the April teen poetry slam at the city library where I took my competing poem and slammed against at least 15 other teenagers both older and younger than me. This is about the four days a spent rewriting an extremely old poem that I had once read in front of at least twenty or so poets at the Perk and sounded completely ridiculous. This, my readers, is about how close I felt to Ruben.
El Paso Town Tale
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.” – Allen Ginsberg
I heard the meaning of sound
become no more significant than the words spoken into it,
saw the library building
become an empty abandoned warehouse
of which no one knew the location
much less spent any time in.
I saw Ginsberg
after the poetry had left our minds,
watched his ideas die
like the stars faded into the Sun City lights.
And I saw the famous Sun City
mold or melt
into crowded streets of violence
where a bad enough argument
ended with a bang, a gun.
and to them,
that was fun.
I saw the laughter of pleasantries
turn into screams of pain,
and I saw children born of children,
baby falling from child womb
again and again and again…
I watched the poetry forgotten
and words burned from the pages
of the souls of our fellow
Gentlemen Junkie artists of rage.
And I howled
for the deaths of the recognition
of the hero beatniks
of my generation.
I stood on the mountainside
and watched the divide
destroy my child mind,
with its shootings,
and forced fucks
as well as those given away by people my age
just to gain a quick buck.
I saw kids sitting on their ass in class
on their phones
laughing about the last bad joke
with not a worry in the world
while our dreams and friends go up in smoke.
I saw hearts stop
and bodies drop
at a party where everybody there
was too doped up to notice
not that they would’ve actually cared.
And I swore to never give in
to this life style development
but after so much of this
self-abused and over-used
way of life, on a frame of time,
I became what I swore I’d never become
did things I never would’ve done
with the influence of my Sun City.
My Chuco Town, my love, my drug,
my home where I would never be alone.
I betrayed you for my lies and highs
and soggy stares at a people gone bad
through my over-intoxicated eyes
and I realized
that I was becoming just another piece
of my age of wealth gone awry.
But I could never blame my Sun City,
my generation or the times
for making my quicker than heaven
drag me even faster to hell
but let me tell you…
I saw the smartest people I knew
become the maddest people I knew.
I saw child come from child,
love mold into hate,
death melt out of life.
and I watched people drag their sorry asses
back to those who caused them the most pain.
And did I learn my lesson?
Now, I’m not going to act like it’s the greatest poem of the century but I’m not going to sit here and behave like it wasn’t a good poem either. This poem, along with a few other not so good ones I had written, won me third place in a poetry read where the students were allowed to read from other books. I know, I saw them. I went home with my prize consisting of a book written by the hosting poet (not the best book I ever read, but I kept it) and a $10 gift card to Barnes & Noble which was quickly spent on two Starbucks coffees for myself and my mother.
Anyway, I posted on Facebook as soon as I arrived home:
Teen poetry slam. Won 3rd place.
I thought it was a fairly nonchalant thing to post, and to be perfectly honest, I may have done it just to see how Ruben would respond to it both on public Facebook, and in messages on my phone. He immediately asked for pictures. He called it hot that I had won such a mediocre award, and the night ended with me once again on my bathroom floor, taking pictures from all angles of me in this or that outfit, waiting for feedback from Ruben once he was done with me for the night.
I know it sounds horrid, but I guess there was just something I loved about it. I liked feeling wanted, and I loved hearing Ruben tell me how hot I was. You hear a lot about how immature boys are because they act so sexist, but you always hear that girls are far worse because they don’t simply tolerate it, they eat it up. For some reason, girls always seem to be the ones willing to do just about anything to gain some form of affection from the man they love, and I guess this is proof. I did far more for Ruben than I ever should’ve been willing to do for any man I was ever with. And I did these things almost every night….