Saturday, March 19, 2016

Rock Star Human

Just learned recently that the rhythm guitarist for one of my favorite bands is in treatment for addiction. I've loved this band for over 10 years now, and this really hit me hard for whatever reason.

Rock Star Human

Playing rock god-style
night after night,
sneer curled in your lip
though your face looks at peace.
Sweat pours down as you hit
power chord after power cord
synchronized with the six other men on stage.

The show ends,
house lights come up in the venue,
adoring fans wait
for a handshake, autograph, or photo.
You slip off to backstage.

Back in your private room
You feel less like a legend
and increasing more human each night.
Open a bottle, take a swig,
the alcohol warms your throat
and numbs everything else.

Others watch you closely
as you slip further away.
Family, friends, fans
all see you in unwashed holey clothes.
You joke about being told that
‘you are letting yourself slip away.’

The time finally comes
when those who love you,
who have seen you grow
from a skiny skinhead teenager
into a man,
can’t watch your descent any longer.
They gather around you
and plead for you to truly look at yourself
and see that you need help.

Onstage your band plays on
without you.
Every night when your frontman tells the audience
why your aren’t by his side right now
we can feel the love and concern
and how much they can’t wait for you to be better again.

So many people root for you,
knowing the struggle personally
or remembering how addiction played out in their lives.

We can’t wait to see you again,
playing rock god style with your band,
stronger than when you left us for a short while.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

"Marked: Another Experience" & "My Fantasy"

Marked: Another Experience

Private party show,
because the venue forgot
to renew the liquor license.
Marked with a sharpie
so we could exit the club between bands.

I stand in the back against a wall
while the first band plays
punked-up folk music
wearing Donnie Darko masks.
I spend the set going between
hoping the masks weren’t going to star
in fucked up nightmares later on,
and thinking that they were too talented
to have be resorting to stupid gimmicks
to gain the attention of an audience.

Between sets I run
out to my car for some granola.
I catch glances from the smokers
as I run back into the club,
they seemed amused by my antics.

With the second band
I move closer to the stage.
Last time I saw them was 9 years prior.
The energy and passion are still there,
no doubt revved up by their hometown crowd.
I’m soaking in the feel of the upright bass
reverberating in my chest.
It’s been too long
since I last had that feeling.

Between sets, back to my car,
more granola. And to leave
my hoodie in the front seat;
there would be no need inside anymore.

I move my way through the club
to the second ‘row’ of the pit
and hop foot-to-foot
as the headlining band sound checks.
They start their set
and everything moves in unison.
And I’m at peace again
shaking my head, my body bouncing
almost rhythmically off of others.

Later on, back in the kitchen
the ink of the X is already fading.
Smiling, thinking, nothing last forever
except memories.


My Fantasy

Many days I fantasize
about buying a one-way ticket
to anywhere outside of the US.

Leaving a note, or texting, or e-mailing
those who will worry
that I’m okay. I’m just going
on one of my one-woman adventures,
just this time a little further out than normal.

I’ll drop into some big city,
walk into some little dive bar-type pub
and beg the owner for a job.
I’ll be paid under the table, of course.

I’ll explore the city
and when I get tired of it,
take a train to anywhere else.