im on the bus

I’m on the bus

Rolling through town looking out the window at myself on the above ground train looking down at me on the bus
I’m sitting next to myself, sleeping in the window seat
I’m chatting with a stranger in the isle next to me.
I’m watching myself walking to class down Thompson Ave
I’m out there on the curb begging for some change but I won’t hardly give myself the time of day.
I’m looking in at myself at a restaurant, eating a meal with my family
I’m driving past myself hard at work, late, in the office – but I don’t see me there.
I’m juuuuuuust on the other side of that window, ringing up customers in the pharmacy
I’m hustling down Queens Boulevard, bundled head to toe to keep from catching cold.
And all the while I’m riding the bus
on my way home
I’m standing on the overpass, watching the glow of my brake lights down below while I sit stuck in traffic, impatiently trying to get to a concert
I watch myself sadly walking under the over, contemplating life and death
I’m in that store front shop over there, getting zapped with a tattoo gun while I also sit outside the room watching my love get pinched the same.
I’m grabbing some dollar menu items with the last of my paycheck wondering what the rest of the week will hold while I watch myself, holding my sons hand as he jumps into the ball pit.
And there I am, excitedly walking to the bar for karioke with a group of me’s, all being so absolutely ME that it’s sickening, so I don’t even watch.
I’m grabbing some cash from an ATM and I’m shopping in Queens Center while I convince myself to buy those oh-so-fabulous shoes.
And all the while, I’m sitting on the bus.
Just rolling through town.
I’m anxiously seated in the back of the church wondering how I’m up at the front just calm as a cucumber with NO expression on my face.
I’m standing in a parking lot unloading some heavy memories to the most me of all me’s- and I stand there open, and loving, receiving the weight.
I’m stumbling to the train station high as a kite and wondering if anyone will ever love me,
or if I will ever love me again
or if I’ll ever truly love myself.
I’m sitting on a bench waiting for myself to arrive.
I’m up in that apartment, cleaning my bathroom with such pride that I have my own space to clean while below me, I clean my fourth bathroom of the day and just cannot wait until it’s quitting time.
And I’m driving a bus
I’m selling tomatoes and olives and flowers and broccoli rabe to a bunch of rich snooty me’s that barely notice I’m breathing, while I’m standing there engulfed in my own importance.
My bus rolls to a stop and there I am at the bus stop slumped over half asleep and I call to myself, but I have no time so I leave myself behind.
I’m over there at Enterprise renting a car from myself and I’m ready for a mission
or a vacation.
I’m waiting in line.
A very big line.
I’m antsy but I’m calm and I complain but I stay quiet.
I’m at Starbucks overpaying for coffee but feeling fancy while I do so, and when I ring myself up, I tell myself to have a great day, but I give up no tip.
Rolling through town on a bus.
I’m at the court house shaking and crying and worried and angry and worried and confused and ashamed.
I’m alone but I’m surrounded.
I’m in the back of the bus holding back tears.
I’m moving myself out, up and in all while I’m moving away and closer.
Finishing and starting.
And I appreciate my help so much.
I’m looking for something at the library but really just enjoying the scent of books while I wait out the clock for me to finish so I can go home.
I’m wearing orange and working on the side of the road, when there I go on my bus.
Rolling through town.
I’m ordering sandwiches infatuated with the brotherly love.
I’m sluggishly washing cloths at the laundromat, watching the tv that I can’t hear but I’m just too tired to ask myself to turn it louder.
From the bus, I can only see my belly in the window while I use the chordless drill to install curtain rods for the first time, ever.
I’m in these houses.
Hugging and cleaning and cooking and sleeping and watching and helping.
I’m on the bus
I’m all there is
C

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

Am I less?

 

Well, what’s the bench mark?

Less of a woman with less ample breasts?

Wearing less makeup and a longer dress

Less, sparkle and shine

But more grit and grime

why must I be soft?

And quiet.

A skirt

Delicate and proper

Ladylike

LIKE a lady?

OR a lady?

What is a lady?

 

Well, I guess I don’t fit

Because I can’t force-fake a dream of diamonds and marriage and children and debt.

I close my eyes

And fantasize of revolution

I remember the listless limbless child slaves

The ones mining your diamonds for a cup of rice a day

I dream of a new reality where people are valued

Where money falls from grace

Where you’ll all have egg on your face

 

Don’t try to put me in a box and pop a label on it

You don’t understand because you’re selfish

You are your own sun

And we just orbit

Of no importance

Right?

 

I’m committed

And have convictions

I have love

And drive

I’M alive

I’ll not wed society

A society allowing for poverty,

For hunger.

Not for change

Not for love

Not echoing the cries of the vulnerable like thunder

Prim won’t feed the children

And, it would be proper, to put a stop to sex trafficking.

If a “Lady” wears a diamond on her perfectly manicured ring finger,

Does it show her husband her commitment?

Or just that, African children are less important?

I’m not buying what you’re selling

So call me a man because I’ve got balls and you’re right,

A diamond IS forever.

Forever enslaved

Forever lining the pockets of war profiteers

Forever ruining economies

Forever encouraging genocide

Your divorce will sever ties

But your diamond severed lives

It cast a foreshadow on your union

Polluting the purity of your marriage like raw sewage

All because you acted before you thought

Goo goo gaa gaa over that ring your friend bought

Like a rodent attracted to its shine

 

OK, OK

It’s just a ring

Well you tell that to him,

The boy with one hand

To his mother

To the villages destroyed and its people run off their land

So you see,

This thing,

You say is ‘just a ring’

Is much,

Much more.

Decide what you stand for.

 

 

C

A Special Piece by Matthew Beach

Here is a piece my very talented cousin, Matthew Beach, posted up this morning. It is very personal and got me very choked up. He captures my EXACT feelings. Such talent, I am proud and lucky to have him as a family.

“Pop Pop….. I just wanna let you know, you’re not here but I’ll never let you go, I know you’re wit uncle jerry-o , because you were there to greet him…I have my own son now I wish that you could meet him. I was depressed when you left , but I knew there was a reason…. and when God says it’s your time, you gotta leave then…….(after I breathe in), Please give me a second to explain, I’ve been through a lot of shit, when you were sick it was just pain. I’ve been tryna maintain through the rain and the stormy weather….. but it just ain’t the same cause we’re not all together. All we have is memories of the time passed…… I know it had to kill Uncle Timmy, when Tom passed. It’s just a part of life, the heartbreak and sadness, it’s madness, feels like every year another one passes. I always feel better when the priest reads his passage, then everybody prays….rest in peace is the last wish. Uncle mike was that southern Kentucky Fly guy , gold jewelry out the window whenever you’d see him ride by!….. we all have our days, but today I’m feeling sky high, and thank god for my family and friends that I have by my side!”