All My Heroes Were Assassinated

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All My Heroes

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Another Day

 The alarm clock sounds and everyone rises,

not waking, but choosing to make an appearance in

this performance called Life.  We have survived

our undress rehearsal nightmares and are now ready


to embellish ourselves with suitcases, technology,

masks, and carefully calculated costumes.

With rhythmic walks, we make our way towards

schools and offices and coffee shops


where we order mantras, quote management’s

accidental anthems, and take our usual places

in front of teachers who’ve been taught to teach us

multiple ways to regurgitate the manifesto of mediocrity.


Before you know it, it is lunch time.  We stop

to feed physical starvation while mindlessly chattering

with other spiritually famished humanoids.  Our voices

speak loudly on subjects that deserve silence


in hopes that the vibrations will echo off of the vacancies

in our humanity and give the appearance that we

have in fact said more than nothing.  We find

our only moments of fulfillment in these acts of neglect.


Suddenly it’s 5 p.m. and everyone is sitting in traffic

on 288, sailing on a sea of mass-produced clouds

while counting exits and the innumerable steps between the life we wanted, the one we have, and the next.


The kids are picked up, errands are run, dinner is made.

We attempt to strike up conversations with the offspring,

but their minds have been orphaned by our busy schedules

and indifference towards the lives that matter.


Dishes are washed, baths taken, wine is poured.

It’s time to cool down after a long day of chasing results.

We have put on Oscar worthy performances today

and somehow survived the world we helped usher into ruin.


is not life

not the push and the pull, the struggle of the knot

it is not the echo of laughter

or the chasing of tides

is not seeing the same sun set differently

and lifting the horizon

as you slowly blink your left eye

then your right


it is not the fight or the make up

your mother’s shitty Thanksgiving Day dinners

and outdated trivia games

it’s not the last word in the argument

nor is it the first word of an awkward romance

it won’t give you the exact same feeling

you felt the first time your heard that song

it is not the involuntary sway in your hips

or beads of sweat

or blood in your mouth

from a fist fight with your best friend

it is not a slow process

the same lesson studied and lost



you can’t hold it in your mouth like Skittles

or a warm kiss

it’s not velvet like grace

you can’t touch it and burn your finger

hold it to your face

and feel its soft breath across your cheek


you can’t wear it like a mask

you can’t create it in the pit of your belly

and then cast it before swine

you can’t destroy and rebuild it

or let it be your testimony

you cannot mourn it

or tell it to go to hell

it’s not something you can be proud of

or so embarrassed by

that you’d rather die than let anyone know

it is not mock virtue or doubt

can’t beg forgiveness

before it steals the money from Grammy’s wallet

cannot get high and forget

it won’t discover it has gills

while drowning in its own delusion


it is not a razor used to prison tattoo teenage skin

a bullet stopped by a pocket Bible

a bottle of pills shipped to a war torn country

a water hose connected to sprinklers

a belt used for a new pair of jeans

submerging oneself in joy

throwing one’s body in front of the light


it is not the gamut

it is not life


I am from

I am from unmarked graves and trenches.
Where Crips crypt walk across Crime Street.
I take the Number 6 going in the direction of Nowhere
and get off at Hopelessness.
I am from the Projects with no rubric.
The place where standards sit by and watch
Poverty run Progress out of the neighborhood.
I am from Meth made in Minute Maid bottles.
Here, we roll blunts with our bucket lists.
Here, we know better than to believe.
Here, we don’t go to sleep to dream.
I am from where Hell scorches High water.
Where the view from the high rise is the pavement
and the higher the skirt,

the better the view of your self-esteem.
I am from blood.
Here, nobody sweats your tears.

I am from a place where bold means shoot blindly.
Where life is a Vick’s Vapor
and you’ll get rubbed out by a cold heart.
I am from NO NEWS equals no coverage.
Cops don’t come here.

When they do they leave running.


I am from water heated on stoves.
Here, heartbeats are shared like Cable connections and
lifelines split like the veins of Siamese twins.