Fighting (And Beating) Fascism Is Totally Punk Rock

On a beautiful spring afternoon in 1996, one of my best friends and I walked into a room packed full of punks and skinheads in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Both of us had fallen in love hard with Punk Rock the year before. We lived and breathed for the next show. We had recently seen a flier at a record store for a Two-Tone Ska and Punk show happening at a community hall in Lancaster. My friend convinced his beleaguered and loving mother to make the drive from neighboring Southern York County to Lancaster so we could spend the day dancing with all the other punk rockers and moonstompers. The names of the bands who played have long since faded from my memory. I do, however remain certain my friend and I were the youngest kids at the show, all nervous with our charged hair and Doc Martens. I will confess to a certain youthful naiveté here, still new to the subculture and susceptible to some negative stereotypes about punks leftover from the 80’s. That is to say, I went everywhere, even punk shows expecting trouble, in a constant state of alert.

My friend and I quickly realized we had no reason to worry. The crowd of punks and skinheads inside the hall were exuberant and friendly. The older punks asked us where we were from. They taught us how to skank. All the punks danced hard, yet without aggression or maliciousness. When someone fell, there was always a set of hands reaching down to lift them back to their feet within seconds. My friend and I lost ourselves like that, stomping to the music until the show ended and it was time to return to our small town. Before we left, we hit up a table towards the back of hall filled with information from Anti-Racist Action (Antifa’s spiritual predecessor) to grab some zines and stickers. I spent three dollars on a “DESTROY FASCISM” patch. The patch was a simple embroidered design of a red star stomping on a swastika, a voice bubble emanating from the star with the words “Fight Back”. That patch adorned almost every punk jacket I wore for the remainder of the 90’s. I did not learn to sew until I was almost 18, relying instead on safety pins to affix patches to my jackets. This meant the patch was easily transferable from garment to garment.

I lost that patch somewhere down the years. Reading the news this morning, I wish I still had it. I hardly believe something as symbolic as wearing a patch on my clothing will stop a rising tide of fascism in its tracks, but I believe in wearing your heart on your sleeve. These days too, I find comfort in remembering where I come from in a world where I feel as uncertain of our species’ collective future as I ever have. This is why I still adhere to lace codes in my Doc Martens. Yellow straight laces to signify to the few people I pass by on the street who might be versed in obscure subcultural fashion codes from a bygone era that these boots are laced up to stomp out fascism.

If you came up punk in the 90’s, you probably hated fascism and Nazism with fervent vitriol, even if you had the only the most rudimentary understanding of said concepts. This too, was a sentiment leftover from the 80’s when groups like Anti-Racist Action organized with punks across the country, fighting and often bleeding to remove the filth of fascism from their scenes and cities. By the time my friends and I came up, the violence was finally dwindling. A.R.A. pushed to make punk and Oi shows inhospitable for fascist recruitment. Nazi skinheads attacked minorities and menaced punks at shows, but with a growing rarity. In Rural Pennsylvania, they served as an omnipresent threat, yet just as often unseen menace.

When we weren’t at shows, my friends and I smoked weed in the woods away from the prying eyes (and noses!) of parents, then rushed back to our bedrooms to put Crass records on the turntable and pore over the lyrics. Crass’ talk of neo-fascism in songs like The Gasman Cometh and Yes Sir, I Will record scared the shit out of me when I was fifteen and living in a small town, far removed from the grim realities of Cold War Britain. The threat just seemed so far away and impossible. Where I lived, Nazi skinheads showed up at maybe 1 in 10 shows and 9 times out of 10, the punks were ready to stomp them the fuck out the instant they threw their first stiff arm salute.

Sure, we worried that the government was fucked, and might kill us all in a nuclear war. We worried we would get cancer from all the pollutants in the air and water and chemicals in our food. We strained at the leashes held by those that ran a world we were coming to realize we wanted no part of. All the same, I was living in a small town, being raised by a conservative mother in the deceptive, neo-liberal calm of the Clinton years. My mother listened to Rush Limbaugh on the radio and raved about the ever-looming threat of SOCIALISM. I listened to punk records and read zines with my friends. The signals were as mixed as they were many. I knew the grim realities of police violence and state control existed, but had not yet witnessed them first hand or felt their hands at my throat. There were two cops in our little town. They both went home at 9:00 PM.

Twenty-two years later, I am no longer young and idealistic. My generation came up in the complacent Pax-Americana of neo-liberalism and the Clinton years.  We became adults in the war mongering to the victor go the spoils ruthless profiteering of the Bush years. We watched Obama offer more of the same, albeit with a prettier face as the world spun out further down. Now there are those who would argue that we are in the end stages of capitalism where a bloated system reliant on relentless resource extraction and consumption, dependent on human misery can no longer sustain itself. Those in power are terrified of relinquishing hold on what gives them wealth. We see power resort to ever more drastic measures to hold on, to keep us running in circles; spending, consuming, hurling humanity to its collective mass grave. If history shows us anything, it is that in these moments of crisis and social transformation where malignant ideologies like fascism take root .

Reading the news this morning, I see that the world my fifteen-year-old self both railed against, and simultaneously never believed would actually arrive has indeed arrived. The moral equivalent of the Nazi boneheads we strove to run out of our punk scenes and cities two decades ago have situated themselves as the conductors of this blood soaked horrorshow. The nihilistic apparatus of power seeks to serve only itself, by any means. It tears migrant families apart. It aims to strip legal rights from queer and transgender people. It aims to allow cops murder people of color with impunity, to warehouse them away in prisons. Antisemites are murdering senior citizens in their places of worship. White supremacists, enraged by any modicum of progress made in dismantling the system that upholds their power, emboldened by the current administration are shooting black grandparents in grocery stores. Movements like Black Lives Matter that you know, arose to make the very simple request that black lives be afforded the same dignity, safety and self-determination as their white counterparts are vilified and criminalized, treated as if they are polarizing and partisan. All of this to feed a network of profiteering, gluttonous parasites.

That great and terrible “just around the corner” that Discharge warned us about through a wail of distortion and D-Beats going on forty years ago now, is no longer just around the corner.

It is here.

Times are cold and hard, but this is an argument against despair. This is the time to act. This is the time to organize. Go to shows. Be with your people. Love your friends and watch their backs. Do not give into depression and isolation. Do not give into apathy and indifference. After the gigs get into the streets. Agitate. Go hard. The fascists are not only organizing, but they are murdering people. Their weapons of state control and industry are running riot and literally bleeding our world to death. This is not a grim and potential future we worried about when we were children. This is the painful present. The stakes have never been higher.

This is for the punks, because 40 years of the movement and the music have been preparing us for this very moment. This is for the aging punks. Remember that spirit of rebellion you carried as kids. I am begging you to keep that flame burning now in whatever capacity you can. Your world needs you to keep giving a fuck. Your world needs your anger just like it needs your kindness. Your children need you, because we owe them a world better that the one our parents left us. We owe them a planet with clean air and drinkable water. We owe them a free and just world. We must instill in them the compassion that this culture seeks to stamp out of them as soon as it can.

This is for the young punks, because while “No Future” may have been a hopeless rallying cry worthy of romanticism by punk rockers over four decades, but it’s a fucking copout now. Your world needs you, because the threat to our future has never been greater. Your fellow human beings living without the luxury of romanticized self-destruction need you. Not everyone has the option to give into despair and self-destruction. This is not the time to succumb to nihilism. This is the time to live up to your rebellious potential. This is the time to use your voice, to step into your power and stand fucking hard.

This is what Crass trained you for. This is what The Dead Kennedys prepared you for. This is what The Clash trained you for. Everything happening now,  Oi Polloi have been writing more or less the same song about since the 1980’s (Don’t get me wrong! It’s a great song!). This is the war that the Vengeance LP hardened your resolve for throughout countless cold winter punk house bedrooms. There must be no retreat, no surrender, because the time is now nearing midnight, and we are in danger of never greeting the dawn.

 

 

Advertisements
Fighting (And Beating) Fascism Is Totally Punk Rock

Untitled

12:42 AM
Drunk, but not too drunk
Just marveling at
The taste of alcohol on my tongue
After five years of
World crushing panic
Every time I tipped a bottle back

Lying in bed
With candles lit
My last great love’s
Scent lingers on the pillow
Long after the echo
Of their laughter
Exited the room

Lingering on
Like cigarette smoke
Permeating hair
Painfully aware
Of toil dragging a body down
Taste the weight of age
Gravity gripping my face
Fear the grave
Lick my lips
Taste a long kiss goodnight
With all the beauty and bitterness
Of mortality on my lips, still

Untitled

On Island Road

Cooper City Florida, 1987
Voorhees and Krueger Come
To gruesome life on a suburban television
Screaming children run
Across a flickering screen
Fleeing bloodslick blades gripped
In the hands of fictional horrors unrelenting

The credits roll
The Screen goes blank
The groan and hum of the cassette
Rewinding breaks the brief silence
As the screams of so many murdered
Teenagers fade into the recesses
Of my young mind.
“What did you think of that?”
The words slide
From his tongue with cold eagerness
“Uh. A lot of people died.”

I am six years old
Spread on the floor
While parents wrestle with oblivion
Behind closed doors
He says ghosts live
In the corner of
Every room, watching
This scares me more than the movies
For some reason

His mother’s apron
Hangs limp from a hook in the kitchen
I imagine now, every corner filled
With aprons, suits, dresses
Suspended
Haunted
Lifeless

The cathode ray glow
Filled with cheap horror
Keeps my restless ghosts
At bay until the morning

Less than a block away
My parents sleep
Ashtrays on their night tables
Who smokes in the house around
A first grader with asthma anyway?

Late night cable
Takes a turn for the worse
Filled with wet mouths
And hungry curves
Speaking a language
I have yet to learn

He unzips his pants

There are power lines outside
Humming static against the
Thick night sky
The heat is oppressive

I know I should feel something more.

Right here
In this town
Sneaking around
Feet pound
Late night blacktop
Still clinging to the sun’s last heat
In this house
On this street

I feel nothing.

Do you know how
To give into hate?
I now know how to give in
To hate.

IMG_2073 (1)
Photo credit unknown
On Island Road

I don’t Know What To Say

I was six years old the first time I was sexually assaulted. I can recall the majority of the details with clarity and alacrity. This is a blessing and a curse, I guess because the memories have stayed strong and present with me all these for the past three decades. I have spent the majority of my adult life wrestling with them. Like many survivors, the memories often come bursting out of me with little warning, and at inopportune times. Sometimes during the summer if I am sleeping in a room with a ceiling fan, I wake up with a start thinking it is someone’s breath on the back of my neck. I have spent much of my life in and out of various states of dissociation and bottomless rage. I have spent much of my life like I still don’t know how to say no, and often find myself intimate with individuals who know just how to exploit that.

On the other side of that survivorhood, I distinctly remember being thirteen and my male friends and I figuring out that that there was a blurred line between persistence and coercion. To our young minds, the absence of physical violence somehow differentiated us from the individuals who assaulted me years earlier. Furthering that idea, when I was fifteen, a group of boys abducted one of my friends and took her to a party where they assaulted her. This crime was never reported, but served as singular turning point in the young lives of my friends and I; a reminder of sorts of the secret truth we had always known, encoded in our young bodies: The bad men were real, and they mostly got away with what they wanted. My best friend and I walked around school carrying knives secreted away in our pockets the rest of that year, swearing that we were going to stab the one perpetrator we could identify to death the first chance we got. We never did. He went on to live a normal life until dying in a car wreck on the run from the law ten years later. I was at a party when I heard, and I laughed audibly, comfortable in the certainty that my friends and I were so different from this sorry, dead asshole.

When you are a young person, especially when you grow up in punk, you define yourself by what you are and what you are not. You delineate everyone into a clear “them” and “us”. You surround yourself with other freaks and outcasts and convince yourself you somehow live outside of the unrequited-blood soaked horrorshow that is life on this planet. My friends and I naively believed we were somehow different, all the while shutting out the voices of the women and queers in our lives who have been imploring us to just fucking listen and do better. The few deeply intimate relationships with I have had with men have been with fragile boys with fragile egos, unable in varying degrees to examine hard truths about themselves, always wondering why their lives are perpetual disasters and their exes fucking hate them. Don’t worry. I am counting my relationship to myself in there too.

I wrote letters to two of the individuals who assaulted me at the beginning of my thirties, never having the nerve to send them. Two years back, I decided to send them while trying to reconcile and change my own patterns of abusive behavior towards intimate partners. I held the naïve belief that maybe these two men would hear me out and open a dialogue and that maybe we could sort out some of this mess together. One of them responded. I obviously could not hear the tone in their voice as they composed an email, but I am fairly certain it differed very little from Brett Kavanaugh’s as they berated me, simultaneously calling me a liar and weak for still feeling the effect of their actions thirty years later. They included their phone number in the email, demanding that I call them, which I never did. I have no doubt that had we spoken on the phone, they would have sounded *exactly* like Judge Kavenaugh did on television the other day.

This individual also came out to me as trans in their email. Two days later, they committed suicide. I blamed myself for the death of another trans woman, and wondered what kind of common ground we could have found had they just listened. I wondered how similar the paths we had walked really were. I spent the next week certain their ghost was in the room with me at night and slept very little. I left my room only to eat or walk my dog. I told my friends I was sure that they would be waiting for me in hell when I died. The crushing feeling of guilt stuck with me until I thought about what an utter fucking chump move it is to hurl yourself into whatever afterlife will claim you rather than take responsibility for your actions.

My heart feels ripped out of my chest this week. My heart is broken for all the people I love who are survivors (and that is almost everyone I know.). My heart is broken for all the people I love who are raising children, especially daughters in this thresher. My heart breaks for the kids who come after us, who were supposed to inherit a better world. My heart breaks for the people I love who live the duality of being both survivor and perpetrator this week, because every person I have loved the most has endured/is capable of/has inflicted some serious harm, and we have to live the lives we’ve made and pick up the pieces. My heart breaks continuously thinking about the people who I have done harm to. My heart breaks thinking about what it is to live in a culture that benefits you so intensely that your hard-learned life lessons usually come at the expense of the people you love the most, and that is treated as normal.

I am tired. We are all tired. We are all tired and heartbroken, and I have no optimism with which to end this post, only a small body filled with venom and unwavering love for my friends doing the best they can.

I don’t Know What To Say

7/25/18

’67 Airstream with the radio on
Sweaty Appalachian air thick with heat
Cicadas sing me to sleep
Out in the restless southern dark

The night called me home
With song and blood
Skin never quite shed
Right here
Where god spoke to me
For the very first time
Once upon disaster and nuclear atrocity

Outside the trailer door
You can still smell the scent of it
In the air like a thousand sleepless hours
Passed in this city before this moment

This city
Always in my heart
There was never any choice
I loved this place ever since the moment
An angry kid first set steel-toed boot
To heat-cracked pavement
In the rush of misspent youth

I love it now, still
Walking alone on tourist-choked streets
As an outsider to my former home
With aging eyes searching for familiar sights
Across this beloved skyline
I lost my heart in the shining
Concrete and glass relics
Built for a collapse yet to come

Down in the dives
My friends and I
Drink our liquid bread down
Grown like bitter weeds
Breaking through cracks in the concrete
Poisoned plants from poisoned roots
Choking on words wielded like weapons
Smoking cigarettes and talking trash
Breathing in bitterness like our lungs could last
Building lives out of sculptures of ash

7/25/18

Two Drug Stories.

Hello!  I haven’t updated this thing in a while.  I’ve been busy working on a project I’m super excited about.  I’m going to share a piece of it publicly here for the first time.  I’d love feedback if you have time.

The following related stories are from a larger piece I’m working on detailing my time as a miscreant, maladjusted punk rocker in Rural Pennsylvania twenty years ago.  I completed this chapter today.  This is a first draft.  I have done little to no editing work.  All names have been redacted to protect the guilty who are no doubt all grown up and embarrassed by what I remember.  Enjoy!

 Drug Story One:

I can’t remember when the decision to stop smoking weed and drinking was.  I think it had been a gradual process as spring bloomed into being that year.  We had dabbled that winter, and I had a hard time saying no to things, but over time I think I just discovered straight edge and lost interest.  The last sip of alcohol I had was some warm beer we had found stashed in the trunk of the Cordoba the day _____ bought it.

There had been some funny times though.  Like when _____’s parents and my mom had all gone out of town on separate trips Valentine’s Day weekend, essentially leaving teenage lunatics in charge of the asylum.  ______, ____, ___ and I had spent Friday night mixing “just a bit” from each liquor bottle in my mom’s liquor cabinet getting wasted and talking to my dead dad with a Ouija board, and then _____and ____ had stolen _____’s dad’s car to pick me up and cruise on Saturday night.

I was already drunk when they picked me up.  Saturday had just emptily crawled by, filled with nothing much but an early winter sunset and long night to look forward to.  _____ had come over to hang out.  We decided to get drunk almost as soon as it was dark.  We would spend the night at _____’s parent’s house.  _____ and _____ planned to stay up all night on acid.  I was afraid of doing acid, but they assured me there was more alcohol to be had over there.  Good.  I was worried about my mom noticing how much we had stolen Friday anyway.

The weekend culminated in us staying up all night on Saturday, all fucked up and laughing at nothing in particular in an empty bathtub.  _____ and _____ dropped their acid.  I drank southern comfort from straight from the bottle.  We listened to The Misfits Collection I all night.  Somewhere in the empty wastes of a Southern York County landfill, a video tape of our night may or may not exist.  _____had found a camcorder somewhere, and wanted to document our misdeeds for the night.

Near four AM, I crawled down to ____’s basement room to pass out.  I was awoken a few hours later by hysterical laughter and moaning.  In my stupor, I could not figure out the source of the moaning.  When I had fallen asleep, only ____ and ____ were present in the house.  How the fuck had an orgy been initiated in the few hours I had been unconscious?  I was so confused.

I had passed out with my boots on and everything.  I groggily stomped up the stairs to see a hilarious sight:  ____ and ____ had raided ____’s parent’s room and found his dad’s VHS collection of pornography.  They had a movie on the TV in the living room.  The actors were vigorously penetrating one another and moaning fakely for the cameras.

In the neon nocturnal glow of the television, there were ____ and ____, high as shit on acid, and laughing.  They were sitting two feet away from the television tops.  Messily devouring leftover pizza, they had smeared tomato sauce all over their faces.  In with the combination of my blurry vision, and the glow of the television, the sauce eerily resembled blood.  The camcorder was set up on a tripod behind them, and they were still filming.  The scene was completely surreal.

“Y’all.  The sun is going to be up soon.  My mom gets home this afternoon.  We trashed my house Friday.  I need to get home and sober up and clean.”  I said.

____ insisted on driving his parent’s car.  ____ asked if it wouldn’t be better if he drove, considering he had only been up on acid, not acid and drinking combined.  ___ also insisted that he had mostly come down from his trip.  ___ wouldn’t hear it.

The sky was beginning to lighten as we crawled down the driveway in the cold.  ___ asked one more time if he shouldn’t drive.  ____ shrugged it off.  I was in the front seat with the camcorder, recording our drive for posterity.  Who the fuck is dumb enough to record their crimes anyway?

A four three way stop lay at the bottom of the hill.  The street we were on intersected with another street.  Ahead of us was a cornfield that lay fallow.  ____ showed no signs of slowing down as the intersection barreled towards us.

“____!  STOP!” ____ and I both yelled in unison.

He didn’t stop.  He plowed through the intersection without even slowing down.  As we blew through the stop sign, I looked over at ____ in the driver’s seat.  His head was bobbing loosely on his neck like a doll.  I wasn’t even sure if the severity of our predicament registered for him.

And I laughed.  I laughed and laughed with teenage death urge glee as ____ completely lost control of the car.  We launched over a pile of snow pushed to the side of the road by a snowplow from a recent storm.  I was still laughing when the car momentarily took flight.  All four wheels met the frozen ground of the field, and the car began to spin.  I kept laughing when we came to a stop directly between two telephone poles.  A few feet to the left or the right would have spelled varying degrees of disaster for all three of us, but we were lucky. The air was still and silent.

____just turned to ____ and said “Okay.  Fine. You drive.”

I suppose dying in a drunk driving accident two weeks after my fifteenth birthday is one of a thousand early deaths I could have gone to, but never did.  I’d like to think my survival, really the survival of so many of my friends was due to a small amount of self-preservation, and maybe some supernatural guardianship, rather than sheer idiot luck.

Drug Story Two:

 The first time I got high.  It was that same winter, maybe a few weeks after ____, ____ and I nearly met our doom.  ____’s little brother ___ and I are smoking weed in his room.  He has crudely constructed a bowl out of a sprite can, using a safety pin to poke holes in the side.  To add to the sheer idiocy of this scene, we are using a zippo to ignite our buds.  My lungs burn as I inhale copious amounts of weed smoke and butane.

Blowing smoke out the window, I realize I am totally baked.  ____ is ecstatic at this.  He wants to celebrate by going outside and “walking around”.  Even in my state, I know what this will consist of.  There is so goddamn little to do in this town, that “walking around” is really just code for walking to the McDonalds a few blocks away and seeing if anyone we know is there.

This walk is precisely what we do.  We walk east on Forest Avenue, very slowly and giddily.  We cut across Main Street, and behind the churches that line it, and into the cemetery.  The walk seems to take forever, and I don’t notice the cold.  I do notice that I have to think very hard about order which to put my feet on the ground though.

“Left foot, right foot.”  I think hazily.

“Just imagine you are seeing your favorite band right now.  It can be anyone.” ____ interrupts my concentration.

We’re nearing the hole in the fence behind the cemetery and I immediately envision myself seeing the Dead Kennedys fifteen years earlier.  I imagine myself in the swirling crowd.  I imagine the hopeful and angry faces of the punks that came before me.  I picture Jello Biafra jumping into the crowd to sing from the fray.

“Dude.  We were born too late.” Is all I manage to mutter to Adam.

The scene at McDonalds is totally dead.  We run into two casual acquaintances and I can’t follow our conversation.  One offers me a bite of her ice cream cone.  I decline.  I want to leave.  The air smells too greasy and it’s stuffy in here.  I can’t understand why ___ would want to be inside anything, let alone this paean to homogenized corporate monoculture.  None of this translates to anything aside form “Let’s just go home and eat hotpockets” though.

We go outside, and there are some jocks we vaguely know congregated outside of a pick-up truck.  They glare at us.  We look at them and try and walk past.  Right as we get to the hole in the fence, one of them aims a laser pointer at us and yells “We’re gonna shoot you, you fucking faggots!”.

Laser pointers had just began to come into prominence.  I hadn’t really seen them outside of movies where they acted as the sights for firearms.  It didn’t seem inconceivable that these redneck jocks might have a firearm with them.  All of these thoughts seemed to come slowly, and were their urgency seemed amplified by how high we were.  Before I knew it, I was ducking through the hole in the fence, and running.  Adam followed suit quickly.

We ran across the cemetery, occasionally ducking behind gravestones if we saw headlights crossing Highland Drive.  It made sense that the jocks might have jumped into their trucks, made a left on Forest Avenue and another left up Highland if they were truly dedicated to fucking with us (at best) or murdering us (at worst).  Most likely, they laughed at the sight of us running away, and went back into McDonalds and ordered shitty food.

That would have been the most rational line of thought.  Too bad drugs don’t always make you rational.

We waited until we were sure we didn’t see any headlights coming, and made a beeline for the church on the other side of Highland Avenue.  We ran towards the church hall, where I had been to one of my first punk shows a few years earlier.  We hid behind a wall for a while, completely convinced that we heard cars full of angry jocks circling the block looking for us.

We then made a break for Main Street.  Adam was sure that every car we saw was full of the same illusory, menacing jocks.  We made a dash across Main Street, and onto Railroad Avenue.  This was a relatively quiet side street.  The jocks wouldn’t think to look for us here.  Just a block or two to cross, and we’d be on our way towards Forest Avenue, and ___’s house, safe from all jocks, and other unfriendly faces.

Of course, the block we had to cross seemed like it was miles long.  We saw headlights creeping up behind us, and dove for the bushes in a field.  The car passed without even slowing down.  It didn’t matter.  It could have been the jocks.  It could have been anyone.  ____ was breathing heavily next to me.  Somehow a single isolated interaction with some assholes in a McDonalds Parking lot had escalated in our minds to the entire town being out to get us, and ____ and I having to cross miles of hostile territory to reach the sanctuary of his house.

We made it to the corner ___ lived on.  Finally.  The whole ordeal had seemed like it took hours out of our night.  There was a light on in the house.  It looked like ____’s dad might be up and tooling around downstairs.

“Wait!  We can’t go in yet.  My dad will realized we’re stoned!”

Fuck.  ____ was right.  His dad was an old hippie.  He’d be able to spot how high we were from across the room.  We’d be in deep shit then, for sure.  He would call my mom and tell her.  She’d never forgive me.  We decided our only course of action would be to run across Forest Avenue and hide in the park for a while.  We’d wait it out until ____’s dad either fell asleep, or we were just less high.  Still convinced the jocks were looking for us, we hid out in the dugout of the baseball field for another hour or so before walking home.

The best part of this story?  When we were hiding from cars in an empty field along Railroad Avenue, we were directly across the street from the police station.  It was closed, of course, considering it was after nine PM.  Had it been open, though…  All the cops would have had to do would be to look out their window and they’d see two paranoid idiots with blue hair, high as a goddamn kite, and hiding from cars full of imaginary jocks in the bushes.  ____ still had a bag of weed on him.  He might have even had our homemade soda can piece too.  The cops would have had an easy bust, but they missed it.

Two Drug Stories.

If you thought payback was a motherfucker, you never met us.

The shadows so cast by time grow long
Yet never so long across the tide of years
That the currents would ever absolve
Or erode the litany of your sins

A cold wind is growing now
Blowing wild and unfettered
Carrying the scent of blood
And vengeance upon it’s breath

We came for annihilation
We came for liberation
We came
Hard and breathless, howling into the wind

Backs arched and seething
Screaming, with love like blood and
Rapacious smiles full of glaring fangs
Claws set for tearing the black heart

 And rot of oppression out
Extravasating the writhing
And whispered wounds
From our souls

We came.
Hard against the wind
Howling into the black
Against night, against oblivion

Gone to shadow yet reborn to light again
A colossal spell
Cast for destruction
For gnashing teeth to shatter chains

Cast for the transubstantiation
Of
This
Pain.

If you thought payback was a motherfucker, you never met us.