Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mommy I am Home

Everyone has a home, but the word home means something different to everyone. Is it the four walls and a roof that protects you at night, the place where your parents live, maybe for you it is grandparent's because that is where you recall your first memories. For me it is none of those things. My family moved a lot as a child, so the concept of home is not slaved to a particular house rather it is a city, and it is not a city that has any association to my family, but it is the city where I became a man, where I applied all the early life lessons from my mother, where I learned that my pen had a voice and my fingers could make music, where I hung with heroes, grew into an artist with Scott Church, learned from Lizzie Wann and Chris Vannoy, became inspired by Steve Harris, where I became me. San Diego.

Every time I go home my dormant pen wants to talk to me, as if it remembers the hours spent in coffeehouses learning to paint pictures in words.

Here is a draft that came from a recent trip home, and an opportunity to see Steve Harris play with the Styletones.

Mommy I am Home

I saw her
Like I have seen her many times before
Drenched from December’s Pineapple Express
Dirty rivers rushing towards drains rarely used
Foreigners want the fa├žade
The shiny happy people
The palm tree sunshine
The white foam glistening on a south shore break
But this is the mother I love
Soiled and authentic

Driving down 6th
Reminded of carless journeys
From Hillcrest home to Tarawa’s pier
Screaming down dimly lit street
Howling with hobos moving about the sleeping city
Wind whistling through helmet
Headlamp struggling to light path
Banging a left on Harbor
Downhill momentum through dicey areas
Smiling at mural announcing Chicano park
Passing zombies herded toward dry docks
Can still hear the slowed




As I coasted on base

Remember walking transient streets
Searching for the next collection of words
That would shape the artist
Dharma Bums next to Shampoo Planet
Gems hiding in disorganized shelves
Original copies behind glass
Clerks needing to shower and shave
Xers milling about
Discussing what the words
What the words meant to them
And I would listen
Still shy in my intellect
Still scarred from words of teachers
That didn’t understand I was high
Not stupid
Teachers more concerned
With my argumentative mouth
Than the growth of my grey matter

Remember stumbling into a used CD shack
Young black man
Heartfelt scowl and innocent eyes
Abusing an old dreadnaught
Opened his mouth
And I
Realized symbiotic relationship exists
Between beauty and pain
No shared experiences
But I felt



He sang

Like me
Left the womb
I went east
He north
To embrace activism through art
Then crossed the country to commune with Seminoles
Before finally returning to his mother’s side

And tonight I have come home too
Returned to the womb
Walked her soiled streets
And worshipped her
At the amplified alter of my brother

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