Life Imitates Mixed Media

what is as was was as is
the scaffold from which the façade was erected
the gallows where judgment created itself
the tightrope yielding the mesmerizing plunge
the soapbox of obscure promises
clock towers and book depositories where snipers lurked
the stages where outrages frequently occurred

cameramen capture the actual agony
soundmen shock us with wails of grief
all live as it actually happens
no privacy that can’t be invaded
nothing that is really sacred
no secret too shameful to be cheerfully
admitted to for just the right fee
and fifteen minutes of fame on TV
what a country, what a world
that was as is is as was

 

Written many years ago. Things have not improved.

 

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Domesticated

Once you’ve been domesticated
certain things seem over-rated
being crazy wild and free
are better to remember than to be

Then one day everything falls apart
you say, okay, where do I start
do I have to do all these things again
or is it just as effective to pretend

When you think you know the answers
Life will change the questions
you don’t want to take chances
you’re open to suggestions

how it all goes down
determines where you wind up
don’t let it turn you around
go on and fill your cup

For a free bird on the wing
will see a lot more things
than the tallest creature
standing on the ground

But if you take to the sky
some things are harder to touch
you must decide what is important
what you might miss too much

When you think you know the answers
Life will change the questions
you don’t want to take chances
but you’d welcome a suggestion

Detected

Beware of the whisper in your ear
telling you everything you want to hear
while the hand in your pocket
takes everything it wants
and if you notice something missing
they act so surprised

they’ll act offended
by your accusations
they are not to blame
for your frustrations
and it’s not their fault
that you’re in this situation
but maybe they can help you
if you’ll only compromise

everybody loves to hate
the narcissist
but they are not so
easily detected
that’s why there is
such a long list
of ones we’ve
accidentally respected

If their version of events
doesn’t match your memory
they will suggest that you’ve
forgotten your own history
so just maybe you’re stupid
or maybe you are crazy
of course it couldn’t be
because they lie

everybody loves to hate
the narcissist
but they are not so
easily detected
that’s why there is
such a long list
of the ones that we have
loved or elected

Testimony

I can’t say how much
of what I recall
is true or just imagined
but if what you feel
is what is real
I swear that it all happened.

never been that crazy
about reality, anyway
close your eyes
turn it off
you’ll see a better way

Dangerous Fools

Standing at the bottom of the mountain
surrounded by the bones of those who died
not believing in the gravity of the situation
who thought they were immune to the rockslides
were they victims of misinformation
or were they just dangerous fools?

Some people think the Truth will change
just because they don’t like it
they think denying the sun will plunge
the world into darkness, that if
they flap their arms hard enough
they could fly
beware of these dangerous fools

You can say there is no God
He will not cease to exist
you can proclaim the day of the Lord
He won’t suddenly appear
but a lack of faith doesn’t make wrong right
nor should belief that He’s watching
govern us through fear
If they think somehow God depends on them,
they might be dangerous fools

Some people want to reject everything
it’s taken mankind centuries to learn
they think they are making it up as they go
and if they re-name fire it will no longer burn
they think the world should follow their rules
the deluded, dangerous fools

Conditions

Low in the morning, high in the evening
the thermometer has the right idea
I could be high all the time
if I could only see ya
since that is impossible
I strive for an even keel
I try not to act crazy
even when that’s how I feel

Grandma said, “the devil hates a coward”
but I didn’t want him for a friend
he makes temptation so appealing
it’s hard not to give in
The fires he lights
are hard to extinguish
and the smoke makes it hard
to see your true wish

there’s a weariness that sets in
when you feel burned out
one of those conditions
you can’t do much about
try to get it home
before it crashes
lock yourself in
something may rise from the ashes

You Can’t Have Fun Like That Anymore

Drinking and driving was just what we did
on long ago Saturday nights
taking a chance on finding romance
trying to stay out of fights
Then the mothers all came out against it
trying to save children’s lives
now it’s expensive as well as dangerous
so I stay sober when I drive

You can’t have fun like that anymore
I don’t like it, but I know the score
if you try you might get thrown out the door
you can’t have fun like that anymore

I put my pants on one leg at a time
leaning against a wall
used to do it in the middle of the room
now I don’t want to fall
as I get older I find that I want
to spend less time on the floor
just another way that I can’t
have fun like that anymore

You can’t have fun like that anymore
I don’t like it, but I know the score
if you try you might get thrown out the door
you can’t have fun like that anymore

I used to drink like I voted
early and often
with nary a thought
about prisons or coffins
Now I worry about
an aching head
so I don’t pour a drink
unless I’m close to my bed

You can’t have fun like that anymore
I don’t like it, but I know the score
if you try you might get thrown out the door
you can’t have fun like that anymore