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Archive for November, 2008

gothica

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

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You looking at me

like I don’t understand

     the pressures

You looking at me

like I’m just another

     face in the crowd

You looking at me

like we somehow could

     be strangers

You looking at me

like I don’t know

     why you’re screaming

     so loud

You looking at me

like I don’t understand

     the measures

You looking at me

like I ain’t never

     once been proud

You looking at me

like I’m not facing

     the same dangers

You looking at me

like you forgot

     what I’m about

You looking at me

like I ain’t come up

     through the vicious

You looking at me

like you may

     still have some doubts

You looking at me

the same way

     that you look

     through all my changes

You looking at me,

                    while I’m looking out.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

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bobmarleyMarley knew,

he understood

that people need music

the way that shadows

need sunlight

to exist and become

 

that living is rhythm

the heart is its drum

 

to beat

and beat

and beat.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

 

 

(watercolor originally posted 12/19/07)

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mayan-strip2

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

 

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No one in the state house intended this

     and Oscar had never heard of Nebraska

     before he was heading there with his father

who seemed to talk

the whole way

about how he had tried

to make Oscar understand

how awful his own childhood had been

repeating how he had left everything behind

     to come to New York

     to make money

     but just ended up being poor

and Oscar didn’t hear his father say

     how he had saved up

          just for this awful trip

to make sure

he could drop him off

before they changed the language of the law.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

(Inspired by the “safe haven” law in Nebraska)

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"growing cold in the sunset of liberty" by guest artist Max Rudolph

guest artist, © 2008 Max Rudolph

to contact, write greatunclemax@aol.com.

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(Drive time radio continued)
 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s any afternoon between 1830 and 1834

and the one eighth blood he claims

flows through his veins must

somehow be Cherokee, Chickasaw,

Choctaw, Creek, Seminole,

or related because, he’s got

five tribe fever tonight.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s 1846 and there are gringos marching

on his rancho waving some

crazy flag with a bear and a star

and red stripe, knocking shit over

and claiming the place he just

shot Spaniards for now belongs

to them because the missions have,

“ruined and shamefully oppressed

the laboring people of California”.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s just after May 1882 and they’re

calling him a coolie and keep

yanking on his pony tail

and claiming that his opium den

habits is partially to blame

for why he’s got to register

his name downtown even though

he worked on the train tracks

and was just out of frame

when that last spike was struck.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s some sort of reverse déjà vu

where he wakes up back in NYC

but it’s 1906 and he’s Ota Benga

in the Bronx, and something’s

gone horribly, horribly wrong

because he can’t understand

what anyone’s saying, but he’s

knows there’s nothing he owns

but his hands and his face

and the few things he’s got on.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s about lunchtime on February 19, 1942

and his last name has suddenly changed

to Yoshida or Tamaka or Matsuo

and he cannot remember the last

time he saw his birth certificate

or if he has any way to prove

his children were all born

looking westward on the Pacific.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid

it’s a banging morning

in Birmingham, 1963

and he’s a little black girl

in his Sunday best, white shoes on

and ready to praise Hallelujah

in a church basement in Alabama

at just around ten twenty three.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid he’s Homer Plessy.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid John Brown’s out to get him.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid his life ain’t easy.

 

So now this guy on the radio

is talking like he’s afraid 

that you’re not listening.

 

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2008. All rights reserved.

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