Tag Archives: condemned

Slumlord

 

 

Reworking my resume, tripping through previous job experiences:

 

 

craftsman porch

 

Where businesses are boarded up the body bled

on tree lined streets dreamers have fled

small wooden homes line avenues in decay

and those who can’t dream are condemned to stay

 

On a craftsman porch ghosts of forgotten children playing

hear the tinkle of keys drifting through open curtains

in the background of memories piano concertos wafting

while down in the streets

real children with guns play a dangerous game

between gangsta-rap beats instigating

 

A row of cars circle a house on the corner

prison bars on windows and doors

on the porch a man in a suit of armor studies

broken concrete sidewalk weeds rising through cracks

where junkies stand in line waiting on snow

and I’m here seeking my fair share of the dough

inside a card table and folding chair for décor

paid in sweaty bills from the pocket stash of a whore

 

At another house not far away

I arrived without delay

Neighborhood Association busted down your door

stole your crystal and so much more

dried crimson streaks across the floor

evidence of the final minutes for you and your girl

indescribable horror screaming

in the silence of a stain

indescribable horror still screaming

as I helped the King’s Men fill out the report

 

On another street not far from here

earning my pay while admitting no fear

three months had passed without word

so I put your worldly possessions out on the curb

trick of irony you appeared

as the last of your things walked away

snarling teeth spitting in my face

would have killed me if you could

the duties of my job you misunderstood

Pavlov’s Dog

Aspiration-ad-image-001a

Found a new religion on the silicon prairie

theology born from psychedelic minds

of Ventura Highway refugees

gospels of semiconductor devices deciphered

by silicon valley high priests preaching

quantum physics to screw with the mind

Keepers of the faith

caretakers of this new knowledge

stationed in outpost churches on a new frontier

dwelling in pulpit cubicle caves like shamans of old

speaking Latin to a congregation naive

strange tongue of engineers educating factors of production in efficiency

I was tutored by a Hell’s Angel in high vacuum technology

Knowledge of ancients purged, brain reprogrammed with

A/C, D/C, digital devices, and Boolean Algebra

balanced with chemistry, biology, and trigonometry

learning to speak the language of Engineers

solving mathematical equations deciphering mind of god

Higgs Boson valance shells and free electrons

the more I learn the less I know

awakened neurons igniting tiny fires burning tissues of brain

constant whispering in my head as knowledge spreads

same below as above, same below as above

and I get it now

On the fabrication floor soothing hum of magnificent machines running

properties of the sun replicated in machines striking plasma

hidden state of matter shining like truth

unrecognized as it scorches lives

hardened targets melting Al Ti and platinum

laying down microscopic metal interconnects on silicon plates

where electrons flow like a river

Boron atoms shot into silicon altering conductivity

of devices spun

atom by atom creating high technology

electron microscope revealing blueprints of a city once unimaginable

electric pulses opening gates switching analog devices

off and on off and on off and on

discovering the universe is one giant algorithm yet defined

In pyramids rising across the globe

architectural monuments of this new technology

high priests train slaves to serve agendas of high priests rising

as demigods delivering

high powered hand held devices of functionality

distracting feeble minds

who declared the new boss is the same as the old boss

and nothing ever changes

so I earned a degree

and the engineers laughed and set me free

I am Pavlov’s dog, the one he let go

searching for a new master

Broken Highways ch1

Those who danced were thought insane by those who could not hear the music

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

1.

August, 2011.

 

I’ve fallen off the grid.

 

Forgotten highways and dirt road backstreets are my lifelines. Cow pastures, turkey barns, and asphalt parking lots in old, abandoned towns are my homes. Removed from the white noise of the city Earth’s heartbeat pulsates through the skin, recalibrating an emerging soul. Silently I dance a dance of chaos to the rhythm of a dying sun.

 

From the doorway of a converted school bus parked behind a turkey barn I sit on a step and watch as the sun sinks into the earth. An explosion of colors race across a deepening blue sky, reflected back into the universe from my eyes. Scent of rain hangs heavy in the air as storm clouds retreat in the distance.

 

Engulfed in emptiness I’m all that remains of a congregation that once gathered here for a weekend each month. Voices of ghosts echo inside the head. Closing eyes, a thousand faces stare back but the connection is gone. Energy has ebbed. Love has evaporated. Path fades in a diminishing light.

 

This is my church, my religion, my spiritual awakening. In the distance trees congregate to meditate. Flowers bow heads in prayer. Silhouetted against the horizon, mesas rise up to witness the ceremony. Stars emerge in the east, twinkling brightly with anticipation. Wind carries a sermon and I lean forward to listen. Eyes close and a restless spirit is soothed by the words. Weightlessness consumes the body. Mind is set free to roam the countryside, soaring across land and water, across space and time to a place where the lines of reality are blurred, a place where boundaries and labels can’t exist, into another dimension where limitations are not known. I am but an illusion in the physical world, just another soul trapped inside a host.

 

Everything is a symbol.

 

I am a child of the Earth, born of the elements, grounded in the soil. My soul was born from a seed planted inside this host and took root in the consciousness of the universe. I am the darkness and the light, the rising and setting of the sun and everything in between. My soul has merged with the force that sparks life into everything. I feel all it feels as it fills all of me.

 

Opening eyes, sun is a tiny red orb sinking over the horizon. Lightning from a distant storm illuminates the sky and I pretend it’s a thought passing through God’s mind. Scent of rain remains but storms have passed without releasing a drop. Fields have dried up. Vegetation is scarce. Ground is hard, deeply scarred by cracks. Ponds, creeks, and rivers run dry. The path abruptly disappears into the charred remains of the land. There is nowhere further to go. This is the end and I am but a symbol of something yet to be understood.

 

Everything is a symbol.

 

My name is Jason Powell and I was shoved off the grid.

Broken Sky

It’s not unusual for my works to range over a wide variety of topics. What is unusual is for me to cover such a broad spectrum in a single effort, but that is the point of this poem.

 

broken sky

 

Hit the natural world bathed in mother’s blood and bodily fluids. First thing you feel

is a gloved hand slapping your ass. First lesson learned is that this world exists

to break you

 

Shine a bright light on a spinning mirror ball. Choose an artificial light

from an artificial sun because your family methodology is a prism

bouncing off a wall

 

Take a punch in the mouth from a kid up the block, spit a tooth out. Kid laughs

and says brother, if you wanna survive you’re gonna have to learn to fight.

Lessons learned at age five

 

Witness the mark of the beast branded across our foreheads. Implanted ideologies

burned from the inside out thanks to mommy, daddy, religion, and public school.

Branding iron has been passed to you

 

In the pulpit snaked eyed men are busy crafting life preservers with wizard words.

Salvation or damnation, the choice is yours but beware, these life preservers have

no rope to pull you in

 

Went to the garden to find Mamma a rose but the garden was a desert as vast

as the universe. Flowers I found were withered and dead so she placed them in

a cracked vase in the darkness beside her bed

 

Politicians selling us out in back room deals to machete faced men dancing

pirouettes on corporate cred. Life ain’t worth living if you’re not on the edge

and I got a time bomb ticking inside this head

 

Some think this is sane, this age of men pissing on one another for monetary gain.

Concrete foundations erode and crack with age so I’ll slip through a crevice and

make my escape

 

See the cracked rainbow in the sky? Romantics lament about better times but romantics

got it wrong. Those halcyon days are a lie and down in the streets poets die,

shredded by the debris of a broken sky

Maria

This poem is vastly different from anything I’ve penned in the past and I struggled with it for weeks before deciding to post. Might regret this later . . .

 

backrods cover photo2

 

Maria dressed in sandals and short plaid skirt

braless in a spaghetti strap top

another man’s face tattooed across her heart

and names of those she’s destroyed scribbled down her arms

broken angel wings she attempts to hide

this is Maria, intending to alarm

 

Cursed by visions of setting suns

she cradles a flaming torch in arson hands

living her days on the run

as vast fields burn in distant lands

in Albuquerque she makes a stand

desperate revelations shared in a back alley dive

barrel of a .45 pressed against dead men’s minds

 

In western New Mexico she hits a bank

and I achieve awareness with a water pistol in my hands

banker face down on marble floor

Maria straddles over him praying for God’s lost souls

surveillance camera on the wall she stares and proclaims

I am the dream inside your illusion screaming to be set free!

 

Back road into desolation we flee

and Maria’s visions return frequently

across sand flats peppered with dirt floor ramshackle shacks

yellow colored yards home to rusting abandoned burned out cars

in deepest stretches of emptiness where exiles hide

embracing visions of massive totem poles piercing the sky

encrypted symbols she reads and solemnly decides

this is humanity on the rise

 

In an east LA motel the King’s Men make their move

capturing Maria sleeping nude

locked behind bars downtown praying

for broken-spirited men so many years waiting

on an eidolon to set them free

 

Tried by a jury not of her peers

she’s convicted in the land of non believers

visions are condemned to death

by those who cannot understand the source of her breath

tongue is a weapon like a scythe

removed by the deaf who fear the swath of words so vile

 

But prison bars couldn’t contain her soul

so each day when the dying sun sinks into the grave

Maria quietly makes her escape

moving stealthy across the land on a hyperbolic wind

whispering sermons in ears she easily bends

reminding there exists no reason for fear

Maria’s whispers I plainly hear

life is an illusion and none of us are really here

Damaged

 

356 - Copy

 

I was born a blank slate, the byproduct of the proletarian class

birthed into a superstitious clan, the socially awkward kind

Saints on the wall and ghosts in the machine to explain away

things they could not understand, holding on to empty dreams

and addicting medications to soften damaged minds

We are the vehicles broken down on the side of the road

vehicles to carry the load

vehicles improperly maintained

not enough fuel in our tanks to deliver us where we want to go

We are desperate dogs sleeping beneath park benches in need of awakening

with razor sharp teeth capable of ripping

flesh from bone

caged animals never biting the hand that feeds

We are replaceable cogs in a machine that keeps rolling

disposable people eking out an existence in a disposable world

nothing of substance in our lives, nothing to connect to

and when knowledge is spawned through grief

only the damaged grow aware

Cello Heart

1270 - Copy2

 

My heart is a cello tuned in perfect fifths

take your bow and gently caress these heartstrings

coax from me dark emotions once latent

deep mournful sounds of an artic caribou searching

frozen woods for a lost lover no longer earth bound

with your bow play my heart, scratch this soul

evoke images of ruinous times

swirling grey smoke of smoldering dreams

crumbling brick on scorched black terrain

on my cello heart play the lonely song of a sperm whale

searching for companionship in deepest seas

play the tears of an orphaned child in some foreign land

hopelessness of a junkie lost in a roach infested dive

hot needle piercing the vein

with your expert bow play this cello heart

tithe my allegiance to your cause

tithe my time to the cause

tithe my pay to the cause

tithe my blood to the cause

tithe my tithes to the cause

play this cello heart

Vagabond

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He might be Woody Guthrie or Jack Kerouac

riding boxcars or on the road searching for a soul

Tom and his blood clan Joad

crossing the desert searching for work

any job will do

you can spot his hopelessness by that mangy, tattered look

You’ve seen him at highway rest stops and dive hotels

he’s the hitchhiker you didn’t pick up

the reason you avoid truck stops

He’s the graffiti on the side of a boxcar passing in the rain

fresh footsteps in new fallen snow

the one that looks like Jesus combing the beach

he reminds of freedom and he’s the reason you dream of leaving

When times become tight he finds solace in a bone orchard

dreaming of companions lost

taking refuge under the cover of the moon

a silver beam for a blanket pulled over weary head

When road stake runs low

he never wavers from following the code

 

I’m a vagabond on the roll

trekking far and wide, seeking anything I can find

to heal this fractured soul

On a black river of disconnection an asphalt ribbon carries me

from Smokey Mountains to Denver, seeking sanctuary

across red desert sands where grains are fused like glass

reflecting back this flight as destiny slips through my hands

When storms come and I’m seeking higher ground

winding through mountain passes where shamans dwell

I’ll shed my load in temples where secrets of ancients can be found

Possible futures I see

silhouetted against a perpetually moving horizon

and this driving thirst has been whetted

this thirst to push on, find answers that lay beyond

Destination unknown

this vagabond rides into a tangerine sky

so many days on the run

too many days I’ve spent

chasing the sun

Broken Stars

 

Shards of stars glisten brightly in noonday sun

pieces of dreams strewn across an abandoned yard

pick each fragment up, turn them over in my hands

these broken dreams of broken men that never mend

careful not to cut the flesh, dispose of shards in a can

for I will not bleed another man’s regret

many lessons learned but none greater I have met

when the sun shines brightly, stars still shatter yet

and sometimes Illumination is a lie that must be told

because this house was condemned long ago

 

(from The Evolution of Disconnect)