Spirit Of ’77


(Composed in Oakland, California circa late 2007).

I wanna move like Johnny—
here and there and everywhere,
with the thunder jetting down around—
there’s a little bit of heartbreaker
in this little boy.

I wanna watch it burn like Richard—
add a little of my own hell
to the smoldering mess
we’ve gladly gotten ourselves into,
just so I can deny it like Tom—
Accidental Arsonist.

I wanna take chances like James—
with sharp, well-dressed abandon.
No wave too big to drown in.
No sir.

I long to care like Strummer—
to conquer the world with a troubadour’s voice
and a roguish set of morals
you can’t help but envy and respect.
“Show me the way to the gutter,”
I’ll say,
poet’s pen in hand,
princely placing my pauper’s tophat upon my head.
(Is it in Clash City? Is that in California?)

I guess I’ll live life my way,
or at least “my way” like Sid–
off-key, heroin sheik of the oft-killed heroes
and conquerors of boredom.
(Is my necktie on proper, Mr. Curtis?)
I got a girl like Nancy—
she fits my fancy,
but it ain’t nothin’ that weren’t there

Emilyn says there’s no such thing
as a punk poet.
Perhaps she’s right—
everybody knows we can’t read.

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