I explain to myself so many times
I won’t miss you anymore
Gotta let go sometime
But since I told myself some many times
And specifically, I wouldn’t miss you
All I have wanted to do since that time
Is kiss you…
When I told myself 1000 times before
I won’t miss you.
I thought telling myself so many times
This one white lie was acceptable, then became smudged with tears
Because trying to not miss you anymore
Is like giving up food or breathing!
I lost count how many lies I told myself.
But now an aged snapshot
Brings the tears blowing back.
That most painful day
Wearing a dress and mask but no one knows
What’s behind it, not even me.
When I told myself an infinite amount of times
I simply won’t miss you
I will dismiss you from my life,
Instead this year,
I told myself so many times to avoid
For that will lead to forgetting you entirely;
You can’t miss someone you don’t remember
But this too was in vain
There are no short cuts, no way to invent a cure for one-sided love.
For telling myself so many times
I won’t miss you was a colossal lie.
Missing you I’ve run my tears dry.
Friendship is maintainable.
But love not attainable
Because I said I won’t miss you
Someone else received your devotion
She gets all the things
Because in trying not to miss your presence
I missed your courtship.
Perhaps the biggest mistake in my life was never telling
You that I simply cannot go a day without thinking about
How amazing we could be.
Instead unfinished sketches of tomorrow sit at my desk tonight.
Of the things I thought of you and the things you think of me
All because I tried to fog you out.
I fell even more deeply in
Now, I think I’ll try being around you without
Giving it all away,
Besides if you loved me
You would have done something about it
Somewhere along the way.
I will still always have a place for you, for missing you
For how even though you tear my life neatly apart,
Your existence is embedded somewhere deep in my heart.
When one is taught about World War II, the genocide of six million Jewish people and other minority groups is usually first to come up. We have all heard dreadful stories about the Holocaust, which came about though the mind of Adolph Hitler. The “final solution” was the German dictator’s plot to rid the world of human life that did not quite meet his outrageous expectations. This might lead one to inquire as to the untold story of the Polish troops and their struggles in their portion of the world. How come we almost never hear about what they went through for the safety of their county? Even though they didn’t win, they put up a fight- like a knife in the dark that you don’t know about. Just like the Polish general had to clash with the Nazis, Pharaoh and Lafayette were forced to encounter dangerous gangs, only on a much different level. The “Other America” is like the stories that are never told, those whose fears are never recognized until it is too late.
Alex Kotlowitz alludes to brushing off violence and its consequences quite often. Almost always it seems our protagonists are off on the railroad tracks or buying fast food so that they can avoid thinking about their father or their neighborhood. Paul survived through a drug overdose because of LaJoe, who pulled the syringe out of his arm and called an ambulance. This incident didn’t change Paul’s actions, and he soon survived another overdose. This particular neighborhood does not help. It is definitely not one that you might see advertised on t. v. or read about in the newspaper. Henry Horner is a place located in the deep South of Chicago, where violence was portrayed as a harsh reality that even the smallest child was bound to face. Pharaoh was never a child for he was never permitted a normal lifestyle. Often he dealt with inescapable shootings correlated with the Vice Lords, a gang that resided in Henry Horner. Even if Jimmie Lee would be some how killed, the violence won’t cease. If anything it would intensify.
In Pharaoh’s America, he had to dodge bullets from gangsters whom he knew or might have even encountered on the streets. Lafayette never helped either, for although he defended Pharaoh, the younger brother always appeared to want to break free of Lafayette’s pressures and demands. Absorbed in school work, it never appeared that he would be drawn into their world and he never was. He realized that to kill innocence people and then act like everything was fine is just ridiculous. The society of the “Other America” is shaken by poverty, poverty on a significant level. LaJoe thankfully had food stamps and other ways of supporting the family, but compared to myself and other parts of the U. S. of A. they were in desperate conditions.
Lafie, as his mother called him, was found guilty of committing a crime, and although never drawn into the black hearts of the gangsters, he came close to following in his older brother’s footsteps, steps which were much like the boy himself- certain but watchful. Lafeyette had in fact, packed his bags and waited to be sentenced to prison for a long time. Although he didn’t go to jail, one may never be certain of what curve balls the streets of Henry Horner may throw mercilessly at the two boys. One thing is for sure, Lafayette and Pharaoh will never take things for granted in the “Other America.”
Problems, pains, fears,
Prick, Prick, Prick
Stab, Stab, Stab
Smolder, Smolder, Smolder,
Smash, Crash, wild dash
They are just stacking up
Stacking up so high
Higher and Higher
Until they collapse onto me
Swallowing me up
They stack up so high
They blind me
They bind me
Problems, pains, fears.
Why is it here at all
And why is everything so heavy?
Chasing wiry clouds
Chasing the harsh winds
Chasing the echo of your voice
Chasing the chance you love me
Chasing the feelings you causing me to have
Running from the angry voices
Running from the agony that’s ripping my chest
Running from the fact that home is no longer where the heart is
Running from shredded dreams and dashed hopes
Running from the failure that is me
Escaping to silence
Escaping to where no one knows me
Escaping to where the bar isn’t set so high I can’t even see it
Escaping to where the problems end and new ones begin, ones I can cope with
This is my utopia
And if you kid yourself for long enough
The fact that you are here and your life is else where
That line between truth and fiction
Sort of just fizzes away
Utopia At least I know my place here
And I can bare it
Once upon a time there was a young women.
She was in college, she was in confusion.
She was… chaos.
She was… crashing waves.
Couldn’t be saved so
She saved herself.
With some help
Now she’s beautiful, remarkable chaos.
Now she’s the embodiment
Of having love on the brain.
She is old, creased pages
She is organization
She is triumphant celebration
She is thunder,
She is clarity,
She is wildfires.
And once she spreads
You will never get her image, her life, her joy
Out of your spinning head.
Sucked all the life from me
As I die of thirst, quietly
There’s no water to be found
The ground I pound
I let you in
And then the games begin
The mind games
Making a mockery of me
I take your wand
I cast my spell
I fiercely rebel and I win against