Tag Archives: peer pressure

Shut Your Mouth

Shut your mouth;
got to be careful, and nobody
wants to hear what you might say.
We’re going south,
so mind your p’s and q’s
and don’t disturb
the natives as they play.
Just keep your distance.
If you don’t get too close
they’ll never even notice
anyway.

Shut your mouth,
shut your mouth;
you may live to speak your mind
another day.

Shut your mouth;
words can be dangerous,
and no one wants
to spoil a perfect day.
We’re going south,
but never mind
because it’s never been
done any other way.
Just keep on smiling.
If you just nod your head,
they’ll never even notice
what you say.

Shut your mouth,
shut your mouth;
if you want to find a friendly place
to stay.

Shut your mouth,
if you don’t want to be
the one in every crowd
who stands alone.
We’re going south;
but does that matter?
Keep your thoughts
safely inside
the comfort zone.
Just keep pretending.
If you try hard enough
they won’t bother to tap
your telephone.

Shut your mouth,
shut your mouth;
if you want to get along
and feel at home.

01 JUL 2015

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What’s the Point?

What’s the point? I want to ask
the Mormons on their bikes,
who leave their own nice neighborhoods
to share the view they like
that they are sure contains the answers
to what’s wrong with us,
and don’t mind spending hours
on the front porch. We discuss
the book they’re peddling, free of charge,
the origins of man,
how God moves in an unseen way,
while we do what we can.

Their exposition on their faith
leaves me, at length, unmoved;
while my opinion on the universe
remains unproved,
at least, to them, because my book
has either not been writ,
or none have yet to take a look,
or maybe, it’s bullshit.

My entire life has been like that:
I understand their plight;
despite my great attempts to speak out
where I think I’m right,
the bottom line is no one listens;
no one gives a damn;
the world wants nothing of the truth,
and who I think I am
to people out there, on the streets,
is of no great concern.
They’d neither light a fire to warm me,
nor piss so I’ll not burn.

So in the end, who gives a f**k
about some grand design,
about nirvana or great bliss,
my neighborhood’s, or mine?
F**k new ideas, f**k advance,
f**k thinking for yourself;
f**k listening to the cosmic dance,
f**k those books on your shelves.
F**k gurus, mantra, holy books,
f**k pilgrimmage and prayer,
f**k hours of meditation,
f**k all gods who aren’t there.

F**k cities, f**k the small towns, too;
f**k hypocrites and saints;
f**k those who swear there’s something else,
f**k those who say there ain’t.

F**k friends who never call,
and those who won’t leave you alone;
f**k every last iconoclast,
f**k every single clone,
f**k me, and then go f**k yourself
and when you’re finished there
f**k those too f**ked to give a damn
and f**k those left who care.

‘Cause what’s the point? You live,
you die — that’s it this time around?
A sack of meat that keeps a pulse?
That doesn’t seem profound
enough to build religions on,
or claim some higher cause;
why bother with psychiatry
to correct minor flaws
when the whole purpose seems to be
just feed and breed and die,
and in between kill off those
who don’t like your reason why.

F**k war. F**k peace.
F**k those who think
that either one can fix
a world where children are shot down
by raving lunatics.
F**k newscasts, f**k those on-the-scene
reports that never say
each one of us played some small part
in how we got this way.
F**k schools, if all they try to teach
is how to get along,
the best fraternity to join,
or how to load a bong.
F**k infancy, f**k youth,
and you can f**k the middle aged,
who somehow act as if they’ve turned
to some important page
of life, and yet prize youth and beauty;
as if they’re still there,
despite the fat around their waists
and gray now in their hair.
F**k getting old and being old,
used up and of no use
except to buy up scooter chairs
and suck down carrot juice.

F**k Democrats, Republicans
and anyone who spouts
it’s not their fault the world is f**ked
or they’ve got a way out.

‘Cause what’s the point, I ask
because I’d really like to know;
I’d like to teach the world to sing
and tell it what I know
Not because “it’s my duty,
for the Bible tells me so,”
but because it seems so pointless
to just live, and go,
without affecting anyone,
or causing them to think
about the reasons that we’re here,
and why in this small blink
that is human existence,
why we bother to believe,
and when no one will listen
why the thinking man must grieve.

08 OCT 2006

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Doing Nothing

Got up before seven, fed the dog and combed my hair,
put a pot of coffee on to brew;
spent no time deliberating what clothes I would wear:
some jeans and an old t-shirt ought to do.
Stood out on the back porch smoking my first cigarette,
watching as the sun began to shine
on grass that needs a mowing, still all glistening and wet.
A simple life? Maybe. I like it fine.

I was never quite expected to
be the one deemed “most likely to”
discover the great secret of our age;
so disappointment’s never come
(well, truth be told, perhaps just some)
and I’ve never been trapped inside that cage.

There’s always somebody smarter,
who’ll work a bit harder;
someone who’ll want it more than you, somewhere;
there’ll be someone who’s louder,
who seems a bit prouder
of where they are on some great corporate stair.
You can spend all your moments
in great angst and torment,
and call what you end with sublime;
but if you can’t just leave it,
you’d better believe it:
you’ve done nothing but waste your time.

Freshened up my coffee, scratched my head and wrote these lines;
it took me about six minutes to do.
went back out to the deck, took a moment to reflect,
the sun’s heat like intoxicating brew.
Watched the birds and smelled the flowers; it seemed like endless hours,
but it wasn’t even a ten-minute span.
And the world? It kept on spinning, turning losing into winning;
like it turned what I once was to what I am.

I was never the one chosen to
be “first among the great ones who
would change the world for better or for worse”;
so it comes as no surprise at all
like summer leading on to fall
that a blessing’s just the flipside of a curse.

There’s always somebody smarter,
who’ll work a bit harder;
someone who’ll want it more than you, somewhere;
there’ll be someone who’s louder,
who seems a bit prouder
of where they are on some great corporate stair.
You can spend all your moments
in great angst and torment,
and call what you end with sublime;
but if you can’t just leave it,
you’d better believe it:
you’ve done nothing but waste your time.

21 JUN 2006

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Checkered Flag

Rodney Jones left this town while he could still buy the gas
Told the factory boys out on the state route they could kiss his ass
Didn’t know where he was going, but he was damn sure travelin’ fast
Figured out that stayin’ here, there’s no way he would last

Rodney had ambition, but not a lot of social grace
He could see the future clearly, but not the nose upon his face
Thought the only key to winning was just showin’ for the race
Never thought of consequences, never thought of second place.

All he ever wanted was a straight road and the fuel
All he ever recognized was overheat and cool
All he ever studied was the way to break the rules
Rodney Jones, he never played the fool.

Rodney hit the circuit in his homemade muscle car
Talked his way onto the track by starting in the bar
Didn’t know which road he’d taken, but he knew he’d traveled far
Figured it was gonna happen, he was gonna be a star.

Rodney lost a tire on the second straightaway
Lost control for the first time, and saw the wall give way
Says he don’t remember much, but his eyes they seem to say
“Don’t tell anyone I couldn’t handle it that day.”

All he ever wanted was a waving checkered flag
All he ever recognized was pressure and the drag
All he ever studied was the polish and the rag
Rodney Jones thought it was in the bag.

Rodney Jones came home today in a big motorcade
Everybody’s talking about him, and the splash he made
Never knew the dice were loaded, or the game it was he played
Now he’s lying ‘neath a yellow flag and marble, in the shade.

All he ever wanted was an engine and the tools
All he ever recognized was gamblers and the mules
All he ever studied was the gauges and the fuel
Rodney Jones, he never played the fool.

Summer 1998

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A Grain of Salt

When grandma fried the eggs, she used the salt
so liberally its savor burnt the tongue;
and so my father grew to hate the taste,
eschewing through his life their bitter edge.

It seems to me this metaphor applies
to nuggets gleaned by some religious sects;
when taken from their source, the sea, in part,
they overwhelm the soul with acrid fire
and cease to flavor, but only repel.

Once taught to spurn the salt through overdose,
some go through life unseasoned, knowing not
of how themselves of this saline are made,
and learn to satisfy their hunger on
what tasteless crusts they come upon by chance.

13 DEC 2004

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Jury of My Peers

The Fiction of a jury of my peers:
to think that there are twelve more just like me,
who’ll be available should I require
their patient ears and minds to keep me free.

To be complete, the dozen must include
not only those who’ve walked my walk, but more:
the ones who might have done it, but refrained;
a couple souls that chose alternate means;

perhaps another who went far afield,
whose situation started where I stand;
a few who should have made it to this point,
but found their progress blocked by chance, or place.

To truly be a twelfth of what I am
each member of this elite group will be
an equal coward, hero, sage or fool:
my other selves of possibility.

15 MAR 2004

Peer: a person who is an equal in social standing, rank, age, etc., example: to be tried by one’s peers [ETYMOLOGY: 14th Century: from Old French per, from Latin par equal]

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Peer Critique

How does peer critique really work?
You present something of yours to your peers.
They are inspired by your effort
to try to produce something of similar or better quality
of their own.
How they react to what you’ve done,
as reflected in their own work,
shows you how to improve your product
to better produce the result you wanted,
the impact you thought you’d get,
the influence you figured it’d have.
And visa versa.
Everyone wins.
Some even get distribution deals.
You want to give me advice on my artform,
please do me the courtesy of having absorbed it.
If it doesn’t make you a better artist
(for whatever reasons)
there’s not much point in such a review.
We’re obviously not peers.

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