I was born the year
The Fab Four disbanded
and the Voodoo Child died.
It was a cursed year,
to those who survived it,
but many more decades
would surpass it.
The formative days of my youth,
existed in the shadowed aftermath
of Love and Peace, reverberations
of combat torn Boomers.
“Stairway to Heaven” filled our kitchen
and “Smoke on the Water” riffed
its way into melodic infamy.
The harmonious turmoil matched
my ever shifting residential
situations, while humanity
sought to recover its path.
Puberty was punctuated
by the Birmingham five, asking
the question on everyone’s mind
“Please, please tell me now,
Is there something I should know?”
Little did we discern, in the synthesizer
packed prosperity party, in our neon haze
as “New Romantics looking for the
TV sound”, we should have pushed
harder for those answers. They
could have prevented the present
problems, by revealing the core.
Speed metal and grunge ushered
in the arrival of parenthood,
and the grey flannel days.
Sleepless nights, soiled diaper,
endless bottles and clothes
to wash. Life as the decade’s
mirror. Music acting as commentary
on the letdown of aspirations,
for me and my fellow Gen X’ers.
Punctuated by a Seattle suicide,
the product of heroin and shotgun rage.
And as we see some outward appearance
of attainment over the vista,
tragedy befalls a rocky mountain town.
Self-proclaimed messiahs in trench coats
appearing amidst a storm of gunfire.
Surrendered to their selfish deities, blood
must spill for justice to be served.
Omega, the Antichrist Superstar, martyred,
crucified on his Holy Wood to compensate
for their sins. I looked upon my progeny
and felt the first of the fear
for their future that flourished
in years to follow.
Now I exist in an empty household
while the loudest vulgar voices
in the room roar of empty values,
empty journalist principles,
empty political promises, all sold
to the highest bidder in the clearance
sale on the soul of America. I forsake
the hi-fi, like those who come over
its airwaves had forsaken musical
art for the money grab. Video
did not kill the radio star; thy slayer’s
name is capitalism. Empty tunes
drowning out the substance still
struggling to rediscover its volume.