Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New York Didn't Make Me


If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere/ Not true/ See...New York did not make me/ I was created from Brewtown/ Manufactured by powerhouses/ A product of Brownsville love christened with ripened watermelon from Mississippi/ I pictured myself a tree, planted by the Great Lakes/ My roots run deep in Milwaukee/ Christian  named "Wade"/ At night, Sir Name "Miller"/ High life in the winter, cautious in the summer...It brings out the crazies/ In a city where we build a shiny new ballpark for a garbage ass baseball who's season is pretty much over after the All-Star Game/ White flight Wrangler jeans held up by rust belts, held up at gun point/ Hold up trickle down economics  but the dry bones of A&O Smith, Tower Automotive, and Master Lock got the inner city looking like a Elephant graveyard/ Hard times made harder in these times/ Bones cracking loud over the chuckles of those that watch/ We struggle/ We get fucked/ We don't give a fuck/ Just keep telling us you'll bring in more jobs, but don't bring them past the city line/ Build a highway through the hear of Bronzeville so you can see the poverty line/ Now, THAT'S progress/ Traveling outside of your zip code always seemed like a test/ So, said, "Fuck it." and I left/ To New York...but New York didn't me

If New York has made me anything, it's aware of my accent/ It is not sexy/ Not colorful/ It does not "pop", "twang", or make you think of the Caribbean/ It does not represent any place hot, warm, or even tolerable/ It rolls over the lips of Milwaukee's Best/ It tastes like piss/ Tastes like Miller being bought out by Coors/ So, now, you have the Rocky Mountains mixed with the Milwaukee River/ Running Green/ And not just on St.Patty's Day/ A Polish, German community with the essence of something Irish/ Always fighting and drinking/ On National Ave, the offence is jailable/ On Water St., the offence is tolerable/ The state flag reads "Forward"...and that's laughable/ It should read "Bulldozed"/ Eastside condos build just beneath the ghettos, casting an unforgettable shadow/ Too present to pretend it doesn't exist/ But insist on pushing out the lower, lower class/ Tell them to stop living of the government and get jobs/Since there's no jobs in the ghettos, you're telling them to get lost/ Promise manufacturing opportunity, place them out in rural areas, then stop the bus lines at 124th st to the West/ Brown Deer Rd. to the North/ Stay tuned, more cuts to follow/ This was very noticeable in my speech when I had reached New York/ But New York...didn't make me/
If New York has made me anything, it's paranoid/ Millions of people living on top of millions of people and no one will make eye contact/ Fearing you'll ask them for something they ain't got while they front like they got it/ Like compassion/ Like money/ Like the dreams they had when they arrived there, only to be rudely awakened by the reality of what is/ Marketing/ Promoting/ Online dating, nothing more than a teleconference sales pitch/ "Tell me why I should take time out my career to spend it with you?"/" It better be worth it. Better not find you in Chinatown for cheaper time spent"/ Laughing with this hipster in the East Village/ Talking about the invisible fences that divide "Them" from "They"/ "We" from "Us"/ An issue of trust I am all too familiar with/ Milwaukeans Conceal and Carry humanity in their back pockets, then blame it on the economy/ "The Economy", this Hipster told me, "...is the reason your PBR Tall Boy will be $5."/ I told him I know a place in Brewtown where you can get them joints for $2.50/ And that's with a tip/

You want a tip?/ If New York will make you anything...it'll make you a hypocrit/ a dead man fleeing/ Heavy breathing/ On the final evening before I was leaving/ The most sincere comment anyone had given me was "I hope I never see you in Milwaukee again"/ The truth sucks/ Quick sands form violently in cities like these, needing nourishment/ Feeding off those who feel they have no voice and are stuck here/ When I went back, I couldn't tell my friends one story about my apartment/ My Job/ The Taxis/ The Subway/ The museums/ The shows/ Without ending it with, "...It still didn't feel like home."/ So, what's the point of leaving?/ If home is where the heart is, why leave and become a zombie?/ Everyone's in love with werewolves and vampires nowadays/ Budget cuts while building empires nowadays/ Keep saying you have a plan to bring more jobs, more people here/ But have no plans on how to get people who LIVE here to stay put/ What's the point of being home sick now when I left...because I was sick of home?/

Because home is where the heart is/ Maybe I left it here on purpose as a reminder/ The only place to find Milwaukee/ Home...is in Milwaukee

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