A Prayer to Saint Jim (3/20/14)

Kurt Cobain has been dead for twenty years now

and the roosters crow

and the dogs bark

and time stops for no one.

It feels like yesterday

I was seventeen

paying for gas with a jar full of pennies,

getting Rich’s cousin to buy us beer

and sitting around the bonfire

until the last embers cooled

but the radio played on

as we watched dawn’s early light

on the horizon.

Twenty fucking years,

and we were just kids

when he died.

And Janis and Jimi and Jim,

they’ve almost been dead now

for twice as long as they walked this earth.

And for some reason,

I woke up today

to my island alarm clock,

these chickens, dogs and crickets

providing the chorus

for this Sublime song

stuck in my head.

And I remember

the first time I ever heard Bradley Nowell sing.

It was July 1996,

I had just turned twelve

and I remember

because Annie was also twelve years old.

My sister and her best friend

were in the back seat giggling

as they listened to the disc-man

after taking the headphones back from me

while we sat in traffic

on Route 6,

on the Cape for summer vacation.

And Bradley Nowell has been dead for eighteen years now

and had already been dead for two months

as I listened to Sublime for the first time

in July 1996,

and felt bad for the Annie he sang about

and felt bad that he was dead,

and felt bad that I didn’t have a disc-man of my own

and all these years later

I’m older now than he will ever be,

forever twenty-eight

and stuck in time

with the younger Kurt Cobain

and Janis Joplin

and Jimi Hendrix

and Jim Morrison

in eternity

twenty-seven

forever

these folks who spoke to the teenage me

but I didn’t hear

what they were trying to tell us

until years later

when I closed my American prayer book,

and around the time that Amy Winehouse joined the twenty-seven club

I was twenty-seven too

and wondering if I should make it forever.

Did they all see the world

for what it really is?

Are we too far gone?

Fucked up beyond repair?

But then the rooster crows again

and grounds me in the present.

It’s still early here,

five in the morning

and I’m still half dreaming

and this is all an illusion anyhow,

right?

So I put on my headphones

and let Saint Jim read me his poetry

over some funky beats

while the battery

on this i-phone 3 my brother gave me

when he got an upgrade

slowly dies

and I stare at the Buddha statue on the bookshelf

and dawn’s early light

creeps through the window.

As I try to meditate on Jim Morrison’s spoken word,

my mind keeps wondering…

thinking…

maybe…

I’m a badfish too?

About soitgoes1984

I was born and raised on land stolen from the Pocumtuc. I now live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on land that was stolen more recently, from the Hawaiians. I am addict, struggling to kick the habit of fossil fuel.
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