This is how I am feeling at the completion of my first quarter of grad school. Disclaimer: Language. Inspiration.
Direct Orders (Rock Out) By Anis Mojgani
You have been given a direct order to rock the **** out.
Rock out like you were just given the last rock and roll record on earth and the minutes are counting down to flames.
Rock out like you just won both showcase showdowns.
Rock out like the streets are empty except for you, your bicycle, and your headphones.
Rock out like your lips, which are placed onto a breakdancing muse with legs that go all the way up.
Rock out like Publishers Clearing House is ringing your front door.
Rock out like you’ll never have to open a textbook again.
Rock out like you get paid to disturb the peace.
Rock out like music is all that you got.
Rock out like you’re standing on a rooftop and the city’s as loud and glowing as a river flowing below you.
Rock out like the plane is going down, and there are 120 people on board, and 121 parachutes.
Rock out like the streets and the books are all on fire and the flames can only be extinguished by doin’ the electric slide.
Rock out like it’s Saturday afternoon and Monday was a national holiday.
Rock out like somebody’s got a barrel pointed at your temple saying ‘Rock out like your life depended on it, fool,‘ because it does.
Rock out like your eyes are fading but you still got your ears. But you don’t know for how long so rock out like 5 o’clock time, meant pop-and-lock time.
Rock out like you got a pants full of tokens and nothing to do but everything.
Rock out like you are the international ski-ball champion of the entire universe.
Rock out like you just escaped an evil orphanage to join a Russian circus.
Rock out like your hero is fallen and you are spinning your limbs until they burst into a burning fire of remembrance.
Rock out like you are enslaved in the south and dancing is all that you have to know who you are.
Rock out like your dead grandfather just came back to take a drive with you in your new car.
Rock out like the table is full. Rock out like the neighbors are away.
Rock out like the walls won’t fall but, ****, you’re going to die trying to make them.
Rock out like the stereo’s volume knob is the figure 8 of infinity on it instead of merely numbers. Rock out like it’s raining outside and you’ve got a girl to run through it with.
Rock out like you’re playing football! Football in the mud and your washing machine is not broken.
Rock out like you threw your window open on your honeymoon because you want the whole world to know what love is.
Rock out like you just got a book published.
Rock out like you just went to your high school reunion to find everyone, even the women, are all overweight and bald, except for the former homecoming queen, who has just been divorced by her impotent husband and who only has eyes for… YOU!
Rock out like you just got a date with Heidi Klum.
Rock out like a shadow of a man passes behind you, drops you to your knees. You’re buckling in sweat, cold metal’s pushed to your forehead, the trigger’s pulled and the gun jams.
Rock out like you got an empty appointment book, and a full tank of gas.
Rock out like Jimi has returned carrying brand new guitar strings.
Rock out like the mangos are in season. Rock out like the record player won’t skip.
Rock out like this was the last weekend, like these were the last words, like you don’t ever want to forget how.
HERE I AM
We all wanted that high school sweetheart
We wanted to be young in the 50s with meatloaves and sock hops and lawns
Lawns so perfect they looked like Clark Gable was kissing them
We wanted to be 13 and alive and meet a girl that was 13 and alive
And walk with her past the grandstands
To sit and hold hands with
To sit and kiss with
To sit and sit with
Like it was something you would miss, but that never was
We once went to bed
Like between the bed sheets was a valley with dinosaurs still breathing
And how we capture these triceratops and brontosauruses
But even they were opened up with the smoke that rose out of the homes and the corners that we once climbed through
The streets and the footballs, which we once threw
The school desks upon, which we once drew
The windows that sat open, through we once flew
Before the outside world of parking spaces and dead friends came flooding on in
And we forgot what we wanted
And we became what we become
Waitresses and bartenders, city employees and temp positions
We are junkies and one kiss poems and we cry the stars
As we write our scars onto dumpsters and electric boxes
Because the only thing that we can hear is our hearts
And the only ones listening are the streets
That the blood that breaths through the letters we leave
And we dream to rise ourselves up out of these burning buildings
But instead we get buried somewhere beneath
Because I know my life is like some high school kids notebook
A high school kid that shuffles back and forth between school and home
Stacking the letters and the pictures too close for anyone outside of his own imagination to read
Because it’s through the ink that his heart beats, that his heart breaths
And we all just wanted to write these notes:
Check if you like me
Check if you don’t
Check if you’ll date me
Check if you won’t
Because we all wanted the love songs to be true
And we did love dinosaurs once
And we wanted the stars to hold our hands
To lick the teeth, to fuck us
But they ended up fucking us
So, let your smile twist
Like my heart dancing precariously on the edge of my fingertips
Staining them like that same high school kid, licking his thoughts
Using his sharpie tip writing
I was here
I was here, mothafucka
And ain’t none of y’all can write that in the spot that I just wrote it in
I’m here, mothafucka, and we all here, mothafucka, and we all mothafuckas, mothafucka
Because every breath I give brings me a second closer to the day that my mother may die
Because every breath I take, takes me a second further from the moment she caught my father’s eye
Because every word I carry is another stone to put into place in the foundation that I’m building
Because the days can erase something that I never saw
What all of us wanted and what none of us got
What we all had and have and what we all forgot
That we all wanted to be something
That we all became something
And it might not be the shit we once though we’d be when we were kids, but something is still something
And like some cats say: something is better than nothing
Feet are smarter than an engine
And dreams are stronger than thighs
And questions are the only answers we need to know that we are alive as I am when I have the mind of a child
Asking, why is 2 + 3 always equal to 5?
Where do people go to when they die?
What made the beauty of the moon?
And the beauty of the sea?
Did that beauty make you?
Did that beauty make me?
Will that make me something?
Will I be something?
Am I something?
And the answer comes: already am, always was, and I still have time to be
SHAKE THE DUST
This is for the fat girls
This is for the little brothers
This is for the schoolyard wimps and the childhood bullies that tormented them
For the former prom queen and for the milk crate ball players
For the nighttime cereal eaters
And for the retired elderly Walmart store front door greeters
Shake the dust
This is for the benches and the people sitting upon them
For the bus drivers who drive a million broken hymns
For the men who have to hold down three jobs simply to hold up their children
For the nighttime schoolers
And for the midnight bikers who are trying to fly
Shake the dust
This is for the two year olds
Who cannot be understood because they speak half English and half God
Shake the dust
For the boys with the beautiful sisters
Shake the dust
For the girls with the brothers who are going crazy
For those gym class wallflowers and the twelve year olds afraid of taking public showers
For the kid who is always late to class because he forgets the combination to his locker
For the girl who loves somebody else
Shake the dust
This is for the hard men who want love but know that it won’t come
For the ones who are forgotten
The ones the amendments do not stand up for
For the ones who are told speak only when you are spoken to
And then are never spoken to
Speak every time you stand so you do not forget yourself
Do not let one moment go by that doesn’t remind you
That your heart, it beats 900 times every single day
And that there are enough gallons of blood to make everyone of you oceans
Do not settle for letting these waves that settle
And for the dust to collect in your veins
This is for the celibate pedophile who keeps on struggling
For the poetry teachers and for the people who go on vacation alone
For the sweat that drips off of Mick Jaggers’ singing lips
And for the shaking skirt on Tina Turner’s shaking hips
For the heavens and for the hells through which Tina has lived
This is for the tired and for the dreamers
For those families that want to be like the Cleavers with perfectly made dinners
And songs like Wally and the Beaver
This is for the bigots, for the sexists, and for the killers
And for the big house pin sentenced cats becoming redeemers
And for the springtime that somehow seems to show up right after every single winter
This is for everyone of you
Make sure that by the time the fisherman returns you are gone
Because just like the days I burn at both ends
And every time I write, every time I open my eyes
I’m cutting out parts of myself simply to hand them over to you
So shake the dust
And take me with you when you do for none of this has ever been for me
All that pushes and pulls
And pushes and pulls
And pushes and pulls
It pushes for you
So, grab this world by its clothespins
And shake it out again and again
And jump on top and take it for a spin
And when you hop off shake it again
For this is yours, this is yours
Make my words worth it
Make this not just some poem that I write
Not just some poem like just another night that sits heavy above us all
Walk into it, breathe it in, let it crash through the halls of your arms
Like the millions of years of millions poets
Coursing like blood, pumping and pushing
Making you live, shaking the dust
So when the world knocks at your front door
Clutch the knob tightly and open on up
And run forward and far into its widespread, greeting arms
With your hands outstretched before you
Fingertips trembling, though they may be