Those Were The Days

Sorry I can’t make it to your mothers Celebration of Life event. This will be my final installment to Jeanne’s letter writing project. I hope she enjoyed the previous eight letters I sent to her while she was in the rest home. I hope they comforted her and made her laugh or perhaps cry—- my stories and words were intended to help her relive some of those good ole days we shared on Briar Lane. I can’t be there to tell my story in person, but if there is a place where pictures and such are being displayed, perhaps you can post this letter.

I’m going back, I’m going way back in time. Back to the 70’s. Back to when classic rock wasn’t something you now hear being played in the produce department of Safeway. There is something unsettling about listening to Van Halen “You Really Got Me” on the store sound-system as I watch an elderly woman examine the firmness of a zucchini. 

 No, I’m going back to when rock and roll was still rebellious and social networking was hollering out your car window at girls in their cars—I can still recall those hot summer Yuba City nights and that distinctive scent of rotten peaches lingering in the stale night air. It’s the end of August and another summer is slipping away. The sound of crickets, bullfrogs and a lone barking dog make up the evenings chorus. Thoughts of returning to school leaves me feeling flat and uninspired. This is the stuff that keeps a small agriculture town like Yuba City forever tucked away at the edges of my memories. We all carry pieces of our hometowns within us. Rainy days playing monopoly, making jokes to hide our insecurities, experiencing an awkward first kiss, playing baseball in a weed strewn field, climbing the levee for a swim in the the river——and coming to appreciate the value of being part of our Briar Lane gang——-where we made friendships to last us a life time.

Back then, on our block we played outside until it got dark or someone’s mom hollered “Supper time”. Yeah, “those were the days”. That’s what old farts use to say to me when I was a kid. I thought that was a bunch of nonsense, but now that I’m an old fart, I find myself muttering “Those were the days”. I suppose, ya don’t know somethings, until you’re ready to know them. Sometimes it’s too late——- and there’s nothing worse than being too late. Too late to share a morning walk, too late to share an evening sunset. Too late to share all those seemingly insignificant moments that comprise a lifetime. Too late to say the things you always intended to say. Things like, thanks for always being on my side, thanks for believing in me when no one else did——thanks for loving me—-cause that ain’t always such an easy thing to do——just ask my wife.

So there you lay and here I stand. Although you no longer inhabit your body and it no longer imprisons you——-I will always carry your voice and memory within me. Somethings are immortal. Somethings never die. 

Jeanne——mother, wife, friend, neighbor, teacher, counselor, life learner, strong and courages, gone but never forgotten.  And to you I proudly say—— “I love you”.

Victor S. Uriz II

Briar Lane Poet Laureate  

I’m Stuck with you, You’re Stuck with me

Tell me daddy, what makes the sun burn so bright

Who turns on the moon, when it gets dark at night

Oh Daddy, what makes the wind blow

Who turns on the rain, who freezes the snow

Tell me Daddy, why’s the ocean so blue

Who decorates the flowers, with morning dew

Someday my son, you’ll be a man

You’ll see, it’s all part of a plan

What you take, and what you give

Gonna come back to you, in this life you live

Love is all, we came here for

Nothing less, nothing more

One day son, you’ll leave home

You’ll find love, and have children of your own

You’ll teach them all, all ya know

You’ll wish them well, then ya gotta let-em go

You can choose your friends, but not your family

So I guess I’m stuck with you, I guess you’re stuck with me

Someday my son, you’ll be a man

You’ll see it’s all part of a plan

What you take, and what you give

Comes back to you, in this life you live

Love is all we came here for

Nothing less, nothing more

Things I Had To Find Out

I remember my first apartment. It never felt like home, it was sparse and empty. It smelled of stale cigarets and flat beer. But I needed to go there and find things out for myself. I had to rid myself of parents and daily routines of doing chores——that draining feeling of being someones child, being someones pride and burden. It’s an awful feeling of being young and realizing that you’re going nowhere fast. Failure is a brutal teacher. 

I thought it was going to be a lot different. I dreamt that there’d be girls, all kinds of girls. Girls dancing with me in the dark, spending their nights in my ramshackle pad. I thought there’d be late night parties, beer for breakfast and never having to make my bed or mow my dad’s lawn. But mainly, it ended up being me and a couple of buddies sitting on my broken down couch, smoking pot and drinking the cheapest beer we could find. 

We found out the hard way that the girls wanted boys with fancy cars and college bound incomes. They went for the boys who were going to Cabo for Spring Break and living off the money their parents gave to them freely. 

Me and my buddies spent long nights hanging out in my dimly lit apartment. Our big plans veiled the fear that our dreams were like all those pretty girls, untouchable, just out of reach. And it ached deep down to watch them walk by, hand in hand with their privileged preppies. They left a trail of republican stench in their wake. 

As for us, we were never going to comprises and end up working for “the man”. We were going to travel, see the world, have grand adventures and yes, we’d find carefree girls too. But we found out that everything had a price, everything cost money.  The fast-food jobs sucked, and the jobs working at the Canneries were tedious, heartless and grueling. We were constantly being fired for showing up late, or being hungover and not showing up at all. We were  expendable to “the man”. Our only refuge was the broken down apartment where we could exchange big ideas and plot out our untested futures. 

But, this world is designed to castrate young men and squeeze every last drop of life out of them. They wanted us to be content working at their mindless, meaningless, soul sucking jobs that were designed to make us feel insignificant, replicable. Replaceable like a worn out part or broken piece of machinery. They enjoyed watching us fight each other over the table scraps they tossed us. 

There would be a string of rundown apartments, quicksand jobs and that sound of silent screams of someone under water, someone suffocating. The American Dream was a con, a lost cause, a carrot dangling just out of reach, but close enough to keep us plodding along like dimwitted plow horses. 

So, one day I woke up and I stopped trying to be something or somebody. I stopped, shook my head and walked away from it all, from the city and its constant drone of nothingness. Along with its horde of brainwashed proletariat working stiffs, who’s only purpose was to make the rich richer. They worked at dreadful jobs to pay the mortgage on houses they left empty so that they could go to work and pay their mortgage. They got loans to buy cars that they drove from home to work and from work to home in a vicious circle. It all seemed so senseless to me. There was nothing there for me. I had no use for that world that once left me feeling insignificant. I moved to the mountains and never looked back. I found purpose hiking in the woods and sharing sunsets and sunrises with fellow pariahs.

Like I said “I had to find things out for myself”.

Prize Fighters And Poets

With a tone of scorn and eyes conveying pity I’ve been called “sensitive”. I hate the term sensitive, it brings to mind weakness and vulnerability. To write a poem requires guts. To paint a picture requires vision. To play the blues is to open up ones soul and expose a heart callused and gnarled. To put pen to paper and write is fool hearted and as brave as taking off all your clothes and running down main street bare-ass naked.  We’re all awkward and sensitive when naked. Most will point and snicker, but few will understand.

I suppose the opposite of sensitive would be insensitive, indifferent and selfish. Imagine being described as a sweet fellow——-but so terribly insensitive, indifferent and selfish. The worlds full of bleached out souls afraid to air their feelings. These are the ones who lean on trite “Hallmark Cards” to express their orphaned emotions. 

I ain’t sensitive, I’m the underdog in a prize fight. I’m the guy that’s willing to take a hundred punches so I can get one in of my own. I’m not particularly fast or talented, but I can take a punch. I’ll weave and bob my way into the face of any dumb ass critique. I’ll shove them against the ropes and whisper in their ear “Is that all ya got?”. My eyes might be swollen shut and my nose may be bloodied, but you’ll have to take me out in a stretcher before I’ll give up. I’ve done my work in the gym. I’ve done my early morning roadwork. I’ve pounded that heavy bag until my fists bled. I’ve hit that speed bag until it became a blur. I’ve earned this chance. I’ve been patient. I’ve waited for my opening. I’m one dangerous motherfucker, I’m one of those with nothing left to lose. I’ll hit that son of a bitch right on the jaw with a right hook.  I’ll watch him crumble like a sheet of bad poetry headed for the waste basket. 

People don’t drown cause they can’t swim, they drown cause they can’t hold their breath long enough.  And brother, I can go forever on one breath.

God, Vaginas and Wieners

There should be a little bit of nothingness in all our lives
I’m talking about the nothingness that my lazy ass cat shamelessly flaunts  
She could care less about worries, victories or life goals
She’s at her best when doing absolutely nothing
She sleeps when she wants to sleep
She eats when she wants to eat
She yawns, stretches, then takes another nap in a sunbeam
What others may think of her, does not concern her
If you get on her nerves she’ll put her ass up in your face 
To remind ya who’s the boss
She squints her eyes like Clint Eastwood, as if to say “kiss my ass”

Woman are like cats, fickle, complacent, impossible to figure out and even harder to please
A pissed off woman is a frightening thing
There’s “mean” and then there’s “woman mean”
They’re more interested in being right, than being happy
You’ll never out-talk or out-argue a woman
They’ll always get the “last word”
They’ll smirk, pout and then vindictively proclaim “I told ya so”
They find contentment in the nothingness that fills their nothing-less day
It’s all too much, causing a man to mutter, stammer and cus under their defeated breath——sheeeet!

But when a man needs a woman, he’ll act a fool
You’ll see him heel at her side like an obedient dog on a short leash 
She’ll yank on that choker-chain every now and again to keep him in his place
Men will connive, lie and feign politeness in a futile attempt to get into a woman’s heart—or more importantly, their pants
So, ya buy them jewelry, take them out to dinner, comment on how beautiful their eyes are, how stunning their dress is
All the while, she'll absentmindedly stare into her compact mirror  

Women's personalities are hidden, just like their women parts
Men don’t understand how a woman’s body works
Everything about it is a mystery
It looks like a gapping wound that sometimes bleeds
Nipples, breasts, legs
The softness of their ass
Where to start? What to do?
It’s all to much for a simple man to grasp
But grasp, they shall try—-and try, AND TRY!

Women don’t have time for a man’s bullshit
They have more important things to do
They construct purpose out of life’s nothing-less—ness 
They fill every moment, of every hour, of each day with endless busyness
They fabricate grand schemes 
Things they're determined to make men orchestrate 
Life becomes one long laborious “To Do list”
To women, everything means something, especially the insignificant petty shit
Wipe your feet, take out the garbage, feed the cat, cut the lawn, bring me my tea, it’s too hot, it’s to cold—-did you hear me?

They somehow make babies out of their own flesh and blood
Their bellies swell up to accommodate a parasite living deep inside their womb——
Men only know about the fucking part of making babies

Men are happy in their nothingness
Men’s body parts, are like their personalities, right out there for the world to see, compare and giggle at
They grab at it to show dominance
They believe theirs is bigger and mightier than anyone else’s
They expect it to be worshiped and fawned over
In reality, it’s the goofiest looking thing you’ll ever see
And if they can’t find anyone to grab on it, they’ll jerk on it themselves

I guess this is the way god planned it
And what a sick sense of humor he must have

Vows

BROKEN WORLDPOETRYPROSERANT AND RAVESLICE OF LIFETRUTH SCRAPSUNCATEGORIZEDWEIRD WORLDLEAVE A COMMENTFreestyleLoveProseRelationshipsStream Of ConsciousnesVows

One of life's greatest mistakes 

Expecting to be loved
Expect is a word best not attached to love

There’s many versions of love
Few are lasting, and even fewer are memorable 

Some covet it as if it were property
Others wear it on their arm like a flashy bauble
Or, proudly tattoo it permanently upon their skin 
Oftentimes vanishing before the ink dries
At times it’s confused with sex
You can have sex without love
And you can have love without sex

After all the gyrations and moaning
Even if she lets you put it where you want?
You’ll still need to find things to talk about at the end of a worn-out night
Humor is the best aphrodisiac 
Honesty is the slipperiest of lubricants

It's naively offered up with open arms 
Like a soon to be broken Vow
Vows are for love-struck suckers
It’s a fabled belief in security and sincerity 

Sometimes, it's a broken record that skips and pops
All noise and no melody
Like a sympathy composed for the deaf

Most want love to be soft and tender
Like sappy verses from a smarmy poem
But it's none of those things 
It's a prize fight, a spectacle of blood, rage and courage
It can suddenly switch from an endearing hug to an enraged choke hold 

It begins with a polite first kiss, ending up in a dark room that reeks of raw savage sex--that is--if you get lucky

Yet, there are those rare flashes of something
Some may call it love, but that's an over-used euphemism
It stirs an ancient ache that resides deep inside us all
Where does it come from? Why does it go?
Who knows? It's a vexing enigma 

It comes with no warranties, no guarantees
It’s fragile, so handle it with care

If ya break it, you'll have to pay for it 
Once shattered, you’ll never be able to put it back together
No glue or counseling can dull its painful shards 

Once the shelf-life has been reached
You’ll need to decide——should it be thrown out?
Or painfully watch it continue to curdle and sour 
Salmonella is a bad way to go 

The trouble with love—-is
It’s what happens between life’s otherwise mundane moments

It has no soul or conscience 
No sense of right or wrong
It makes fools out of it’s gullible victims


							

Vows

One of life's greatest mistakes 

Expecting to be loved
Expect is a word best not attached to love

There’s many versions of love
Few are lasting, and even fewer are memorable 

Some covet it as if it were property
Others wear it on their arm like a flashy bauble
Or, proudly tattoo it permanently upon their skin 
Oftentimes vanishing before the ink dries
At times it’s confused with sex
You can have sex without love
And you can have love without sex

After all the gyrations and moaning
Even if she lets you put it where you want?
You’ll still need to find things to talk about at the end of a worn-out night
Humor is the best aphrodisiac 
Honesty is the slipperiest of lubricants

It's naively offered up with open arms 
Like a soon to be broken Vow
Vows are for love-struck suckers
It’s a fabled belief in security and sincerity 

Sometimes, it's a broken record that skips and pops
All noise and no melody
Like a sympathy composed for the deaf

Most want love to be soft and tender
Like sappy verses from a smarmy poem
But it's none of those things 
It's a prize fight, a spectacle of blood, rage and courage
It can suddenly switch from an endearing hug to an enraged choke hold 

It begins with a polite first kiss, ending up in a dark room that reeks of raw savage sex--that is--if you get lucky

Yet, there are those rare flashes of something
Some may call it love, but that's an over-used euphemism
It stirs an ancient ache that resides deep inside us all
Where does it come from? Why does it go?
Who knows? It's a vexing enigma 

It comes with no warranties, no guarantees
It’s fragile, so handle it with care

If ya break it, you'll have to pay for it 
Once shattered, you’ll never be able to put it back together
No glue or counseling can dull its painful shards 

Once the shelf-life has been reached
You’ll need to decide——should it be thrown out?
Or painfully watch it continue to curdle and sour 
Salmonella is a bad way to go 

The trouble with love—-is
It’s what happens between life’s otherwise mundane moments

It has no soul or conscience 
No sense of right or wrong
It makes fools out of it’s gullible victims