How to honor my dead father
on this the lucky 17 anniversary of his death
Seventeen years ago today, May 5th
you died and you knew it.
Cinco de Mayo, which it will never be.
For me it will always be May 5th.
I don't know about rituals.
I wasn't raised that way.
I'd light a candle
but I wouldn't know
what to do with it.
Dad, you'd be pissed
things are bad here
in the land of the living.
If you were here, I'd make you try Thai food.
We'd discuss politics and work.
You'd express concern about my jobs, how much I make
and I would explain my reasons.
I'd feel better for having articulated them
and I'd probably change some things because of what you said.
I'd stand up for myself.
I'd admit that I deserve better.
That it's okay to notice that you deserve things.
Everybody deserves some things.
San Francisco feels like it's been encased in a digital fog
the marketing experience is complete
the net's been dropped
Everything in its place
under a hipster gloss.
I think maybe you would hate it.
There are so few diners anymore.
or 24 hr greasy spoons
places to have pie and coffee
and sit and talk for hours.
I guess we do that in bars.
We're trying to do that less in bars.
More around eachother's tables. I think.
Am I being nostalgic?
or just pissed that it feels like
my life is being sucked up
and sold back to me.
I feel angry at my age group
my young, mostly white peer group
who keep getting it right
when they open another specialty coffee shop
hair salon, vintage clothing boutique, record store
bike shop, repurposed Victorian knick-knack emporium,
etsy e-shop, restaurant that sells only Macaroni & Cheese.
We all have, they all have, we have
remarkable window dressing skills,
sense of irony.
We learned to sell to each other
to sell ourselves to each other
to sell an idea of us back to us
creating an air of exclusion
on the free and open market
anyone can buy in
as long as they get it too.
You can even be not-white now
just as long as you get it.
A glass bottle
filled with water
with a succulent plant stuck in it
Hand-me-down cowboy shirts
For sale. For lots and lots of money.
Something you do for free
now for sale.
But get out of my head, please
the idea of San Francisco
on that tender part of my brain
that wants to exchange goods
and services for goods and services
give freely things that I don't need
and use things that are no longer of use to others
to make things that don't cost money
to quit badgering the ledger in my head
It's going to be okay.
I'm going to make it okay.
But the irony is complete
just like the fog
I'm writing by way of ritual, a poem on...my blog.