Mutating Normalcy

Covid gave birth to another
Variant
Two months ago
And now

People are getting sick
The hospitals are full
Covid tests are scarce
Restaurants are empty
And there is a sense
Of panic in the air.

The euphoria of early last year
When the world thought Covid
Would be defeated
Through medical science
Is gone

And in its place
A sense of
Fear and uncertainty.

Covid has made
Everyone aware
Of their own mortality
And shined light
On the importance of;

Physical Health
Mental Health
Family
Work
And Community.

Many of us have reevaluated our lives
And changed our routines
Habits
Jobs
And social life
Leading to
“The Great Quit”
A delivery and housing boom
An unstable economy
And other societal changes.

We search for 2019
Normalcy
But the new normal
Is one of change.

Just as the virus
Evolves
So must we

And adapt to an
Ever evolving world
Of rapid mutation.

Sinful Christian

I have tried
To live a pious life
And be devout to my
Creator

But
My sanity and
Emotions
Keep getting in the
Way

So like an
Ill mannered
Drunkard

I Sin
And curse
And screw

And then repent
And pray
And hope

That God
Can forgive
Even the sinful
Man.

Mismeasurement

Many people believe
That success is measured solely
Through income
That power is derived solely
Through wealth.

They see no power in
Poetry
Art
& Music.

They see no power in
Generosity
Passion
Love

And
When they grow old
Many of them
Will regret
Having worked so much
And loved so little.

Family Life

Years ago
In my more crippled days
I was fortunate
To be from a family
That put a roof over my head
And loved me.

When I needed help and
The system wasn’t there
My family
Lent a hand.

When I was broke
They clothed and fed me.

When I needed sanity and
Everything was out of control
They stood by me.

If God and my family hadn’t
Pointed me on the right path
I wouldn’t be were I am
today,

Working
And feeling
Healthy.

If only everyone
With disabilities
Was this lucky.

Karaoke Connection

Singing Karaoke Sunday nights at
“The Northside Yacht Club”
You meet all sorts of interesting people

And there is no better way to look
Into another person’s heart than through
Song, drink and laughter.

People sing a song and
Immediately you know
The music they like
The mood they are in
Their level of intoxication
Their level of confidence.

They reveal a part of themselves
And later on
You can connect
With them
And see what happens.

Poor but Proud

When you are broke
And disabled
It is hard to hang your
Hat on your income
So you find other things
You can be proud of
Like

Singing an amusing
Karaoke song
To a drunken audience or

Reading your words and
Rhymes at
Open Mic or

Writing the occasional
Published work
At a coffee shop.

Things that require talent.
Things that are powerful.
Things that are free.

Freedom Lovers

Why observe life from afar
When you can
Change what you see.

Why watch the news
When you can
March on the streets.

Why be passive
When you can
Be a player

Why be pensive
When you can
Be a creator

Be an action
Be a verb
Be a movement

Sell your stock portfolio
And go on
Safari

Travel abroad and
Live in a
Tent

Ride a Harley and
Travel
Across the land.

Turn off the television and
Start
Making music.

Measure life by
Experience.

Measure wealth by
Health

Measure friendship by
Love

Be different
Be strange
Be you

Find freedom in expression
Love
Art
Life
Choice
And thought

Cultivate freedom
Breathe freedom
Nurture freedom
And love it
Till death.

Northside

There is a place in Cincinnati
Where everyone that is too queer
Or too damn strange to live
Anywhere else in Ohio
Resides.

It’s filled with people who
Were excommunicated from their
Small-minded villages
Outside of the 275 loop

And decided to build something
Better for themselves;
A Utopia for
Drag Queens, Rock Stars, Hippy Dope Smokers
Drama Queens, Gays, Straight Freaks,
Commies, Hustlers, Spiritual Gurus,
God fearing and God hating
Individuals,

A place for anyone who is willing
To tolerate just about everyone.

Different types of bars
Line the streets of Spring Grove
And Hamilton Avenue
Where you can find
All sorts of
People who probably wouldn’t
Fit in anywhere else
In the Midwest

But found a home here in this
Disney World of
Misfits and Weirdos.

People who decided to build something better
For themselves where people can
Be whoever they want
Dress however they want
Believe whatever they want

Make music & art & poetry &
Walk around in a pink tuxedo &
Not worry about having your
Ass beat down by some
Gestapo Scheißters

It’s real Grade A
Freakshow entertainment at:
“The Northside Yacht Club”
“The Comet”
“Arcade Legacy”
And “XYZ”

And you never know what’s
Going to happen
Because
Northside is raw and unfiltered
And people aren’t walking around with their
Bullshit Office masks on
So you know who they are and
What they are thinking

& if they want you to screw
Then they give you the finger
& if they want to screw you
Then you end up in bed
& that is the kind of place
Northside is…

Where you can sit around and
Sing Karaoke with Transvestites or
Smoke blunts with hippies or
Watch a drag show
And question your Sexuality or
Take off your work suit
& put on some sparkly platform boots
& dance all night long
& not know where you are going
To wake up the next morning.

It’s the kind of place that
Sends a giant Finger
To the rest of the world

“We are free
& I screw who I want
& I think what I want
& I am what I want”

Road to Recovery

As someone who spent several
Years as an intake
At a drug and mental health
Rehabilitation center

I understand the process of
Recovery
Better than most.

I’ve witnessed firsthand
People with drug addictions
And Illness like Manic Depression,
Schizophrenia or Depressive
Disorders

Make full recoveries and
Go on to lead a relatively
Normal and stable life.

These illnesses have touched
Every American in some way
And occasionally
I receive letters
From concerned
Parents and loved ones

Asking me how they
Can “Save” their relative
Or friend from one of these
Horrific illnesses.

They don’t understand
That the recovery process
Is normally a long
Arduous process of
Trial and error
To be
Carried out by
The afflicted

And the process is never
Fully completed.

Many people
Have helped me on my
Recovery Journey;

Parents
Relatives
Friends
God
Doctors and
Peers

But they were more like
Spectators cheering me on
As I walked the long
Arduous path
Of self improvement.

Recovery requires commitment
And willpower,

Attributes that cannot be
Given
By a loved one

But rather earned
Through experience
And determination.

Ultimately
Your loved will
Will have to
“Save”
Themselves.

Stigma & Victim Avoidance

When you suffer from a
Stigmatized disability
Like Schizophrenia

It is important that you
Watch your associations
And connections.

There are people who
Will try to take advantage of
Your situation

And the best way to
Avoid being a victim is to
Associate with people

Who are of a more
Noble and less
Predatory
Nature.

You will experience
Prejudice
By similar
Individuals

Don’t let their
Negativity
Contaminate
Your mind and
Actions.

It is a rough life
But in the end
It is important to
Realize

That there are still
People out there who
Will treat you fairly

Regardless of
Your disability
Status.

Sofia

25 Years Ago
Before my mental breakdown
I lived with a Swede in
A town called “Linkoping”

In this small apartment
And we had one of those really
Intense relationships
Where we loved each other

Madly
But couldn’t seem to
Get along because
The relationship was so

Damn emotional.

We had a lot in common
And shared many of the
Same strengths and
Weaknesses.

Young
Cute
Moody
Smart
Strange
Introverted

She studied Physics
At the local University
And was so damn smart
That I think she won

Every argument,

But in the end
It didn’t matter because
We would end up in bed
Together
Afterwards

And all the fighting
And anger
Made the sex
That much better.

We’d have these
Wild conversations
Together about
Physics, the Universe and
God,

And I’d listen in awe
And then afterwards
We would fight over some
Trivial matter that usually

Involved
Money or
Politics

Then go to bed
And make up.

This cycle of
Fighting, Fornication
Physics, Fondness and
Fidelity
Continued until
Our ​relationship
Blew up
Like a Supernova

That collapses
Under its own gravity
Because the heat
Becomes too fiery and
Intense.

Its 20 year later
Now
And
We live on opposite ends
Of the world
But she still writes me
Every now and then

Because even though
That intense young love
Is usually
Doomed to failure,

It molds you
In ways that last a
Lifetime

And I know that
We would be different
People
If it wasn’t for the

Love &
Anger &
Adventure &
Fights &
Travels &
Experiences

That we shared together
In our great
Adventure.

Not for Sale

The business world
Keeps drilling this
Idea in my head
That the only measure of
Success
Is money,

But
I wouldn’t give up
The Artist Lifestyle
For a Million Dollars.

I guess all the
Brainwashing
Sessions
Stopped working

When I decided
To follow
My dreams and
Press the
Mute Button

On their
Values

Self Denial & The Sirens

Many
People believe
That their personal problems
Can be solved
Through politics,

That
“Utopia is just
One election away”.

They think;

I don’t have a job
Because of a politician

I don’t have friends
Because of a politician

I drink too much
Because of a politician

I hate the world
Because of a politician

I have no money
Because of a politician

I lost my business
Because of a politician

People are looking for
A quick fix

And the politicians
Of today
Will readily tell them
That they alone hold
The cure
For their misfortune

Knowing that most people
Will readily
Drink the poison.

Culture shock (Kulturchock)

När man bor utomlands
Flera år
Det ar lätt att
Bli förlorat.

When you live overseas
For several years
Its easy to
Become lost.

Man tänker inte ofta
På hur sitt eget kultur
Påverkar
Mans perspektiv,

Most people don’t think
About how their own culture
Effects their perspective

Men när man
Har bott utomlands
Flera år
Börjar man att ha
Ett annat synpunkt

Från ett annat kultur
Från ett annat land.

But when you have lived
Overseas several years
You start to see things from
The perspective

Of another culture
Of another land

Man börjar att
Ifrågasätta
Sitt eget troende
Eftersom man har upplevat
Världen från ett
Annat synpunkt

You start to question
Your own beliefs
Because you have experienced
The world from a different
Vantage point.

Och det är jus da
När man kan
Ifrågasätta
Sitt identitet,

And it is then that
One begins to question
Their own identity

Och börjar att känna sig
Som ett man
Utan land.

And start to feel like
A person without
A country.

Som ett individ som
Inte tillhör
Nånting alls.

Like an individual
Who doesn’t belong
To anything at all.

You Can’t Assimilate an American (Kan Inte Assimilera Amerikanen)

Eskilstuna är en stad som
Jag bodde I som utbytesstudent
Trettio år sen.

Eskilstuna is a town that
I lived in as an exchange student
30 years ago.

I försökte att assimilera
Till kulturen

I tried to assimilate to
The culture

Jag försökte att assimilera
Till mentalitet

I tried to assimilate to
The mentality

Jag försökte att
Bli Svensk

I tried to be
Swedish

Men det aldrig fungerade.

But it never worked

Eftersom Amerikanerna
Kan inte
Assimilera sig utomlands.

Because Americans
Suck
At not being American.

Sorry about the rusty Swedish © 2 hours ago, Daniel Hoeweler    exchange-student • sweden • swedish • eskilstuna   

Back to the Stone Age

A storm is brewing in the computer world
A new type of computer that can hack
Into any traditional computer device
That utilizes RSA encryption.

Which is essentially everything.

Bank Records, Phone Records,
Logins, Passwords,
Nuclear Reactor and Air Transportation
Systems,

Everything will be up for grabs
Everything will be hackable.

In the next 5-10 years
Quantum Computers
Will change the world,

And turn the internet into
An open book.

A real hacker’s delight.

Good-Bye Digital Data
Good-Bye and Good-Night
I hope that the world
Reverts back to 1899.

Keith the Misprint Guy

I met my closest friend 25 years ago
At a “They Might Be Giants” Concert.

He stood out like a sore thumb
Among the crowd because his appearance
Resembled that of an extraterrestrial
With a lanky gaunt body and an
Unusually large head,

Which housed a rather
Brilliant Cranium.

It became apparent to me
After meeting him several times that
He was one of the strangest and most
Eccentric individuals I
Ever met,

So we immediately became friends.

He enjoyed collecting things
From an early age and had
All sorts oddities scattered
Around his house

Including a life size
Han Solo in carbonite,

But it wasn’t until he started collecting
Magic the Gathering Cards that he
Found his true passion in life.

He was drunk on those things
And owned Thousands of them.

Eventually he ended up
Becoming the world’s most
Renowned expert on
Misprinted Magic Cards,

He even had his own
Misprint Youtube Channel with
Thousands of subscribers,

We would go to Gaming Conventions together
Gencon, Origins and others,

Him with his briefcase of Magic Cards
And me as his bodyguard
Because those cards he carried
Around with him were worth thousands
Of dollars.

We’d walk inside these large gaming conventions
And everyone would treat the guy like a
King and ask him
What cool crazy misprinted cards
He was carrying around with him.

I’d sit around and watch as he
Sold his Power Nine Alpha Lotus’s and
Timetwisters
To wealthy customers hooked on
This psychologically addictive game
With a crazed look in their eyes
Because all those geeks and nerds had to
“Collect Them All”
And get their fix on.

A while back we drove out
To meet a game designer
Where he made the
“Deal of a Lifetime”

And we drove out of
That joint with
A Quarter Million in
Cardboard Crack.

Keith the Misprint Guy,
Loyal Friend of mine
Drug lord of the modern age,
The El Chapo
Of Nerds
And a great icon
In the gaming world.

You Never Forget

20 years ago
I had no place to call home
And was “Filth on the street”.

People would walk by
Not understanding
Why
A young man so seemingly
Vibrant could end up
With no place of his own.

Much later
I would find myself employed
With my own domicile
A seemingly impossible task.

Now I
See the so-called
“Vagrants” on the street as
Former shadows of myself
“What could have been”
I see myself
In each of them.

The Flashlight

It’s 2021 and part of me is actually
Glad Donald Trump was president,

Not because he was a competent leader
But rather because he did such an
Excellent job of shining a light
On all the prejudice
We have
Here in America.

Before Trump I was only able to
Guess how much
Racism and Sexism
Existed,

But Trump stripped
All that political correctness away
And made it fashionable to be
A bigot.

They are all out in
The open now
No doubt any more
Who is who.

People used to speak in
Whispers
About the Hispanics, Gays
Blacks, Cripples and other
So-Called Undesirables,

But now all that shit is
Loud and Clear.

Cincinnati Life

Over the years this
City has evolved
From a place of
Homogeneity and
Censorship
Into an eclectic blend of
People of all types and
Backgrounds.

You change neighborhoods
And it’s
A whole new people
A whole new mentality,
From the Hipsters of Northside
To the Homeboys of West Side to
The Business Types of Hyde Park and
The Artists of OTR.

Sometimes we have
Big City transplants
Arrive here from
San Francisco and New York City,
Excommunicated from these
Mega Cities because
They aren’t tied into
A mega-corporation
And they don’t want to sell all their
Precious time to
The Man.

They want to make art and love and
Drink and Dine and
LIVE
Because their time is too precious a
Commodity to waste on
Rent money and overpriced
Coffee