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post #364
bio: rich
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2/2/2004
22:38

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Five Years By Nate

Guest Entry by Nate

Five Years
Five years ago I had just changed identities. I don't mean in the legal sense of the word, rather the sense of me--of my internal, personalized sense of self and self purpose. David Bowie's Five Years became my mantra, for no reason other than it has the lyrics of creative, drug addled, transgendered Monsieur Bowie at the peak of his career and Five Years in its title.

Pushing thru the market square, so many mothers sighing
News had just come over, we had five years left to cry in
News guy wept and told us, earth was really dying
Cried so much his face was wet, then I knew he was not lying
I heard telephones, opera house, favourite melodies
I saw boys, toys electric irons and t.v.'s...



For the previous thirteen years I had been a glass blower/entrepreneur/designer/inventor/aritiste. With the flattening of the world economy and immediate availability of cheap, cheap labor, the neon point of purchase display industry moved to China overnight along with all my contracts. Coca-Cola Europe, Warsteiner, DRUM, Miller, Duckstein, Winston, everything neon you'd imagine to be righteously fabricated by American hands...all of it went to the Chinese. I had just closed the doors to my neon factory and was about to begin working, for the first time in my adult life for someone else.

My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there
And all the fat-skinny people, and all the tall-short people
And all the nobody people, and all the somebody people
I never thought I'd need so many people...


My new employer was a small commercial construction company whose work I had admired. The founder/owner built his business from nothing back in the late forties and now his two sons were at the helm as the dottering octogenarian hung out counting his coins daily in his old office, remaining nothing but a figurehead to the company. my age went off her head, hit some tiny children
A girl my age went off her head, hit some tiny children
If the black hadn't a-pulled her off, I think she would have killed them
A soldier with a broken arm, fixed his stare to the wheels of a cadillac
A cop knelt and kissed the feet of a priest, and a queer threw up at the sight of that...


The second generation of the firm is made up of two sons of the founder. Together they are actively and passively pissing away the fortune hard won by their now dead father. The pissing away has a sound that I can hear like a slow hiss. After the founder died, it now has now become the rattling murmur of the his bones rolling in his coffin.

I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour, drinking milk shakes cold and long
Smiling and waving and looking so fine, don't think
You knew you were in this song...



As a project manager and estimator I was assigned my first job to bid. It was the renovation of the entire second floor of the Dental School at UNC. I was wide eyed and aggressive and needed to prove to everybody how efficiently and cleverly I could approach a project. I was the successful low bidder and then the project manager for our firm. It was exciting to me. It was easy and familiar instantly and I was sure I could pull it off without damage to my creative spirit.

And it was cold and it rained so I felt like an actor
And I thought of ma and I wanted to get back there
Your face, your race, the way that you talk
I kiss you, you're beautiful, I want you to walk...


My plan was to make it through a succession of these mundane projects and then retire after five years of working there to be an artist again. I know how to make a living as an artist. I can bend like a reed. I can zelig myself into this backwater of narrowminded views and bigotted simplicity. That was my plan.

We've got five years, stuck on my eyes
Five years, what a surprise
We've got five years, my brain hurts a lot
Five years, that's all we've got
Five years...


They've come and gone. I have bent to nearly snapping. The robot has kept me alive as I have zeliged and as I have bowed my back like a fiddle and, as I am still here, but now getting closer...ever closer to the poison doughnut.

happy robot birthday.





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