Welcome Home





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Published on Aug 12, 2014

Welcome Home

it got old
swarming drug dealers
took over my neighborhood
gangs hanging in the park all night
and day
cars cruise
shopping the projects
nightly gunfights in the alley
almost unstartable cars cough and smoke
peel out/floored
radios and tape players
blare sentimental
mariachi music
or anonymous disco heartbeat’s muffled thump
20 ft.
from my head
an uninsulated mother-in-law
below code garage top apartment
post earthquake abandoned
by the landlord

last time we slept there
zealous competing pushers
appeared at our parking
each mimed different ingestions


I smiled & waved them off
like annoying hors d’ouvres servers

I found a large live round
by the right rear tire
and a big fast rat
lives under the trash

you won’t have those problems here,”

said the snappy sporty guy
ringing me up in his bright store
in my new neighborhood

it’s north
near the bay
big view of the red Golden Gate
spanning the ocean
mostly old people and their parents
and earnest kids live here

“...although, did you hear what happened
the other night? Just up the street
a guy walked out
of the Thai restaurant
two guys grabbed him/spun him against the glass
another put an ice pick
in his head so deep it broke off
leaving him a vegetable.” everywhere it’s the same

whatever the address whatever the rent death owns the building

Rex Butters with Rag'n'Bones: Gerry Fialka, guitar, Peter Marshall, bass, and Merritt Evan Raff, drums.


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