The train is packed --
Lit with the disappointment
Of a thousand or so frowns
As it trundles down Beacon Street
On the warmest night of spring so far.
We take up the whole sidewalk
On our way to that Spanish place
A few blocks down from the park
With the carved wooden sign that reads,
‘Active Recreation Prohibited’.
They race at us – head on
A college girl charge
Both ferocious and tentative
In the dim between lampposts.
Teeth, lip-gloss, and Capri pants.
I anchor the middle of our defense
Then flex back to allow my flanks
To envelope the rush --
A pincer maneuver
I learned at Marathon.
But they overwhelm us
In an instant
And break through our lines
Laughing on some giddy dare
I’ll never understand.
“I thought I knew you!”
I yell after them, embarrassed
Stumbling for meaning--
Perhaps recalling a past life
Or the time I was assaulted as a child.
I am somewhere, driving
Lost with a hooker before GPS.
She’s the bad one,
All smacked out and unwilling
To even glance at our giant map book.
If she was the college girl
I wouldn’t be worried at all.
She saved my ass once on the strip
When the cops stopped us.
She made up some story on the spot
While I was imaging calling my folks from jail.
But this one,
This pinched metal girl in blue suade stilettos
Is no help whatever
As we hurtle through dark L.A. hills
Towards an address
That’s on no map at all.
We made fun of the guy with the Black Flag tattoo
Until we realized it was Rollins,
Who, thinking out loud, said –
“Where are all the outraged band names?
Satan Regan Rules Hell?
Baby Bush Kills Bush Babies?
Chenny Colonoscopy Goes Horribly Wrong?
Back when Jello and Tuli were rocking the coasts
Bands were pissed and temporary -
One night-stand guys who might just
Jump off the Manhattan bridge
As their final chord rang out.”
But thirty years on, the Minor Threat bottle
Has gone flat and I get to bed
At a reasonable hour.
My friends – who I shed every seven years
Like taste buds and snake scales –
Do the same,
Or listen ironically to German techno.
It’s not that we’re too tired to be angry –
It’s that we only get angry about being tired.
What would I torch first?
As I sign another online petition, I wonder—
What would be the best accelerant to use
To set myself on fire?
But what is sadder than a page six item
That reads, “Another Immolation at Downtown Crossing.”
No, I am cursed to live
Like that rat in the steel mesh glove
That doesn’t struggle when
The scientists try to drown it.
I once saw Biafra appear on stage as Jesus
White sheet – crown of thorns – Elvis glasses
I think he sang “Love Me Tender”
Before Chumbawamba came out
To rail against Lou Reed, The Clash and the rest
Of the bands whose songs were pimping
Hondas, Jaguars and American Express.
And I guess I was mad too
Because I didn’t have a Honda
And Amex turned me down.
My friends back then slept in a Vegan Van
And had more piercings than teeth.
Would I strangle myself at that age
Because of what I was or
What I would become?
Is my contempt stronger because I failed
To change anything
While thinking all the while –
I’ll get around to it?
Is there still time?
What is a pacifict anarchist, Tuli?
And do they watch your television show
On channel 56 alternate Mondays at 10?
Sorry I keep missing it
That’s the same time Rollins is on the radio
With Harmony in My Head.
The marches were the best--
Though some disagree.
Too many drums?
But overall a great show.
How I laughed when I saw
You wearing the same shirt
I had on at your age.
(Culled from 2,300 Festival Rejection Letters)
We appreciate your high regard.
This is the part we dread.
Our hearts are heavy.
We face a difficult task.
We are endlessly awed.
Over 6,000 entries.
Over 250 entries.
Over 8,500 in total.
Don’t be discouraged.
Flooded with over 1,439 entries.
200% more than last year.
Astounding amount of work.
Over 500 films qualified according to our judges.
Each film received at least three viewings.
With anticipation and care.
Exciting, daunting, truly amazing process.
A testament to the vitality of cinema.
Due to exhibition limitations.
Space especially tight.
Only 50 films.
Only 5 nights.
If it were up to me.
Many worthy works.
A final vote was taken.
It boils down to.
Due to the incredible number.
Unable to give individual reasons.
This is not an assessment of your work.
We strongly encourage you.
Discount badge rate.
Wonderful networking opportunities.
The community of independent filmmakers and voices continues.
It’s filmmakers like you.
Energy and passion.
We wish you luck.
Showcase your work in the future.
Our warm appreciation.
Join our newsletter.