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Chad Grant: “Finding Myself”

Finding Myself

by Chad Grant

 

“The reason we feel alienated is because the society is infantile, trivial, and stupid. So the cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation.” — Terrence McKenna

“A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery.” — Nelson Algren, Nonconformity

*

I was an Orwell baby, a time of Reaganomics, crack, Iran-Contra, and the AIDS epidemic which ushered in the third wave of feminism. My childhood memories during the mid to late eighties are a bit of a fog, but I was shielded from the horrors of America’s dystopia and brought up in the typical nuclear family until about the age of eight when my parents divorced.

I cannot complain about my life; most of the injuries which I’ve endured have been by my own hand. If I’ve disappointed my family and friends with the choices I’ve made, I apologize.

I’ve never really ‘fit in,’ though I’ve cut my niche in convoluted circles of artists of every sphere while diddling away at my writing. I didn’t really take school seriously, finding other ways to expand my mind — smoking pot and listening to hip-hop or whittling out lyrics for songs. I got into writing at the age of twelve when my mother considered that I try my hand at it. The first short story I wrote was a science fiction piece on time travel called “Trapped.” At the time I was very much into science and wanted to work for NASA. This fascination for science and science fiction never really died but grew with age.

I can still remember the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer in junor high school telling us the horrors of drugs and why we should never get involved with them. D.A.R.E. was founded in 1983, a year before my birth, and is a remnant of a president who led an arms deal to free some Americans held hostage by terrorists in Lebanon, funding an armed conflict in Nicaragua while pushing crack into inner cities (look up Freeway Rick Ross, not the rapper). As a related consequence, hip-hop began to gain traction (check out N.W.A.). My father was a cop, and I always could tell a cop from a regular citizen. It’s something in the way that they stand. My father was a no bullshit kind of guy growing up. He worked hard and saw a lot of shit, but I digress.

My fondness for the avant-garde didn’t come until I entered my senior year of high school. This is when I met a longtime friend, lets name him ‘Kim.’ He introduced me to bands such as Sonic Youth, Crass, Joy Division, The Melvins, and Radiohead. As a kid I was always picked on for talking proper and being Whitewashed. I always wanted to fit in until I didn’t fit in at all. I had always listened to hip-hop, and I still do, but as they say “variety is the spice of life.”

***

Music to My Ears

Shards of dark sound perforate the almost
elastic connection which was shared in a song,
Beating on his eardrum.
Tubular echoes cup his world as he
listens in, drinking her words.
The taste of her voice was like nectar
To his famished ears.
He lets out a palatable sigh
Drunk off of her melodies.
Traversing the mind
With sublime tonality
As thoughts waltz
Upon banana peels.

*

What’s to it?

There are beads of rain
Upon the tomatoes.

The dirt beneath my nails
Reminds me
Just how low
I’ve sunk.

I often wonder when it will arrive,

The inspiration that is;

Does it come out of desperation
When the soul is rightly starved?

I pull an avocado from a tree.

The heart stops and is reminded
Of its beauty?

It’s been a while since someone has actually
Gave a shit.

But every rose needs shit,
And I have been on my knees tending to my garden
For some time now,

There is no rain in the forecast,
The children have stopped their singing.

 

(Featured image by hannes-flo used under CC BY 3.0)

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