Wednesday, March 12, 2008

no justice

i was sitting in class when i got a text from a friend saying he had an extra ticket to the Justice show. the teacher was speaking to the class about a dead poet that drank himself to death in the 50's. he said there was a generation of poets that seemed to be racing toward the finish line bottle by bottle, and this particular poet nearly won the contest. i was trying to be interested but couldnt get past the low, effeminate voice the teacher spoke in. it was too typical, too routine. i imagine every poet of his generation, the generation that isnt drinking themselves to death but instead are doing poor jobs at teaching college kids about better, more dead poets, speaks like him.

i texted back that i would call my friend after class and i rubbed my eyes a few times and
looked at the clock. the rest of the students, mostly girls that, from what ive heard, only seem to write poetry about cruel men and clothes, seemed to be excited about every thing the teacher said. i wondered if maybe something was wrong with me. maybe my brain has defects in it that dont allow me to process correctly the words our low, effeminate voiced teacher says to us. i stared at the clock a few more times.

the class got excited about a poet from the Victorian era and there was an intense discussion about the merits of modern, as opposed to archaic, english usage in contemporary poems. before he let us leave he handed back our papers from last week. mine had the same things scribbled in the margins as they always did, "very good line," "i dont know what this means," "very nice," "could use something here." i shove them in my bag and while the rest of the class stayed behind to discuss their papers with the teacher i made my exit.

the show was at the theater at madison square garden. i'd never been there before. my friend met me in the front and handed me a hard ticket. no list this time. no troubles. we made a detour to the concession area and I bought a seven dollar beer. everyone looked 20 years old and wore skin tight pants and fake leather coats. my friend introduced me to some co-workers of his and i put on a charming smile and said very little. our seats were close to the middle but no one was sitting and we wound up on the stairs passing around a small joint and surrounded by young, thin white people pumping their fist in the air.

my friend works for the label Justice is on so i asked him for some insights. he tells me they hate being compared to Daft Punk and i say that sounds about right. He tells me they are very young, the same age as most of the audience, and to me they looked it. he tells me they smoke like chimneys and i noted that one of them did always have a lit cigarette dangling from his lips. to close the show they played a single of theirs that has become an anthem and about a third of the audience hold up their lighters or cell phones. i dont know how i feel about the cell phone thing, i find something genuine in a flickering flame. I suggested to my friend that maybe i should sell small movies of ignited lighters that one could download to their cell phone for just such an occasion. he laughed and immediately dismissed it. The show ended before midnight.

i had been lugging around my backpack for hours. my shoulders hurt by the time i got on the train. I stopped at the store and buy a six pack of beer and when i got home drank most of that with the rest of the Jameson i had. it wasnt until teo in the morning that i realized i hadnt eaten anything all day.


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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at