Ode to My Hometown

May 3, 2013

 

Fairview Village. Inside of Camden, New Jersey, one of the most crime ridden cities in the country. My hometown. I lived here as a child. I live here once again as an adult child. I cursed the Gods for my own decisions that as if they had something to do with everything that has led me here in a couple of years of indecisive despair. Camden, New Jersey.

 

Fairview. Oh how you lured me back into your grips.  Oh Fairview, I am back and you have changed more than I have. You were once a beautiful Village in a fancy town. As Camden fell, you Fairview, kept your cool and were certainly a town with pride. A Village Square with candy stores, restaurants and a grocery store. Now the stores meet covered in graffiti, trash and a violent dirty smell in the air. A Hispanic grocery next to an old barbershop with a cracked striped pole.

 

Your boarded up houses try to keep smiling as the drug dealers hide in your shadows. Unknown and well-known murders, rapes and muggings try and hide but some of us can smell it through our tired ripped screen windows. I used to hide. Over two years of hiding I finally feel free.

 

Suddenly the County of Camden has sent hundreds of black uniformed storm troopers to “sweep” the town clean as they told me. Dozens standing on every block, friendly yet stern. Confident yet uneasy. To an outsider it may look like a Police State or even a Fascist takeover. To me it looks like freedom to step foot in my own neighborhood with out the fear of being hassled or even mugged. Oh Fairview, I feel something new from you. I feel hope. I see courage. I am not afraid, not because of “protection” but because someone cares about you once again. People are making the difference. The proud hardworking families can be proud once again to live in a community.

 

I hear echoes in your dark alleys and streets whispering complaints and curses directed at the County and the Guardians. The dark lords are in hiding and some are running or locked up. I know in my heart that you, Farview, you are beginning to see the future and it doesn’t hurt. We don’t have to hurt anymore.

 

RHJPFAIRVIEWniagara

Where I lived until 5th grade

0myhousse

Where I live now

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Father’s Day

June 17, 2012

Father’s Day has been an odd day for me through the years as I’m sure that there are many others who could say the same. I was fortunate to have 2 fathers. I didn’t get to share this love until later in life but there were only a few brief years I didn’t have a “father” with me and even then I lived with my grandfather who played the father figure role.

When I was adopted at the age of 11 I had no contact with my biological father for around 5 years or so at this point but I wanted to keep my birth name for some reason. I was proud to be a Junior of a man I had yet to know. I heard good and bad stories from family and even fictional stories from my mentally ill biological mother through the years.

After a year or so of settling in with my new parents I celebrated Father’s Day with my new dad I called by his first name Bill. He raised me trying to be the best father he could and did a decent job despite my already wacky ways. He wasn’t the type to celebrate holidays much Father’s Day wasn’t a big deal. We’d have a more formal meal or go out to eat and I’d get him something but as I got older all it came and went.

In my 20s my biological father came back into my life. It took a couple years to drop our baggage and become friends and it was worth it. Then I had 2 dads. Some years I divided my time and other years I neglected my real father. I give him a lot of credit for hanging in there with me. I haven’t been the best son to him but he tried to be the best father. We’ve been building since. We started slowly but eventually started getting together once a week and did lunch and we kept with it until we both were broke and changed it to once a month and we still get together.

Meanwhile my adopted father was getting sick on and off from 2006 or 7 to 2009 when he finally died. I moved in with my adopted mother and him early 2009 and he died June 19th 2009. I became closer to him than ever before he died and take comfort knowing him better.

I still hung out with my biological father and every year I begin to appreciate him as a father. This past May he took me to Atlantic City for my birthday because it was the closest town with a Hooters. We used to go to Hooters every Monday for luck for over 2 years. Maybe 2. We walked the boardwalk and even the beach that day and I had a lot of fun. We were both relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. I realized later that I was subconsciously reliving my early childhood bonding with my dad at one of the beaches he actually took me too as a kid.

I realized I don’t give him enough credit as a father and all he has done for me through the years since reconnected.

We’re getting together on Tuesday June 19 for lunch to celebrate father’s Day. I realized later that it was the 3-year anniversary of my adopted dad Bill’s death. I think it’s appropriate. They were both great Fathers. Rich Hillen Sr is the underrated one and it’s time to give back whatever I can and be a son.

Happy Father’s Day.


Underground Poet’s Society 2012 -More Samples

June 16, 2012

I’ve been writing a lot of poetry lately and posting it on a poetry page on Facebook. I’ll be publishing a poetry collection by October or so called  Underground Modern Poets of 2012 collecting various poetry from many diverse people.

Here’s a few samples

Healing — part V
by Art Glib

i am resigned
and
there will always be a place
on the path of
my lifeline
that leads to
the spiral grip of true and
undeniable love
clinching at my heartstrings this day

i reconcile
to denounce sadness
bitterness or hate
seeing them as the impish thieves they are
they are like the anchor on the Edmund Fitzgerald

i have the power to do this-we all do

it was what it was
and we are who we are
i feel the joy on my
face as i
raise your praise to the sky
i feel the heat of
life giving sun
it’s like the way i feel
when i think of the best of us
a place of pristine truth
two souls in a corporation of flesh
a place where i wish you
peace of mind
love
happiness
and an
abundance of good things

bless us
and let no sweeping thoughts
of disdain
corrupt the pure remnants of your smile and laughter
i will not let anger steal those from me
i am not going to risk losing the locket of your memory
that i hold to my breast when you are in my thoughts
good bye
good luck
Godspeed
i love you

sQt 2008

 

Untitled
by Anthony Gray
When everything’s lost
and life seems surreal
When everything crashes
and nothing is real
When sorrow seeps in
and all that you feel
is confusion and madness
How do you deal?

Where will you go?
Where will you go?
When no one is sorry
for nothing they’ve done
Where will you go now?
Where will you run?

Everything dies
and the time will come
when the days grow too short
to mourn every one
When life’s vicious cycle
throws you ‘neath the wheels
and there’s no one to turn to
How do you deal?

Where will you go?
Where will you go?
When no one is sorry
for nothing they’ve done
Where will you go now?
Where will you run?

When it’s all said and done
it’s hard to regret
knowing full well the sun
is determined to set
When smoke in your eyes
can no longer conceal
You just let it mask you
and that’s how you deal.

Where will you go?
Where will you go?
When no one is sorry
for nothing they’ve done
Where will you go now?
Where will you run?

When you’re all alone
and the passion is gone
Can you keep your own head up?
Or where will you run?

OmnImpotence
by KrackPipe Ken

through the gloom
a dreary moon
lay soundless on the sod

a haunting tune
from dead leaves strewn
engirdled brooding god

“if I am naught,”
aghast he thought,
“but smoke and grim façade

“from womb to tomb…
…then only doom…
the deadless treadless trod.”

Little Boy Little Toy
by Jo Hewitt
Men and my pen always a dangerous combination, I’ve gone there before I’ll never be anyone’s whore I feel they never see me as real well you better duck and cover for I’m about to tell you about your own private hell mamma’s boy using women as your toy you’re invited to have a say but not have things your own way 41yrs of age you have a fit a real child’s rage in your childhood room you cause doom and gloom action figures a twin bed what a man you can barely tie your own shoes it’s no wonder it’s not you I choose grow up don’t blow up nonsense lies you spout a never ending fount try again a slave to the children you crave whine away for you I will not pine child in a mans body

 


What a Way to Grieve or How I Spent Memorial Day

May 29, 2012

 

What a way to grieve. My Uncle and I have been getting closer and closer through the years. I’ve always adored my Aunt. Now, neither one is a blood relative and actually Aunt Marie was my Great Aunt on my adopted Mom’s side. Yeah, was. She died this past week. Memorial day night was to be the night of her viewing so my Mom had a view out of town visitors and even my Uncle Carl over for light “Memorial Day” food before the viewing that night. Now My Uncle Carl never married my Aunt so they are Common Law husband and wife and had a great 18 years together. She was the “apple” of his eye as a distant relative put it.

 

The past 3 -5 months have been hard on Marie and Carl once Carl started to have medical problems. She was a much older woman and he’s barely 70.  He started having medical problems after taking care of Aunt Marie for years. She pulled through her various ailments. This time she got sicker as he got sick. Family and friends all kicked in to help out. Uncle Carl meanwhile finds out they won’t do one seemingly simple surgery until his apparent heart problems were taken care of. He put it off to make sure Aunt Marie was taken care of. She was up until the day she died. May 24th in her sleep at a ripe age so to speak. She lived a pretty long life and happy one with Carl for the last 18 years or so.

 

Uncle Carl felt he had to at least wait a few months to grieve before he took care of the heart surgery. His heart told him different. After my Mom’s lunch dinner Uncle Carl started to feel sick. He went in the other room to sit down. His “brother in law” and I followed to make surer he was all right. He was white, had the cold sweats and a rapid heartbeat that he claimed he has had for months. His breathing was becoming difficult. We called the ambulance.

 

My Mom’s brother, my Uncle Tom drove me to watch over Carl at the hospital. We were dispensable and I’m Uncle Carl’s friend in addition to his nephew. The bottom line is he was admitted to the hospital so they could keep an eye on his high heartbeat and try to stabilize it despite his protests so he could attend his dead wife’s viewing and funeral. It was fated if you believe in such things that he stays and finally confronts his heart problem.

 

I hope he makes it through and gets a real chance to grieve.


I Hear a Voice

May 24, 2012

 

I hear a voice. One voice.

The heavy whisper of death.

90 years of almost 90 years of happiness

She’s watched many siblings, friends and others pass her by to other worlds. She held on strong full of love.

Grandmother’s sister. One of many many sisters.

 

The voice calls Marie as I lay sleeping and dreaming of her last months of pain. The heavy whisper took the only Great Aunt among her siblings whose name  I could always remember.

Marie. Marie.

The whispering voice takes her away to a better place.

Better than the place full of pain she’s been living anyway.

The voice is gone.

Goodbye Aunt Marie.


NIGHTMARES ON SALE – GET 2 FOR THE PRICE OF 1

April 1, 2012

I TRY TO IGNORE THE WHISPERS LOUDER THAN THE SCREAMS. IN DREAMS I WALK WITH YOU. You Roy.  I AM TRAVELLING. Always traveling. Moving. New apartment. New house. New CCITEE-Y. NEW STATE. STATE OF MIND. Party goers and house warmers and birthday goers and CHRISTmas mass attendees gather. I know some then I know everyone. I am no one. They don’t see me this way. He doesn’t see me this way. She. You.

 

MR SANDMAN BRING ME A DREAM.. I know you. I love you LOVE! I carry buckets of paint to your house and the party has just begun. I GET NO KICK FROM CHAMPAGNE either Frank, baby. Seven sisters of love pies stare at me and glare at ME AND THAT LOOK. THAT LOOK. IT SENDS CHILLLS DOWN MY SCARS- inside and outside that run against my heart. Let’s get this CHORDETTEONIAN PARTY STARTED MR JIMMY!

 

I put my arm around Grandmom to say I love you. People STARING. People caring. Empty people fill the crowded party. Acting hearty. Listing their character defects. Last chance. MY DEAD GRANDMOM TURNS HER HEAD AND SAYS “I KNOW WHAT YOU DID!”

 

 

I wake up smoking and drift back along the sea of asphalt, scraping my fat ass and ripping my favorite dream jeans still wondering what I did. WHAT DID I DO THAT GRANDMOM KNOWS I DID? Was it last summer Jennifer Love?

 

I am alone. ALONE. MY NEWEST OF THE NEW HOUSES. Sir Raleigh comes with news. I thought he said PRESIDENT REAGAN HAD DIED OF INDECENT IMPLOSURE. I didn’t care until I realized he wasn’t just dreaming about my Dream girl locked in his dungeon TIED UP WITH VINES and THE SISTERS OF REJECTION.

GIVE HIM TWO LIPS OF HATRED AND VIOLENCE. RESTRAINING ORDERS, BRIGHT LIGHTS AND SIRENS.

 

“SHE’S A COKE HEAD” HE SAYS.

“SHE USED TO GIVE BLOW JOBS TO HERMAPHRODITES.” HE SAYS.

 

My throat fills with vomit and joy. IN DREAMS I DO COKE WITH YOU.

 

Stolen emotions and borrowed gifts are shared at the airport and train stations and parking lots and I’M STILL NOT SURE WHICH IS WHICH. IN DREAMS I TALK TO YOU. Us is back and you is cornered and still slip away. Reptilian monkeys bred become bread for the children of Elizabethan peasants but I grab two of them and hand them to the girl with ruby slippers and she vanishes like the Dark Knight into the dark night when she hears Bruno approach.

 

“I’ll whip you now my pretty and your LITTLE MAN too! Hahahahaha” Bruno yells but not enough to find her. I find her in her Old Kentucky home with three wooden porch steps away and I go into seizures. Jules Vern hides Tu-Tu Hundred Feet Under The Sea Under The Porch. I pass out. DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM –DUM DUM DUM DUM DUM. MR SANDMAN WAKES ME. The ape lizards have grown by the time I reach the inside. The Dark Huntress awaits me wearing a smile and a bra. I am excited to see her but worry about poor Mr Vern. Guilt reddens my pink face knowing that I shouldn’t be THERE. The Queen would be quite jealous and take away my deconstructed addictive Kingdom. SHE IS THERE AND SHE IS THERE. IT WAS A DUBIOUS PLAN OF THE HUNTRESS OF DARK TO HAVE Mr Vern under the porch and watch my web of lies unfold. The evil one IS not Bruno and I NOW KNOW WHAT GRANDMOM KNOWS I DID. I JUST DIDN’T DO IT YET WHEN SHE TOLD ME.

 

Caught in the trap admiring the salamander gorilla’s ability to change in size determined by the cage they are in. I imagine if they were let loose if they could grow bigger than the entire world. My Darling Queen and my Miss Huntress dance and change clothes despite the height and come out laughing at me and yet forgiving me and I feel a calm as MY DEAD GRANDMOM SAYS “ I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID.”


Pornography, Grandpop and Me

March 20, 2012

 

I was 8 or 9 years old when I was first exposed to pornography. Sort of. I didn’t know I was exposed. I lived with Grandmom and Grandpop at the time the real deal Grandparents that copulated a few times- at least 3 times to produce my uncle, my aunt and my paranoid schizophrenic mother. I won the genetic lottery with the mental illness, heart problems, trigeminal neuralgia and my addictive persona. Who knew back then? They were barely treating my mother correctly. How could anyone know I was to become the crazy man boy I am today, maybe tomorrow and certainly yesterday? Too many yesterdays if you ask me or if you don’t ask me. Luckily, I have a disassociate disorder or the good fortune to file them away until needed or they leak out into my other problems depending what’s going on. This has nothing and probably everything to do with my natural consumption and once obsessive passion of pornography.

 

Grandpop took me on errands a lot from what I remember. We’d stop at a bar and I’d wait in the car while he had a few drinks. I didn’t notice what kind of bars at the time but they were what they used to call Go Go Bars. I just remember seeing the words dancers and go go. Sometimes Gramps would take me into regular bars and we’d sit on the stools and I drank soda pop and he drank beer. I didn’t like the smell and the taste was even worse the few times he let me try it at home. Grandpop didn’t exhibit the signs of an alcoholic the way I’ve learned what one was by becoming one and then stopping and hanging out with ex-problem drinkers as some but not all call themselves and sometimes others. Mostly, they/we speak in the first person when sharing experiences, strengths and hopes at gatherings of ex-drinkers. I remember Grandpop seemed to drink beer everyday but he loved it as much as he loved mixed nuts, sharp cheddar cheese and Grandmom’s chicken dumplings. Who doesn’t love Grandmom’s chicken dumplings? I didn’t like sharp cheddar cheese, mixed nuts or beer as a kid. I loved her chicken dumplings. What’s this got to do with porn? I’m not sure but I’ll get back to it.

 

Sometimes I waited in the car no matter where we went except the grocery store where he showed me how to switch price tags and sample anything in the store. He’d open a bag of candy in the candy isle and try some. He’d open a box of cereal and eat some. Anything he wanted to try he did but he was always generous and shared it with me. So grocery stores and regular bars I was allowed to go with him but not these other buildings I later figured out were Go Go bars and porn shops. Flashbacks of the signs on the mostly white painted buildings. Words like “live girls’, “sex”, “peep shows” and the most unforgettable simple letters “xxx”. I just stayed in the car and read comic books and waited what seemed like forever sometimes and went by fast other times. The trips seemed to lessen as grew older. I had never seen him look at pornography at the house or found any magazines at the time or anything. I forget.

 

As he got older he had heart problems like I inherited. He had all kinds of heart surgery so the other memories lessoned. He didn’t stop at the buildings that I had to wait for him in the car. He no longer ate high salt products and drank less beer. He’s sneak sharp cheese, nuts and an extra beer when he could but Grandmom had a close watch on it. Now Grandmom I was told years later had the real drinking problem. She was always drinking mixed drinks and cocktails so I never paid attention since it was in a glass. She was getting drunk right under my nose.

 

I left them when I was 11 years old to become a ward under the legal guardianship of my fourth and fifth grade teacher and her husband. My second or is it third parents (?) were taking on an 11-year-old addict; mental case and none of us had any idea yet. It was agreed that it was best for me to go under their care because they could provide the stability and financial support I needed or at least provide a little more than my Grandparents were capable of at the time.. Even my “crazy” mother gave her consent. I had no idea what was to come and neither did they.

 

I kept in touch with my genetic family. of course, except dad who took off after mom started to go nuts. As an unstable adult I understand. Wouldn’t you? As I approached my teen years Grandpop opened up more and exposed himself to me. Not his penis but his dirty sexual side. He told me dirty jokes and taught me new words referring to women’s body parts. My uncle told me some of the comments he made with him browsing through porno magazines on occasion like “Her clit so big I could drive a truck through it.” Looking back it actually made no sense. I guess Gramps didn’t know what the clitoris was except it was on a woman and rhymed with Dolores.

 

At least I know where my perverted side came from. I got a lot of great things from the G-parents too. I don’t mean to sound like they were horrible people or anything. They loved me and I got my corny sense of humor, charm and social skills from Grandpop and my sense of good manners and when and how to be polite from Grandmom. They also exercised unconditional love in between the guilt trips. That’s not the point. Grandpop and uncles and other people I attracted were perverts like I was becoming. Well, not perverts but I was exposed to the elements that create an objectification of women and exploitive nature concerning sex in general at an early age and carried, developed and refined it into adulthood.

 

I found books of sex stories and a couple magazines of my new dad’s when I hit the age of “discovering yourself as a man” I call it. The stories were graphic but the magazines weren’t too graphic. I was sick and took off from school one day with my new mom and we went to the doctor then stopped at a 7-11 afterwards to get a Slurpee or something. As I threw away some trash I peeked in the trash can and saw a magazine. It was a thick magazine with photographs of real people having real sex. I wanted that magazine so I took it. My new mom decided to let me have it and gave me my first sex talk. Her 2 rule theory that applied to having porn and having sex. – 1. Be discreet and 2. Protect yourself. It’s tough to be discreet as a teenager and it was tough as an adult for me to be discreet but I always protected myself. So I was on my road to sexual exploration. I slowly built my own collection and developed my tastes in what I like and that became a lot.

 

When I was 15 or so I decided to buy my Grandpop birthday gifts he would really love and use- A 6 pack of Budweiser bottles and the latest issue of Hustler magazine. I actually got my new parents to buy the beer and I think I bought the Hustler. I looked older for a teen because I was tall and had facial hair. I was getting served alcohol when I was 16 and 17 years old and cigarettes since I started smoking at 14. I also bought my Grandpop a funny card about getting old. Grandmom was in shock when she saw him pull the Hustler out of the wrapping. Grandpop was embarrassed to see it. I think they thought that their 15-year-old Grandson buying beer for him was bad enough but a porn mag as a birthday gift from your 15-year-old Grandson was much worse. My mind didn’t learn the difference in that rule of discretion my 2nd Mother instilled in me yet. I didn’t master it until I was well into my 30s. Luckily, I “protected myself” as 2nd Mom advised.

 

I never bought or brought up pornography to my Grandpop again. I did increase my collection of magazines and my porn addiction was on it’s way until the videos replaced the magazines then the internet and dvds until finally my world was overwhelmed with so many sexual interests and fantasies (I could write book after book about) that one day they all went away. Maybe other reasons too like getting older, having more important things to do and maybe medications.


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