January has turned into a bit of a struggle,
I got tired, let fatigue set in, and missed out.
Maybe it’s too routine,
Maybe it’s not enough planning,
Maybe I don’t have an effing clue.

So here comes February,
My desperation for change stimulating some change
Some time management tracking,
Some script writing attempts,
Even rhyming practice without malice

Maybe these new jawns will shake the funk,
Getting back to productive is where I want to go
Putting creativity back up there with exercise,
Bolstering my soul in a way work does not
Here goes…

Washing a soul in new philosophies
Takes the tired and haggard
To the edge of renewal.

Hearing fresh perspectives
Settles the dust rising from being nothing,
From doing the same.

All in, commitment,
The place to be, the energy requirement
Necessary to be clean.

Let’s go.

Change is coming,
It has been trickling in all week,
News from here,
Retirements, health changes,
The usual life stuff,
It’s like that with change,
Unpredictable as it seems,
Change is really always there,
Nothing stays the same.

It’s been a while,
Saturday night,
I’m driving kids here and there,
Dragging my ass on the ground
Having given my truck back to Ford
Because they didn’t want to keep me there,
Now rocking a car, SUV thing,
With a tablet inspired display,
Rivaling my man Reggio,
But more importantly,
Letting me preset between
Satellite and terrestrial
Which let me check in with Jonny Meister,
The blues professor who was so important
Back when the blues were a diversion,
Now a battery with so much voltage
For my restless soul
That I knew when I got home
It was time to forego the Bluetooth convenience
And plug-in my old school noise-canceling headphones,
Dive into some spine ticking,
Feathery guitar licks, touched by the mythical diabolos,
That can yank every bit of sadness,
Untie any consternation, and release
All the hormones to bring euphoria to any part
Willing to submit to that sort of joy,
The kind that is pure emotion,
Ultimate vulnerability,
And a nap afterward.

So it is on this Saturday night
When my new ride is a parental Uber,
When the headlights allow a new perspective,
When something old is charging those old batteries,
Letting me realize that some things that have been lost
Might eventually be found.
Yesterday, being patient,
Taking great advice from my wife,
Thinking with my brain, not my ego,
Brought me to this place
Where I’m smiling while driving,
Not rolling with some cox-strong ego
That hides who I am
Behind whatever is I was hiding behind,
My train has pulled in, GC Jr.,
Thanks, Jonny for waiting these last ten years
For me to have the right frame of mind
To enjoy the blues again,
Now if midnight would just hurry up and get here
So my tired, old butt can get to sleep.

Are changing priorities signs,
Signs that suggest apathy,
For all of the stuff left behind?

If so, is that all bad?

Today, with the resolutions starting,
I doubt all those weight loss armies
Are thinking it’s bad to be apathetic about gluttony.

And what’s wrong if they do?

The rub is that apathy is for real,
Not a word to be tossed around without caution,
Kind of like depressed and addicted.

See what I mean?

The words we choose have meaning,
Express yourself well and rest assured that
Priorities can change without apathy being the cause.

“A life of wisdom consists of constantly being engaged in letting go.”
Francisco Varela

Average Salary = $25,000/year

Not much by today’s costs, but
That’s the stat for West Philadelphia today.

West Philadelphia High School graduated
Back in 2011.
Financial difficulties forced tough decisions
And schools shuddered.
The building again was a symbol of the neighborhood,
This time reflecting the demise and absorbing the decay.

Finally, the school district sold the building
So urban renewal, renovations, gentrification,
Whatever the politically charged term,
Could begin.

Rent = $1,600/month

The builder’s vision was such that the community
Could stand swallowing the changes that were coming.
The guy’s grandmother was a West Philly high grad,
He promised to honor her time there and the legacy
Of a great institution.

That of a community hub,
A place where more than book skills were learned…

The changes came,
Classrooms to apartments,
A boiler room to a hotel quality gathering place,
The old gym, still echoing with the sounds of basketball,
Now a modern fitness center
With treadmills, televisions, and chrome plated dumbbells.

The learning circle had been broken.
The connection to a free public education
Broken by the weight of commerce, bills, and capitalism.
The social significance stripped away
As a community struggled to gain footing
In a system stacked against it.

This is where West Philadelphia High School is today.
An example of what happens when things are let go
Or maybe better yet, when things are not let go.

Maybe the school would still be open
If the leaky roof and balky boilers had been replaced sooner.
Had the school been more open to the community,
Perhaps its importance would have been more significant.

Now it’s just another apartment building
In a community that has not figured out
How to grow.

Maybe the new school will be significant for the hipsters
Or whatever new economic juggernaut
Hits while the community is down.
I just wish the hawks circling the declining property values
Would think of those who are being displaced
By bringing them jobs
Instead of eviction notices
Or high priced condos
That can’t be afforded.

Certainly, that is an idea that should not be let go.