Editor's note: This poem was submitted to Uptown Almanac by Sergio Villanueva, a former rock journalist, who wrote this in response to his friend getting displaced to Oakland. You can listen to a reading of this on SoundCloud.
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by greed, overstuffed; controlled; clothed,
dragging themselves through the soma streets looking for their private bus,
angel funded techsters yearning for the proper yahoo connections to the buyout dynamo,
who over look poverty and tatters of those who they displace as they sit up high doing molly
who bared their brains to Heaven under the Andreessen and Horwitz and anyone else who would listen
who passed through universities with ease praise and hallucination of their masters
who left academies for crazy & obscene business plans to take to incubators
who cowered in unshaven computer rooms, burning others money in wastebaskets and calculating soft landings
who got busted being - sexists - bigots - classists - homophobes - through posts on the internet
who sank all night from the attacks back of and through their fugazzis in return a simple apology to make things better
a lost battalion of platonic conservatives jumping down on what this city was made from
who vanished into nowhere Midwest leaving a trail of plaid shirts and brightly colored wayfarers
who thought they were only mad when there wasn't more work to be done
who lounged hungry and lonesome because okcupid had failed to seek sex or jazz or soup
who burned cigarette holes in tax law protesting democracy in a haze of championing capitalism
who distributed flyers in union square weeping and begging for you to try their app
who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight for committing no crime as they see other than a little disruption
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly funders as they screamed with joy,
who offended the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset from harassment; to the body ideals of a video game generation
who ate lamb stew, and digested the finest crab mission chinese had to offer.
who wept at the romance that is bad hot dogs, and even worst dub
who sat in open workspaces under bright lights as all co-workers watched each other
who coded all night rocking and rolling over the millions that are sure to come
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to actually go through and do a lay off
who barreled down the highway in their newly leased bmws knowing that it can’t last forever
who demanded sanity trials accusing anyone who doesn’t think progress is good
ah, Jack, while you are safe I am not safe.
the madman who beats the angel unknown,
yet putting down here what might be the death to my life with the absolute heart of which I have butchered this poem.