Ballad of Reading Jail
John Thomas and Philomene
Poems and Prose by Philomene
Last Days of John Thomas
The Beats: An
Laureate at Ceremony
Van Gogh's Ear
Stuart Z. Perkoff
Eavesdropping on the
by Anne Alexander
Gas House beat HQ
GV6: THE ODYSSEY
In Venice CA
Buck-or-Two Blues Rap
From Zendik Farm Zine #41 - 1990
reprinted with permission
Heres a little lesson I got to teach
About a day I had at Venice Beach
I be sellin the mag out on the street
Standin outside in the summer heat
Stoppin the people as they walk by
"Hey I gotta mag you gotta buy
Yo cultures built on a corrupt foundation
It left the people without compensation
For the paradise that shoulda been there
The philosophys poison and so is the air
It couldnt be working if lifes a bore
You dont even know who lives next door.
Everyones alone, too afraid to speak
Workin alone forty hours a week
Getting thought the days the only goal
You got a paycheck in exchange fo yo soul.
Well, heres an alternative were tryin to build
Where we can live and laugh and be fulfilled
Its called the Zendik Farm Foundation -
Our mags just a buck or two donation"
Well he kept on goin he wouldnt stop
Said "Its six oclock and I gotta shop
Its time to party, its Saturday"
So he kept on walkin and pushed me away.
So I turned around, saw another dude
Said, "Scuze me, Im not tryin to be rude
But I gotta mag you gotta see
It explains the Zendik philosophy
And the society were tryin to start -
Ix and Nez and Zoe did the art
Chen wrote a piece and Wulf wrote a poem
Its got a Zendik rap song by Nom
Theres a talk by Arol, graphix by Lore
Its got all this and its got more
We work without ads, we work without wages
We bust our ass to do 72 pages
So do you got a dollar for our zine?"
Well, he stood there for a minute looking mean
Told me to shut up, get outta his face
He said I made Venice Beach a disgrace.
So I kept on goin, I wont back down
Pushin our mag to everyone in town
Another dude started walkin my way
I said "Scuze me, hear what I gotta say
I gotta magazine here thatll blow your mind
The best underground mag you gonna find
Itll turn yo life and thinking around
Show you the solution we have found
To the problems of the world today
The result of a culture in decay
Starvation, pollution, and acid rain
Loneliness, boredom, and a life of pain
Each be an issue, but really its more
Theyre symptoms of a culture corrupt at the core.
So that be the problem, whats the solution?
Its total cultural revolution
Thats what Zendik Farms all about
You gotta dollar to help us out?"
Well he turned around and laughed at me
Said hed rather go home and watch TV
He needed his money to buy some beer
Or a Day-Glo Venice Beach souvenir.
So I kept on working but they werent buyin
I kept on tryin till I felt like cryin
I asked everybody walkin to and fro
I asked em all, they all said "No!"
I wanted to stop when what did I see
A teenage girl there walkin towards me
She said "Scuze me, I dont know what to do
I was walkin along and then I saw you
See, my lifes not working, my future looks bad
Everythin around me makes me feel sad
My friendships are empty, my boyfriend dont care
No one looks deeper than the clothes that I wear.
Im always bein phony cause I cant be real
I cant ever say how I really feel
How can I be honest when everyone lies?
Theres nothing to do but wear a disguise
Everythin around me, all seems wrong
The way that Im goin it wont last long
I look at the Earth and it leaves me in tears.
I heard itll last only twenty more years
Itll be over when Im still alive
I dont think Ill make it to thirty-five
I know I gotta change it and change it now
But I dont know what or where or how."
So I said, "My names Nom, Im with Zendik
Were stopping the culture thats doin the harm."
I rapped about us and our foundation
Gave her some real communication
I showed her the mag, she said, "What the fuck -
I wish it was more but Ill give you a buck."
"Well, if you wish it was more you dont have to stop You can
give me five more and Ill give you a BOP!"
Well, she bought the BOP! And then she bought more
I showed her the tapes and she bought all four.
She bought a few copies of everythin I had
Fo herself and her friends and her Mom and Dad.
She bought a subscription fo twenty-five years
She bought my sneakers as souvenirs
I said, "Thank you, you made my day
Im so grateful what can I say?"
She said, "Yo welcome, Ill visit next week
Im so glad we had the chance to speak."
So that be the lesson I had to teach
About the day I had at Venice Beach
Things that dont always turn out the way that they seem
And Rap Mastah Nom still reigns supreme.