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Lynne Bronstein's
Venice Poems

Lynne Bronstein

Ballad of Reading Jail

Kate Braverman

Wanda Coleman

John Kertisz

John Thomas and Philomene Long

Poems and Prose by Philomene and John

Last Days of John Thomas

The Beats: An Existential Comedy

Laureate at Ceremony

My Philomene

Illuminating the Wasteland

Majid Naficy

Van Gogh's Ear

Stuart Z. Perkoff

John O'Kane

Clair Horner

Eavesdropping on the

by Anne Alexander

Venice Poems

Gas House beat HQ


In Venice CA






Buck-or-Two Blues Rap

From Zendik Farm Zine #41 - 1990

reprinted with permission

Here’s 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’ culture’s built on a corrupt foundation
It left the people without compensation
For the paradise that shoulda been there
The philosophy’s poison and so is the air
It couldn’t be working’ if life’s a bore
You don’t even know who lives next door.
Everyone’s alone, too afraid to speak
Workin’ alone forty hours a week
Getting’ thought the day’s the only goal’
You got a paycheck in exchange fo’ yo’ soul.
Well, here’s an alternative we’re tryin’ to build
Where we can live and laugh and be fulfilled
It’s called the Zendik Farm Foundation -
Our mag’s just a buck or two donation"
Well he kept on goin’ he wouldn’t stop
Said "It’s six o’clock and I gotta shop
It’s time to party, it’s Saturday"
So he kept on walkin’ and pushed me away.

So I turned around, saw another dude
Said, "Scuze me, I’m not tryin’ to be rude
But I gotta mag you gotta see
It explains the Zendik philosophy
And the society we’re tryin’ to start -
Ix and Nez and Zoe did the art
Chen wrote a piece and Wulf wrote a poem
It’s got a Zendik rap song by Nom
There’s a talk by Arol, graphix by Lore
It’s got all this and it’s 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 won’t 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 that’ll blow your mind
The best underground mag you gonna find
It’ll 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 it’s more
They’re symptoms of a culture corrupt at the core.

So that be the problem, what’s the solution?
It’s total cultural revolution
That’s what Zendik Farm’s all about
You gotta dollar to help us out?"
Well he turned around and laughed at me
Said he’d 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 weren’t 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 don’t know what to do
I was walkin’ along and then I saw you
See, my life’s not working, my future looks bad
Everythin’ around me makes me feel sad
My friendships are empty, my boyfriend don’t care
No one looks deeper than the clothes that I wear.
I’m always bein’ phony ‘cause I can’t be real
I can’t ever say how I really feel
How can I be honest when everyone lies?
There’s nothing’ to do but wear a disguise
Everythin’ around me, all seems wrong
The way that I’m goin’ it won’t last long
I look at the Earth and it leaves me in tears.
I heard it’ll last only twenty more years
It’ll be over when I’m still alive’
I don’t think I’ll make it to thirty-five
I know I gotta change it and change it now
But I don’t know what or where or how."

So I said, "My name’s Nom, I’m with Zendik Farm
We’re stopping’ the culture that’s 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 I’ll give you a buck."
"Well, if you wish it was more you don’t have to stop You can give me five more and I’ll 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
I’m so grateful what can I say?"
She said, "Yo’ welcome, I’ll visit next week
I’m 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 don’t always turn out the way that they seem
And Rap Mastah Nom still reigns supreme.


© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman
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