Spoken Word Collab / I'll Never Forget



I won’t forget when you first asked me, Honey how was school today?

In my blunt young way I heard myself say:

The kids in my class won’t let me play

They call me crazy, they claim you’re mean

That you make life harder than it needs to be

They say:


Just shut up and hand me another paper ream!

I mean, the trees are dead anyway!

Don’t let their deaths have been in vain!


It’s okay, ma, I still love you though

You didn’t want to scare me so,

But you said, It’s high time you knew

Life will not be easy, living as we do

Though it was for a good cause,

I was too young to see

That the bond that would break us

Still links you and me


I won’t forget when I won a prize for that poem I wrote

The other kids in class, they didn’t have a hope

Because I devoted it to you, and all the love that I spoke

Filled up my pages with respect in youthful prose

I hoped I’d inspire them to respect you again

To pick up their litter, to call you a friend

But they took away my trophy

And broke it on the curbside

They plastered mud on my face

And asked me how I liked being the bastard child of a disgrace like you

And when I flew home, I plead Mom tell me they’re lying

You sighed, resigned, and benignly sat, holding my head as I cried

You said One day, they’ll see that this matters, they just have to,

But there’s nothing I can do right now, baby

Except go on loving and giving life to you

I fell asleep, subdued by the subtle rumblings of your stomach,

The shifting plates of your muscles, the crashing waves of the blood

Flooding your veins.

The same blood that carried me into life, into this pain

But I was still too young to comprehend

Still too young to see you as an end

And not just a means to my own contentment.


I can’t forget when I came home from high school,

You were washing my dishes in the sink

You asked me How was class today

I yelled How the fuck do you think??  They call me a fool

I should’ve known better than to stick up for you!


Imagine me, all alone at school:


Angry and attitudinal, a passionate figure, yelling and gesturing,

The images and sounds trumpeting through your head with megaphone held high and feet stomping echoes into your mind:


Global Warming! Save the air!



They swear

The Great Hoax! The government lies!


I reply

Can’t you feel the pollution seeping into our homes?

Save the polar bears!


They stare at me and say:

Who cares?


I used to think, they profaned your name

For lack of insight

Now I can’t help but see that they’re absolutely right

It’s a hoax, you’re a fraud

With all this global-warming shit

Mumbo-jumbo spitting environmentalists

Picketing and wishing that their message would stick

Well maybe there’s a reason

Your bullshit initiatives don’t sit well with society!


Psha, we’re always gonna have fuel to burn and resources to use and abuse.

Someone’s always finding more.


I don’t want to think about being green or whatever at all.

I don’t really want to follow all of the news about the environmental down-fall.

It’s not my problem.


Nothing lasts for eternity. It’s inevitable.

Things will run out and there’s nothing you or I can do about it.


You’re just another conspiracy.

And it all seems unreal, if you ask me.

It’s not like it’s killing everyone. This isn’t some epidemic, rat-born disease


Who’s dying, ma, can you explain that to me?


You’re backwards, obsessed, and obstructing our progress

Stomping our economy just because it’s out to make a good deal

And it doesn’t support some hopelessly naiveidealistic “fair trade” movement

Well maybe you’re just lazy, ma

Like the farmers who can’t make a living for their own families

Maybe you’re not cut out for this whole parental scene

I’m sick of all the demeaning words, they hurt,

I’m sick of wasting time discerning what goes in compost and what in recycling


That’s all anyone ever talks about


I’m sick of always being the butt of jokes

Seen as the spokesperson

For you and the rest of your militantly tree-hugging, grungy, hippie folks

Just let me be!

I ran away that night, didn’t see you for a week

I was sure you’d see how horrible you’d been

Was sure I’d teach you a lesson

About what it meant to be a normal parent of an adolescent

About how I needed acceptance

And how you were just trying to prevent me from reaching my full potential.


Oh Yeah, I cared about the earth and the sea and the air…

Just not as much as you,

And not as much as some.

I mean, there were other people looking to fix it already…

And I was holding out for bigger things, more important, necessary things.

For me.

I wasn’t being selfish, just realistic.


And maybe you weren’t worth saving anyways.


I won’t forget:

When you got sick

Doctors said your heart was flooded with toxins

Your main arteries were dammed

Locked up and constricted by log jams

Ill red blood cells bleached white

By chemicals from nearby paper mills

And still you kept fighting

They chopped the branches from your trees

So your veins could no longer carry the air you needed

So your lungs were filled with poisons and left untreated

Your temperature rose, your brain feverish with heat

The cool blue ice of your irises I saw melt into your cheeks

And for the first time, I feared for your life

And for the first time in years, I felt no fear for mine

Because I saw your body rejecting what once had made it whole

Saw you pulled in two by people who

Plundered you,

Outnumbered you,

Encumbered your growth

Til you had nothing to do but slowly succumb to a coma

That left you defenseless


And I saw that as a people, we’re relentless

Any involuntary reaction you happen to take,

We can counter with some piece of technology made

Specifically for manipulating you

And your life blood


I decided right then and there, to give you a transfusion

My confusion and bemused complacency were swept away

As I wept where you lay


But my gestures and posturing were meaningless and motionless.

I was so pumped full of black oil, creeping through my veins

And Botox injected to give me that “natural” look…


That I couldn’t save you.

And I knew it was my fault.

I screamed for help, but they turned a deaf ear

So now I’m here, ma, speaking clearly for you


To the Cynics and Slobs, with no opinion really:

Don’t forget:

The children of today that you’ll be leaving tomorrow,

Live your lifestyle while the rest of us choke

And we have to sleep next to the shit you’ve unloaded


Don’t forget when I make your ears bleed with my profanity

Because my mother still has to breathe in the cloaking smoke and chemicals you hack

But go ahead, keep running around that little resource-guzzling track

You’re burning into her exposed and weather-worn face

With your addiction to spinning rubber wheels and smelly gas into space

And your need to get moremoremore miles whenever you fly through the sky


Should we become desensitized to these issues and turn a blind eye?

Keep at this path of self-destruction and keep constructing skyscrapers and highways

Along the banks of the stopped-up River Denial?


Have we forgotten how to speak for ourselves?

To not act or point out how we’re shortening our lives

By speeding up and distracting our minds

Despite all the new medicines and fancy pants treatments

Used to preserve us past the time on our expiration-date

And brashly beat back words and thoughts that threaten actual change


Should I not make my opinion known?

Should I be like you and just decide

To not sacrifice my luxuries,

Even when it wracks my nerves and gets my hearts beating off-time

And out of my chest, making obscene beads of effortless sweat run down my back?

To let procrastination and second guesses and laziness overtake my brain?

To agree mindlessly with some poncy politician who only wants to rake

In the votes and the cash and the lime-light?

To scoff at environmentalists like they’re a good joke as they try to convince us we’re running out of time?


I’m getting gassy with greed and jealousy which grips me and chokes me

Until I’m green in the face, gushing about prospects and profit

That I guzzle like gummy bears coated in chocolate.


I’m not some springy, green sprite of spring, green middle finger flipping off the birds of the world that crap on your car, ready to set nature free by wearing a fucking green shirt and recycling once a month


I’m smeared with pasty make-ups, caked-on perfumes and colognes

Hiding pockmarks of pollution and the stench of my selfishness

I’ve forgotten what my true reflection looks like

And I’m too proud to EVER admit that I’m wrong


I’ve forgotten what pure air tastes like

I hunger for sunlight on my skin

For grass and flowers to pull up and toss to the wind

To let go of the gas and electricity we once used without a second thought

And all the lifeless cash in the world that never really bought us happiness


I’ve forgotten just how I squandered it all

All I can remember is dust and death

And smog-riddled dreams of what could still have been


Because the greens and blues locked away

In my pictures are the only memories that remain

And even those can’t sustain me

Covered as they are now with brown sludge and black smudges.


I won’t forget the so-called experts who stood by while the spark lit

New life into your chest

They could have operated on you,

Cleaned up the pollution that cluttered your lungs

But they wanted the easy solution

And so sutured in a pace maker

To make you dependent on the push of a button

But it could have been prevented

Were we not so apathetic



Do something with my life and my choices

If I won’t use my voice, I need to give it - to someone who will


I’ll rip out my voice-box, dying to be used

I’ll give it an opinion and blast it into the ear drums of the world until it vibrates through into even the most thick-headed skulls and grabs their attention,

I’ll break what can’t be broken,

That wall of self-assurance and disregard for life,

That we clutch to our eyes to make us blind to how much we’re destroying


I’ll lift all these messages to new heights, take it all and scream it out instead of the shit ton of lies and excuses they pack, air-tight into commodified bags of truth,

disguised with labels of “good” intentions towards you


I’ll let go of my ego

Unclench my fists around my pocket-book

Be freer with my efforts, my income, my wishes

To take a risk and invest in what’s best for you

To clean the sluices of my body

So the refuse that once pumped through my veins

Will no longer cause you pain

When my blood goes coursing through you.

I won’t forget to give you new life

By respecting mine.


I’ll sweat out the pain, drain my ears of the sugary-sweet notes

Of self-preservation, national pride, competition, and nearing technological perfection

That drowned out your cries for mercy


Because that day you got sick, I made a promise

A promise I’ve kept

Because you opened my eyes,

And I’ll never forget.