Years of Rain

In 1992 we called us grunge
for the fray,
flannel, and grudge
we wore slack,
and considered our parents—
still bitter from their first kids,
and having traded in
funtime psychedelics
for Hawaiian Elvis,
to have known, at that moment,
their generations’ musical contributions
had gone headfirst
over a cliff of cocaine and sequins,
then, our older brothers
on the New Wave,
flammable nimbi of hair, staying up late
to razorblade their 501 blues
while we were never allowed to touch
their keyboards with the candy-stick
of our dumb little fingers,
the ones they swatted away
from jet engine flats and ray gun sharps.
We watched from our bedroom windows,
looking into our future
as they sat up on used
Japanese sedan hoods under streetlamps,
drinking cheap beer. Profanity soared
like shrapnel. When they took it all off,
our cool-but-not-British-cool superiors
un-tucked their pants from canary socks,
the cuff fell politely onto Dad’s dress shoes,
and they got jobs, while we wore
flannel in the warmer winters of Alabama,
our pocket-Whitman battered as pine doors,
the tangle of his breaths were horseflies,
were lyrics for the swiveling necks of barred owls.

Chris Mink is originally from Tuscaloosa, AL, but currently fights the swamp heat of Tallahassee, FL while pursuing his PhD in poetry at Florida State University. His poems can be seen in Hobart and Anti-, among others. His early work can be seen in a box his mother keeps.