One Hundred Parts Per Billion

(for the Otter Prince on his 37th annual birthday)

Born into it like trust funds or eye color or faulty heart valves
From "real good dreams" to earliest LA memories
Scritch-scratching of Zig-Zag white packs on double album fold-outs
Soundtrack of Parliament, Zeppelin, Stevie, Sly, & whiteboy Beatles
A culture born into and raised in since Fidel said that Che "resigned"

Today's juvenile delinquents couldn't fathom the seeds in that shit
Steps along the road with 20-minute sides
Cleaned rolled passed killed
Seeds, stems, twigs, fucking branches; Redd Foxx said
His cousin's "joint exploded and a seed knocked the nigga's eye out"

What passed as and what we passed then
Akin to kindling compared with what
Dear Science has delivered in these Modern Times
Rituals with scritch-scratch-scratching rhythm
Because it will always be about rituals and rhythms

Not some 'lifestyle choice' made
Or something fucking discovered or any of them 'bad apple' kids
Like I just told you I was born into this
A chromosomal-genetic composition by Bernstein or Shostakovich
Green from small times before wind farms and Whole Foods

Some grow with beers, cigarettes, abuses, and guns
We were nursed on music, food, art, and weed
Moms. Dads. Uncles. All the artists who were always around
Sixth grade student teacher and all of her dirty, hairy friends too
My cousin seven years older and all of his rich, white friends; teaching

Around but never for "dealing," because sharing is caring, brah
No guns, no gangs, no mopes, no squares - clubby rules to abide
A sociodemographic of post-hippie enlightenment entitlement
I'm so attuned I can smell it in one hundred parts per billion
Like the junky TSA airport narc dog

Remember Ricky?
Little rat-faced tramp from 5th grade who threw a perfect spiral first
Whipped out a fucking joint on the walk "to school one day" and said
"It's 'dusted'" but probably didn't know what the fuck he was sayin'
But we smoked that harsh bitch down to our brown fingers when you were wearing a faggy bicycle helmet and drinking out of a goddamn juice box your mommy set up for you on a little table in front of the PBS so Mr. Fred could tell you how special you were

Tom and Andy and Greg and Eric got UP before, during, & after school
1980s southern California Prop. 13 pre-D.A.R.E high school blaze daze
Normal like BMX and Alva and Star Wars & copping feels from Char
Then Jon said "you're so high!" in like 10th grade Spanish
Mr. Martinez just smiled, nodded, and let me ride that one out
- for free

Mountains and beaches?
4th of July?
Class trip to Oahu where I touched Stephanie and Tracey on bare skin
Normal times for All-American half-black-Jew who owned the world
My country 'tis of thee, fuck land of liberty

No surprises then after music school theory classes
The Doctor opened his briefcase and rolled bones on highway 101
We horked as I drove him him to Franklin "between Vallejo & Greene"
South American restaurant sweet wine and leisurely dimmed lights
A mutual admiration society of 2 with levels and worlds and legends

The Santa Cruz College of Knowledge
Documenting how we tripped, pranked, fucked, learned
And searched all of the hills for lands of elfs and Banana Slug royalty
With the guys Color, Monk, and the one who shouted "Bitch!"
"These tits are sacred!" she said on the video

Third floor lounge with Phil and Matt for five-day weekends lost
Heath killing buzzes with talk of Jesus and Steff wanting to fuck more
And fuck after the earthquake riding bikes in the too dark night
To eat everyone's ice cream before spoilage set on
End of the World Parties

"Elliot's Life in Ballet"
Reeling in undergraduates like fishermen pimps
Special cookies for TA the color of moss, the smell of skunk
Setting rats free and bowling with the locals from the Flats
Born into a paradise of botanical garden trips and Susan's hillside pool

Clinton's DC with "you have to buy it, for real?"
Stories labeled a fucking liar and an exaggerator too
Humble apologies still arrive from those who have now seen my light
Artist Ben at work on the "loading dock"
Between the Kinkos and the Barnes & Noble for hits and misses

John's The New School professor friend
Who asked "Do you smoke?"
Manhattan Beach work with Holmes for
10 glorious days and nights of "consulting" for our U.S. Government
Making so many records in Smelly Hell, Chump Love, and The Zone

Cans and apples and very large carrots
The "Perfect Bamboo" bong
Triple chambered, H.M.S. Titanic vessel from Ithaca, The Thumb
Homemade hitter that probably gave us so much cancer
Chuck's bachelor party where we starred as "the high guys who ate candy"

"Brief and entertaining"? Like our lives
Like My Dinner With Andre meets Koyaanisqatsi
It's all there - Born into it - all over your nets of shame 'n fame
Amtrak rail worker cousin of hers and his magic pouch
Ashley's Orange Crush of Death paranoia-free honeybud

Track Bike Mike rolled the first proper Blunt "just like the niggers do"
Mad-rude-as-fuck because we were Men...ON BIKES!
Sticky times by the rivers of West Virgina at Garth's place
The Cat Box studio and The Velvet Lounge run
All turning down pussy, and orgies in Boston because of our stardom

The morphic resonance revelation
Jamie and Jamie and Altoids tins of goodies for good shows
For the years in middlespaces, the Otis, and Frank's laboratory
KDK's mom, Peet's, and Japanese Tea tins, all of that shit
This is the New America! I fucking told you so!

I was born into it and when my time is up I will die from it
All I know about is all I am
Like communion wafers and fields of porn
Summers on Lisa on tour and dark real-alcoholic bars
Like Jerry Dunphy said: "From the desert to the sea to all of southern California a good evening"