We could have stemmed the disaster.
Paused the planet with both palms
and handed out the vaccines in time.

We could have preserved the rolling hills
and erased the tracks in the sky. We could
have brought back the Everlasting Shimmering Blue.

But everyone was out bowling.

We could have seen the signs,
deciphered the vociferous dolphins’ warnings,
proved String Theory was really an extremely tiny
Hebrew named Carl on an infinitesimal Nordic Track.

We could have realized Dark Matter was the culmination
of too many shattered goals and that when we die we will
become Super Colliders on our way to shake hands with
the architects of the universes- and incidentally, the makers
of the best damn cup of Java this side of Coffee Bean.

However, we were too busy learning the art of Feng Shui.

There was a moment where we could have become
transcendent, gained the accumulated knowledge
of The Library of Alexandria, The Gnostic Scrolls,
the truth about Roanoke and The Lost Colony of 1587.
Or at the very least-the secret to why, even though
in our life time the general population has tripled, 
it is still extremely hard to get a date in Southern California.

But we chose instead to blog.

We could have been smarter.
But we watched COPS.
We could have been leaner.
But we filled our temples with wax and gum.
We could have been stronger.
But we were Lactose intolerant.
We could have been calmer.
But we were stuck in traffic.
We could have been cleaner.
But the polls were fixed.
We could have been happier.
But then we wouldn’t be a poet.
We could have been warmer.
But it wasn’t hip.
We could have been nicer.
But we inherited money.
We could have been a star.
But Los Angeles wrecked us.
We could have been grateful.
But we were too jaded.
We could have been honest.
But it was too much fun to destroy someone.
We could have been decent.
But we killed the Indians.
We could have been fair.
But we killed the Mexicans.
We could have been colorblind.
But we killed the Blacks.
We could have had vision.
But we killed the Japanese.
We could have been beautiful.
But we killed the homosexuals.
We could have saved Jesus.
But he looked so damn cool, crucified on our Mantel Piece.

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For the last 16 years JAIMES PALACIO has been a mobile D.J. for F.B.N. Once voted BEST WACKY, VAGUELY LATINO POET, his accomplishments include publication in Tebot Bach's 3 Poetry Anthologies, A Poet's Haggadah, and chapbooks published by Far Star Fire and Inevitable Press. He was also on the board of director’s for The Orange County Poetry Festival for 5 years, creating and hosting NEW VOICES: an annual showcase for up-n-coming talent.

Formerly a columnist for Next...Magazine and a poetry picks writer for the O.C. Weekly, he also produced and hosted several successful weekly readings. His most infamous: PENGUINS HOOKED ON MACARONICS in which all features were photographed with a 3-ft plastic penguin named Bob. For the non-poets: if you got married within the last 10 years, he probably DJ'd your wedding.

7 responses to “Everybody Had Something Better to Do”

  1. Zara Potts says:

    Wonderful, Jaimes.

    This makes so much sense to me in a terribly sad way.
    Thank you.

  2. Jude says:

    You speak words of truth. Brutal and honest and hard to ignore.

  3. Jaimes Palacio says:

    Thank you Zara and Jude!

  4. Jaimes:

    So glad we were able to feature this poem on TNB. The first time I heard you read it live I knew we had to share it with others. Onward and upward, my friend.

  5. M.J. Fievre says:

    Well said, Jaimes

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