FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

We Can’t Make It Here Any More

by JAMES McMURTRY

There’s a Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
One leg missing and both hands free
No one’s paying much mind to him
The VA budget’s just stretched too thin
And now there’s more coming back from the mideast war
We can’t make it here any more

The big ol’ building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and then closed the doors
We can’t make it here any more

See those pallets piled up on the loading dock
they’re just gonna set there til they rot
cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack
just busted concrete and rusted tracks
empty storefronts around the square
there’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
you don’t come down here unless you’re looking to score
we can’t make it here anymore

The bar’s still open but man it’s slow
the tip jar’s light and the register’s low
the bartender don’t have much to say
the regular crowd gets thinner each day
some have maxed out all their credit cards
some are working two jobs and livin’ in cars
minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for drink
if you gotta have proof just try it yourself mr CEO
see how far $5.15 an hour will go
take a part time job at one of your stores
bet you can’t make it here anymore

There’s a high school girl with bourgeois dream
just like the pictuers in the magazine
she found on the floor of the laundromat
a woman with kids can forget all that
if she comes up pregnant what’ll she do?
forget the career, forget about school
can she live on faith? live on hope?
high on jesus or hooked on dope
when its way too late to just say no
you can’t make it here anymore

Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart stores
just like the ones we made before
‘cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can’t make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
or the shape of their eyes or the shape i’m in
should i hate em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
all lily white and squeaky clean
they’ve never known want, they’ll never know need
Their shit don’t stink and their kids don’t bleed
their kids don’t bleed in their damn little war
and we can’t make it here anymore

will work for food and die for oil
will kill for power and to us the spoils
the billionaires get to pay less tax
the working poor get to fall through the cracks
so let ’em eat jellybeans let ’em eat cake
let em eat shit, whatever it takes
they can join the Air Force or join the Corps
if they can’t make here anymore

So that’s how it is, that’s what we got
if the president wants to admit it or not
you can read it in the papers, read it on the wall
hear it on the wind if you’re listening at all
get out of that limo, look us in the eye
call us on the cell phone tell us all why

In Dayton Ohio or Portland Maine
or on a cotton gin out on the great high plains
that’s done closed down along with the school
and the hospital and the swimming pool
dust devils dance in the noonday heat
there’s rats in the alley and trash in the street
gang graffiti on a boxcar door
we can’t make it here anymore

From JAMES McMURTRY’s fantastic new CD Childish Things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
April 28, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Slandering Populism: a Chilling Media Habit
Andrew Levine
Why I Fear and Loathe Trump Even More Now Than On Election Day
Jeffrey St. Clair
Mountain of Tears: the Vanishing Glaciers of the Pacific Northwest
Philippe Marlière
The Neoliberal or the Fascist? What Should French Progressives Do?
Conn Hallinan
America’s New Nuclear Missile Endangers the World
Peter Linebaugh
Omnia Sunt Communia: May Day 2017
Vijay Prashad
Reckless in the White House
Brian Cloughley
Who Benefits From Prolonged Warfare?
Kathy Kelly
The Shame of Killing Innocent People
Ron Jacobs
Hate Speech as Free Speech: How Does That Work, Exactly?
Andre Vltchek
Middle Eastern Surgeon Speaks About “Ecology of War”
Matt Rubenstein
Which Witch Hunt? Liberal Disanalogies
Sami Awad - Yoav Litvin - Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb
Never Give Up: Nonviolent Civilian Resistance, Healing and Active Hope in the Holyland
Pete Dolack
Tribunal Finds Monsanto an Abuser of Human Rights and Environment
Christopher Ketcham
The Coyote Hunt
Mike Whitney
Putin’s New World Order
Ramzy Baroud
Palestinian, Jewish Voices Must Jointly Challenge Israel’s Past
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 100 Days of Rage and Rapacity
Harvey Wasserman
Marine Le Pen Is a Fascist—Not a ‘Right-Wing Populist,’ Which Is a Contradiction in Terms
William Hawes
World War Whatever
John Stanton
War With North Korea: No Joke
Jim Goodman
NAFTA Needs to be Replaced, Not Renegotiated
Murray Dobbin
What is the Antidote to Trumpism?
Louis Proyect
Left Power in an Age of Capitalist Decay
Medea Benjamin
Women Beware: Saudi Arabia Charged with Shaping Global Standards for Women’s Equality
Rev. William Alberts
Selling Spiritual Care
Peter Lee
Invasion of the Pretty People, Kamala Harris Edition
Cal Winslow
A Special Obscenity: “Guernica” Today
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey’s Kurdish Agenda
Guillermo R. Gil
The Senator Visits Río Piedras
Jeff Mackler
Mumia Abu-Jamal Fights for a New Trial and Freedom 
Cesar Chelala
The Responsibility of Rich Countries in Yemen’s Crisis
Leslie Watson Malachi
Women’s Health is on the Chopping Block, Again
Basav Sen
The Coal Industry is a Job Killer
Judith Bello
Rojava, a Popular Imperial Project
Robert Koehler
A Public Plan for Peace
Sam Pizzigati
The Insider Who Blew the Whistle on Corporate Greed
Nyla Ali Khan
There Has to be a Way Out of the Labyrinth
Michael J. Sainato
Trump Scales Back Antiquities Act, Which Helped to Create National Parks
Stu Harrison
Under Duterte, Filipino Youth Struggle for Real Change
Martin Billheimer
Balm for Goat’s Milk
Stephen Martin
Spooky Cookies and Algorithmic Steps Dystopian
Michael Doliner
Thank You Note
Charles R. Larson
Review: Gregor Hens’ “Nicotine”
David Yearsley
Handel’s Executioner
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail