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:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail