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

January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Mark Schuller
So What am I Doing Here? Reflections on the Inauguration Day Protests
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail