Jeff Gallo

Young American Dreams - Poem by Jeff Gallo

Some people say that they go to sleep just to dream
But me?
I can’t even remember my dreams
So I’m left hoping that one day
I will dream that I wake up
And I’ve got so much jaw tension that my teeth hurt from chewing in my sleep
the things I can’t deal with in the daytime
I’m trying to write
I’m trying to make what I say rhyme,
but I can’t remember my dreams
I wake up with a blank mind in the morning
and listen to academics drone on,
boring the life out of a classroom full of young minds
that can’t remember their dreams

And I can’t see the sense in our smartest people doing nothing of consequence
because today,
no one does anything on their own
All the things worth doing are bigger than one person
Like, how we’ve learned that it takes a World War to end Depression
but still aren’t sure about harmful emissions
and my carbon footprint is not a shoe I can fit in
so I need some help but I’m not sure anyone else is trying.
And I’m chewing in my sleep on the things I can’t deal with
Like, how we aren’t allowed to believe that we can make a difference,
because our scope is so broad
so much is expected
the American Dream for my generation can no longer be about personal achievement
or financial security in a land of opportunity
where banks aren’t crashing and the dollar is falling
while sea level and conflict are rising
and new defense spending is slowly ensuring that there won’t be anything left to protect

So we have to dream that the world will be here when we wake up tomorrow
But young American Dreams will never come to fruition in the world that we live in because my jaw just needs some oil to keep me from chewing in my sleep on the things I can’t deal with because they’re bigger than me
and I just need one drop
Then I’ll go to Oz and take back my heart
to give me the courage to use what’s left in my brain

But I can’t remember my dreams
I wake up with a blank mind in the morning
Listen to academics drone on
Strangle the life out of the young minds that fill up our classrooms
And I’m trying to write
Trying to make what I say mine
So tonight, I’ll remember my dreams
And I’ll remember yours too
I’ll break open my rusted shut jaw
to speak New Deal American Dreams of prosperous peace.
I’ll carry the tension for all
till my teeth fall out of my head
then I’ll just offer them to you as tools
to chip away at O God American notions of
profitable war and privatized discrimination

Because I can’t remember my dreams
but I’ve got pain pouring from my mouth
to remind you of yours

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Poem Submitted: Friday, December 9, 2011

Poem Edited: Monday, January 16, 2012

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