Pasadena, 1983.

The fourteen year old punk answered the door downstairs
at 2AM with a can of gasoline in his hand and,
over the blaring music on his cheap ghetto blaster,
said in a high, clear voice,
"Fuck off, bitch. Can't you see we're painting?"

After the cops evicted him,
he clumped around on the roof late at night wearing army boots.
He was small and nimble enough to climb up there from the rotting
back porch railing.

Before the punks, it was the young man
with a Flock of Seagulls haircut
who yelled at his girlfriend at 4AM.
"WHY CAN'T YOU BE NORMAL?" he shrieked, hysterical,
and then shrieked it again
with a lot more space between each syllable:
"WHY... CAN'T... YOU... BE... NOR-MAL?"


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