Reading A Book Alone In The Redwood Forrest, a poem

Reading a book alone in the Redwood Forrest

On the observational scale,

I do sit here in the redwoods in lotus pose,

with a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

on a stack of logs next to me.

What is the catch?

Is that but the paranoid disillusionment

of the redneck hippies near by

just now learning that they aren’t the real rebels?

They are not heroes,

They can only dream of being such.

The true meaning of center,

of the power of human capability,

If only imagined,

that is all we are,

Then that is the best

and the worst

of our imaginations.

Poetry’s Place in the Revolution: The Rant of a Socialist Poet

God fucking cock sucking mother fucking damnit!

Quite a poetic opening am I right? Yes a bit blunt but to be honest I am in a foul mood. I started off the year strong by getting published twice in one month, but ever since June it has been a series of pitches and rejection letters.

I start my work days by checking email, and to be honest I am just getting tired of opening my inbox only to find reasons why literary journals don’t want to publish my poems about the heart, the body, the soul of the creatives in revolution.

Poetry and art are all about putting what is in the heart, mind, body, and soul into a tangible thing for others to experience.

I am a socialist, an organizer and proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America. I love my organization because we are only as good as the work our members put into it, and I love to work. My place in this organization was like a hand in a glove (cliche I know but still) but what has escaped me is a very important question:

What is art’s place in the revolution?

I know some of you might be thinking, “But James, this has nothing to do with your rejection letters!”

I’m getting to that. I am a writer and I will do whatever it takes to make my living doing this. Prior to my complete radicalization, my incorporation of a material analysis into my world view, I was very much just hoping to be one of the next great poets. Someone whose words would just resonate with the times they are in and become a controversial definition of the days it was written. The next Shakespeare, the next Allen Ginsberg, that was what I wanted to be.

But then I realized something, I was creating just to create. I was writing in a totally self expressive way with no political motivation behind my words. “Art for art’s sake” was my original motto, but now I see that does not exist yet. That can never exist as long as the arts are commodified, as long as creatives are at the mercy of wealthy patrons and publishers who want to control the tone of our cultural and political dialogue.

What is the place of the poet, the artist, the filmmaker in revolution? It is not as propaganda agents of a worker’s state as some may believe. No, their place in the revolution is to bring truth to the masses. Their job is to express truth in ways that the petty bourgeoisie artists of the status quo, in other words “hacks”, cannot.

That is what my poetry is about, asking and answering the question about what art or poetry can and should do to aid us on the March of History.

So that is what I write, that is what I pitch to publishers and literary journals.

And what do they publish instead?

Corny hacks who write poems about cookies and daffodils and memories of an over privileged childhood in a way that is so over the top and self indulgent that it would make even Marcel Proust vomit.

I rest my case.

Rebels Lead The March of History (a poem)

Rebels Lead The March of History!

Do not forget,

It was the rebels who brought forth our days!

And do not forget,

the people who learned,

But got little praise.

Stupid is a condition,

Ignorance a choice,

So stop the idiotic voice.

So cheers to the rebels,

Who died for our better days!

And peace to those who lost the fight,

And lost it going insane.

They had no stake,

No burden unless they choose,

So it is no wonder

Why the rebels never lose.Nationalists

Underground Radio

In 2118 all music had been made illegal 30 years ago by the Administration. The Administration had decreed “Music promotes diversity. Diversity is the enemy. One nation, one race, one people.”

When the Administration made the law it did everything it could to purge the country of anything related to music. Wood instruments like guitars, violins and cellos were burned in massive public fires. Wind instruments that were metal like Trumpets got smelted into new guns and bullets for the police and the army. Record stores were burned down and every iPod and mp3 player was smashed. Conductors were dragged from their beds and shot. Music teachers were sent to either dig ditches or prison, they at least got a choice.

Because there was no music all other self expression was practically non existent, but the Administration always made it clear that self expression itself was not banned, just music. However one could not tell that self expression was still allowed because everyone practically dressed the same. A pair of slacks and a t-shirt. That was what everyone wore, no dresses skirts shorts, not even swim suits when they went to the beach. Slacks and a t-shirt. The one avenue of self expression was that you got to choose what color of shirt you wanted. Some people choose red, others yellow, some had just given up on that and just wore brown to match the slacks.

The only people who got to dress differently were the police, military, and members of the Administration. The first two wore standard uniforms, but the administration was different, they all wore suits. The men in the administration wore top of the line hand tailored suits. The women wore pant suits of the same quality. No one in the administration ever dared wear anything but their nice suits(they would never be caught dead dressing like a civilian).

But still, the Administration stuck to its motto: ‘One Nation, One race, One people.”

The tailors all worked for the Administration making their suits, but even they were only allowed to dress as civilians. Dave’s father was a tailor, and he lived with his dad across the street from the shop. Dave would watch people file in and out of the store in their jackets and ties and Dave would hate them, and he hated them when he had to work in the shop.

Dave’s father used to play in a punk band. Dave never heard punk music, or any music, but everything about it sounded wonderful. His father told him the stories of the songs they would play, about the concerts and these things called “mosh pits” He heard stories about wild hair cuts dyed all sorts of colors, about people who were so into this scene they would get holes punctured in their face in order to put pieces of jewelry into their lips, eyebrows, and even their tongues. Dave was lucky to have a father who remembered what life was like before the Administration banned music. Very lucky.

On Dave’s 19th birthday, his father said he had a present for him, but they would have to go out of the house to get it.

“Dad,” Dave said worried, “You know that the Administration moved the curfew time up to 10pm right? Anyone caught outside their house without military clearance is immediately…”

“Shot.” Dave’s father finished for him. “Yes I know, that’s why I have been waiting to tell you.” His father took a deep breath and sighed. “David,” His father began, “You are an adult now. When you were a boy, I was always worried. Worried that something may happen to me and then that would mean something happened to you. I would never be able to live with myself if I lost you the way I lost…”

Dave knew he was talking about his mom, and he also knew his dad did not like talking about it, so Dave just nodded to show he understood, and his father moved on.

“It’s why I became a tailor for the Administration. I had to distance myself from that past I always told you about. But now that you are old enough, old enough to protect yourself, it’s time that I share this with you.”

“What?” Dave asked.

“Just wait son,” his father replied. “And happy birthday.”

When it was 9:30, Dave’s father told him that it was time to go. “Go where?” Dave asked. His father told him nothing except that they needed to hurry.

They went out the back door of the house through the alley to avoid being seen by the street cameras. The Administration had cameras everywhere but the alleys for some reason, so that was where the underhanded did their dealings. Dave’s father took him on what felt like a maze of concrete and trash, zigzagging all the way across the city. They turned a corner went one way, then turned a corner to do the opposite, until finally they hit a dead end.

The dead end was just a giant brick wall with a pile of trash underneath a large arch by the wall. Dave was confused when his dad told him to be quiet, and then his father kicked the pile of trash three times. The bags of trash and stack of wooden debris sounded hollow when he hit them with his foot. Dave moved back with a jolt when the pile started to rise revealing it had been on top of a door. The door popped up like a garage door to reveal a long set of concrete stairs that appeared to lead to the cellar of this black building they were by, but as the stairway disappeared into the darkness it seemed like the steps went on forever.

“Come on” his father said, pulling out a flashlight from his pocket.

They walked down the stairs and into the darkness with the spot of light to guide them. As the went down the stairs Dave could hear the trash door close behind them with a thud that echoes in whatever cellar they were in. The echo was large though, too large for just one cellar. When they got to the bottom of the stars they had reached a corridor of a tunnel, a long brick tube that stretched in either direction for miles. David and his father started walking down the tunnel and as they did the echoes of their feet began to be drowned out by other noises, noises that Dave had never heard before.

As they walked to the noise it had gotten louder. Dave could not tell what it was but it was a sound that intrigued him rather than terrified him. It was rhythmic and fast, and the closer they got the more they could hear voices along with the pacing rhyme.

Eventually Dave could hear what it was, his father was already singing along, Dave had never heard singing before.

“Neat, Neat, Neat.”

Then more of the rhythmic interlude. Then the voices again “Neat! Neat! Neat!”

“Neat! Neat! Neat!” Then with a sudden burst of sound then it had ended. “The Damned,” was all his father said to David. Before Dave could ask him what that meant suddenly another one started, again with his father singing along at first.

“I want to be classified, I want to be stereotyped!” Rang out from a distance, and it grew louder and louder with each step.

Dave could not help but bob his head along with his father, not knowing what he was doing or what he was listening to, but he knew that the more he could hear it the more he liked it, and he was hearing it clearer with every step.

“I want a… SUBURBAN HOME! SUBURBAN HOME! SUBURBAN HOME!”

The noises grew louder until finally they reached a metal door on the left side of the tunnel. The noises that they were enjoying seemed to come from this one room. Dave’s father knocked on it the same way that he had the garbage door, three times with his foot, and the door opened, but the door was opened by a person with blue hair that looked like spikes and a piece of metal sticking through their eyebrow, exactly as Dave’s dad had described to him.

The song was peaking and coming to it’s conclusion as Dave and his father entered the room, which was filled with people dressed like they were from the stories he had grown up with. The sounds were coming out of this little wooden box with a dial and speakers on it. Dave’s father told him that it was a radio and what they were listening to was Punk rock. The musicians that had just been playing were called the Descendants, according to Dave’s father, and there were plenty more songs to be played.

Dave’s father went around introducing his son to the people, some of them were people Dave recognized, even though they were wearing things that had long been banned. Torn jeans, military shorts, thick boots, and piercings and hairstyles that were impossible to imagine on the Administration’s surface world. Yet it didn’t prevent Dave from recognizing Mary who ran the corner grocery store by their tailor shop, or Phil, who even though he had a ring in his nose could still be placed as the physics teacher from the high school.

After Dave’s father had properly shown him around he told him that the box with the speakers was a radio, an antique from sometime in the 20th century. “What they used to do is have things called radio stations, and they would play songs. The stations would then transmit these songs through the air, and these radio things would pick up the signals and play the songs the station was playing.”

Dave then learned that this was what they were doing, listening to radio, and they were listening to the punk rock radio station, being run out of a different spot underground just like this one. “There are lots of us David.” His father told him, “and not just Punk Rockers either. There is an underground Hip Hop radio station, a Classical radio station, a show-tunes station!” Dave didn’t know what any of those things were, but he was just glad to finally experience Punk Rock because it was everything as his dad had described. Fast paced, energetic, and full of the most expressive people you could ever see.

The station had begun to play a different band and song, and on a loop the radio was screaming ‘I fought the law and the… LAW WON. I fought the law and the… LAW WON!”

The night had been the greatest birthday present Dave could receive, and he was even more thrilled when he found out they would be going back every night. “The administration can ban music,” his father told him when they returned home. “But they will never stop it.”

Each night for the next six weeks Dave was brought to the underground listening station where they rocked out and mingled with like minded punk rockers. For one night at a time people would shed their civilian dress and put on clothes from a bin in the corner which held jeans of all sizes, black t-shirts with holes and giant A’s on them in a circle. There were also studded belts and shoes. Some people took this chance to dress up, others just came for the music. Dave just came for the music.

One night the station was playing a female lead punk band called Bikini Kill. Dave was enjoying the gritty vocals and rapid guitars, but he could not help but notice his dad was not himself that night. Normally his dad was very sociable at the Underground. He would usually be off in the corner chatting with some of the civilians he recognized from their neighborhood. Tonight though he was sort of slow, down and moping. He just shuffled around nodding at people when they said hello and looked at his feet.

Dave went up to him. “Dad,” he said. “What’s wrong?”

He looked up at his son. He did not say anything at firs. At first he just put a hand on the back of his son’s head. Then finally with wide watery eyes he said, “This really does mean you’re grown up. I kept you from this because this, all of this…” he trailed off as he looked around at the people moshing or the neighbors shedding their t-shirts in exchange for their chains and studs. Then Dave’s father gave a deep sigh. “You know how big of a risk this all is right?”

Dave was about to say yes but then, almost as if on queue, there was giant explosion somewhere that shook the entire Underground. The radio was almost knocked off its stand, but was saved as the people nearby it caught themselves on it to keep from falling when the shock wave came. The bricks and mortar all around them danced. Still the music was playing, but something was wrong and everyone knew it.

The fast paced drums on the radio playing were being drowned out by different thudding rhythm. “One two One two.” That was coming from the hall and echoing throughout the tunnel.

They grew louder and louder as if there were more of them coming with each beat. Everyone seemed to realize what was coming all at once. They were trapped, the only way into the room was the only way out, and everyone knew what that beat in the hallway was. It was the rhythm that can only come from boots marching. It was the Administration’s army, and they were closing in on them.

Suddenly the steps all came to a stop at once. Within the next second the metal door was hit with a different rhythm. “BANG!” A beat, then “BANG!” Another beat. Then with the third “BANG!” the battering ram had shoved the door in, and the troopers began to swarm. They flank left right and center as they entered the doorway to keep anyone from getting away. They filled the room from corner to corner. Even when they had the whole room flanked, they kept pouring in, and soon enough the beatings started.

With the thuds of rifles came the the screams of everyone begging for mercy. ( Pleading that they would come peacefully.) Some got the butts of riffles plowed into there stomach or smacked across their noses. Skulls were cracked under the weights of a soldier’s boots as some people fell. Others were lucky enough to hit their head on the brick floor before getting away. The luckiest were the ones who took a bullet to the brain when some of the soldiers opened fire.

Dave and his father were near one of the flanked corners and each grabbed the butts of rifles as soldiers took swings at them. Dave’s father used the moment to butt his head into the guard’s while swiftly kicking him in the crotch. That soldier went down just before three shots from the other side of the room cut into Dave’s father. One of them made it all the way through his chest and ended up cutting Dave in the back of the leg, sending him to the ground.

“Dad!” Dave screamed back.

But his father said nothing, he just lied there bleeding out.

The song kept playing amidst the gun fire and the screams. Dave just lay there on the ground as bullets whizzed over his head. He tried dragging himself closer to his father only to be blocked by the body of Joan from the pharmacy when she collapsed thanks to the bullet now in her brain.

Dave just lay there, trying to make the most of his impeded view of his father. Trying to think of some way out of here. But the pain in his leg was too great, and for some reason the darkness was growing around him. He couldn’t keep his eyes open much longer.

The darkness was growing around Dave as the song kept playing. The music didn’t stop until one of the soldiers finally kicked over the radio and smashed it.

When the music stopped was finally when Dave let the darkness consume him.

Donnie’s Daddy, A short story by James J. Jackson, Jr.

Donnie dropped the comb into the gold plated bathroom sink again for what felt like the billionth time.
“FUCK!” Donnie screamed in frustration. Donnie hated how the stubby fingers on his tiny hands could never get a firm grip on anything they tried to hold. He fished the comb out of the sink bowl and resumed quaffing his hair in what had become his iconic way.
“Goddamn bald patch.” He groaned that his over priced hair plugs were so tedious to maintain. What was even more frustrating to Donnie was that despite all his money, this was something he had to do for himself, lest some big mouth stylist reveal to the world that he was indeed supposed to be bald. So Donnie grudged through styling his own hair in the mornings, he could hire anyone to do anything else for him, except this.
Eventually he was satisfied with what he saw in the mirror. Donnie did not have much to be satisfied with, but that did not stop him from loving what he saw every time he looked into the mirror. He thought his overly fake tanned skin made him look like George Hamilton, and not like a walking Cheeto like it actually did. He thought his quaffed hair plugs were the envy of every man in the country. He thought his bloated cheeks made him look like a young Brando, instead of a chipmunk with hair plugs which it actually did.
Donnie was on top of the world as he walked out of his solid gold bathroom into his solid gold living room in his NYC penthouse designed to look like Versailles. He stood for a moment to enjoy his 10 foot Christmas tree covered in solid gold ornaments before doing his power walking to the other side of the pent house. Donnie always got a little bit of exercise in the long walk from one room to another until he reached his solid gold dining room. There he found his eastern European model of a wife and his ten year old snot of a son playing on his iPhone with one hand and shoveling Fruit Loops into his mouth with another. Donnie didn’t like his son eating that garbage, but he was eating out of a solid gold bowl, so Donnie let him enjoy his cereal.
Donnie noticed a slight fold of flesh on his wife’s belly through her skin tight, size 3 dress. It was that normal little bubble all humans get when they sit down, Donnie knew this, but he still could not feel grossed out, and that even this wife was starting to lose her luster like the other two had. That was why Donnie didn’t feel bad when he was having fun when she wasn’t around. He never “Cheated” on this wife, like he had with the others, at least not yet. But he did enjoy occasionally pinching someones cunt or playing around on the street with ladies he thought were 10s.  
Donnie then sat down briefly, talking to his wife and son briefly while drinking his coffee. When the cup brought to him was too hot and burned his tongue he threw it into his maid’s face, sure she might have been scalded, “But these damn illegals need to learn there place,” Donnie thought as she brought him new coffee. Donnie liked how cheap his illegals would work, but he did not like how many of them there were.
“Maybe I can get rid of a few of them,” he thought, “I am president now after all.”
Soon Donnie’s coffee took effect so he excused himself from the table, kissing his wife on the top of her head as he walked out, and quickly suggested to her, “Maybe hit the gym today sweetheart.” She looked hurt, she tries as hard as she can to keep him happy, she even kept her baby weight down when she was pregnant, and he would still suggest she hit the gym. Neither one of them could not remember the last time Donnie used the workout room himself, but it didn’t matter, she would follow his suggestion no matter what.
Donnie returned to the bathroom, locking the door and lowering his pants to sit on his solid gold toilet.  
As his personal offense graced the room with his scent, he reached for the lysol spray and spritzed the air. Donnie knew he would be there for a while, so he whipped out his phone and checked twitter. Donnie was a hardcore twitter addict, he loved all the retweets and love he got from his followers, angry though they were, he loved how much they loved him.
Donnie saw that SNL had skewered him again, they loved to skewer Donnie since he had become president. This time in the sketch the actor impersonating Donnie got married in Las Vegas to Vladimir Putin. Donnie was furious as he let out a loud, shitty fart into his gold toilet, those liberal jerks would never let up on Donnie. “That show is so unfair,” Donnie thought, “I only hosted ONCE!”  
So Donnie let the show and the actors feel his wrath on twitter, of course within seconds he had thousands of retweets. Then Donnie saw that a bunch of hipster nerds were quoting his tweet and making fun of it. Apparently all the comedians, and even some Japanese guy from Star Trek were scrutinizing every one of his tweets.  
Donnie was about to release the hounds that were his followers until he heard a voice. He always heard this voice in the back of his mind, but ever since he had “won” the presidency it had been as silent as it had ever been. But all of a sudden Donnie was hearing it again, and he wasn’t just hearing it in his head anymore, he heard it in the bathroom, as loud and real as when he was speaking to his wife.  
“Goddamn it Donnie, 70 years old and you are still a fucking loser.” The voice was indeed real this time, it had not been real years, but it was real again. Donnie looked up from his phone, then dropped it in shock, its fall being broken by the pile of pants and underwear on top of his feet.
Donnie was looking at the face of his long dead, always disappointed daddy, Fred.
“Dad?” Donnie stammered out, meek and timid for the first time in years.
“No Shit Mr. Sherlock.” Fred replied, angry and gruff as ever. Death had not humbled him in anyway.
“What…What are you doing here?” Donnie stammered again as he tried to pull his pants up enough to cover his shame, but he had to keep his cheeks open since he was still doing his morning deed, and the sight of his dead father was now streamlining the process more than the coffee had.
“Well it’s Christmas time, so I thought this was the right time to see you since after all…” he paused for effect. “Imma, G-g-g-g-g-g-g-GHOST!” Fred playfully and sadistically burst out, laughing when he saw how much it made his son squirm. But his laughter soon ended and his speech took on a stern tone.
“So, this is him. My son, Mr. Tough Guy, Mr. President Number 45.” Fred said as he crossed his arms, just like he did when scolded Donnie as a boy.
Donnie was speechless, he just nodded at the aberration before him.
Fred just shook his head. “I suppose this is the part where you want me to tell you I’m finally proud of you?”
Donnie could not help but smile a little, it was actually all he ever wanted to hear. His whole life Donnie was told he was a loser by his father, that he would never be as smart and successful as Fred. Every day, “You’re a loser Donnie.” Or, “You’re pathetic Donnie.” Or “You will always be a loser Donnie.” For a second Donnie thought his dad was here to make peace, after all he had finally won, it was Christmas time, after all those law suits and failed businesses, he was president now.
But that smile disappeared as quickly as it had appeared, because all Fred did was shake his head, and get angrier that Donnie could not read his sarcasm.  
“Goddamn it Donnie!” Fred said shaking his head. “You make me sick, Donnie you really do.”
Donnie was crushed, he already heard this in his head all the time, he did not need to hear it out loud anymore.
“No…” was all Donnie said helplessly.
Fred just chuckled to himself and shook his head again.
“You were always a loser Donnie, I remember when you were a boy, you lost all your sports games, you lost all your girlfriends to guys with stronger hands and bigger dicks. ” Donnie didn’t like remembering that, the only people who knew about that was his mom, who he had confided in when he did in fact lose his loves. Fred would overhear and all he did was get mad that his son was not a real man.
Fred saw the pain in Donnie’s face, he smiled, and continued. “I remember how you always got sued to, how you squandered that million I gave you. How bankruptcy laws were the only thing that ever saved you.” Fred shook his head once again. “Our family built a name, a fortune, and you just couldn’t keep that together.”
“But Dad,” Donnie pleaded as his bowels released again, burning and painfully so, making his father laugh before he could continue again. “But dad, I’m president now, our name is now up there with Roosevelt, Clinton, or Bush…”
Fred slapped Donnie as hard as he could, just like when he was alive. Donnie hit his back on the top of the toilet, it was quite panful, but Donnie was not finished evacuating, so he just sat and rubbed the spot with the hand that wasn’t holding his pants over his groin.
“Yeah, our name will forever be know for the first presidency who won by losing.” Fred walked up to Donnie , standing over him as he was squatted on the toilet. Fred used to stand over Donnie like this when he was 7, now he was doing it again even though Donnie was 70. 
“But Dad,” Donnie pleaded, again like he was 7, “I won and…”
Fred slapped him again. “You won by a fluke in the electoral college and with the help of Russia. You lost by 3 million votes, to a WOMAN I might add. I mean Jesus Donnie, you, a man, a man who bares my family name, you lost to a woman AND you are in debt to a fucking Russian! What is all of this I hear about some former KGB agent helping you win?” He said with his arms crossed.
Donnie was speechless, he just looked down, like he did when he was 7.
Fred slapped him again when he didn’t answer.
“Well,” another slap, “How about it?”
Donnie was still speechless, he just rubbed his cheek, and tried to be a tough guy and not cry, like he did when he was 7.
Fred just shook his head and turned his back to his son. “My son, in cahoots with a commie.” Fred just shook his head. “Goddamn it Donnie, even when you win you lose.”
Donnie was about to cry. “No,” he thought, “no don’t say it dad, please.” He had not heard it said by Fred ever since he died. Winning the presidency was the only thing that made it get out of his head, it was the only closure he had. “If he says it, this was all for nothing.”
“You’re a loser Donnie. You were a loser when you were a boy, and you are loser now.”
Donnie could not hold back the tears. “NO!” He screamed, “NO NO NO NO!”
But before he could plead his case, like steam being blown away a strong wind, his father vanished from his feet to the top of his head into nothing. Now Donnie was looking at nothing in front of him but the gold platted bathroom wall decor.
Finally his bowels were empty. So he pulled his pants up and himself together. When he opened the door and walked out he saw his wife and son walking up to the bathroom door.
“Donnie?” His wife said in her heavy accent. “You okay? I thought I heard a yell.”
“I’m fine. I just dropped the comb again.” He said, somewhat irritated with her for some reason as he shoved the two of them aside to get passed. He demanded security get him into his motorcade immediately, he wanted to get to his rally as fast as he could.
He stewed angrily in the car the whole ride over. “Loser, huh? I’ll show you.” He muttered to himself, making his whole security team VERY uncomfortable the entire ride.  
He arrived and marched onto the stage, soaking in the roaring cheers of his crowd as he approached his podium.  
  He talked about being “tough on ISIS,” and how he was going to make everyone in the crowd all “winners” just like him. The crowd loved it. They started chanting his family name like they always did.
“Look at them. Chanting our name. Still think I’m a loser Dad!?” he thought to himself.
Then, loud and clear as ever, he heard that voice say, “Yes Donnie. You are still a loser.”

 Donnie could not tell if the voice was in his head or real this time, but he heard it. He heard it louder than the crowds chanting his last name. It was right in his ear, a spine chilling whisper that Donnie could hear perfectly.
“You’re a loser Donnie, you’re a goddamn loser, and you will always will be.”
It was the loudest that voice it had been in years, and Donnie would hear it every moment of everyday for the rest of his life now. As plain as the chants of his crowds or the laughter of those who mocked him, he heard his father Fred say it loud and clear.  
“You’re a loser Donnie.”
“You’re a loser.”
“You’re a loser Donnie…”
“You’re a goddamn, pathetic, loser.”