Weekly Poem: Hot Tub Time Machine

June 25, 2014

Voices, Art / Culture, Poetry


Hot Tub Time Machine

There’s a place
just beyond the present,
where the past goes to die
in the name of progress.

Where prayers
become quaint folks songs,
instead of blueprints,
instead of sheet music to the revolution,
instead of the past words
to our next donut round the sun.

There’s a natural mystic
blowing through the years,
like a trumpet first
and last.

Ever since we slung shot
that rocket to the moon
chock-full of our dreams
never to return.

Replaced astrology with astronauts,
Gods with MTV Awards,
our imagination
with our arrogance
be careful…

you could put somebody’s sky out.

The Challenger
was the Tower of Babel
of my generation.

We are trying to Kit Carson
the solar system.
Lewis and Clark her prize possessions
like Pocahontas.

Flag her front lawn
with mirrors
on every fraction of planet
so that when we look up
we can point and say,
“That’s me.”

When the cure for ego
could be 20 Thousand Leagues
under a NBA arena,
right next to the cure for Alzheimer’s
and everything else we forgot
from our ancestors

Because at the bottom of the ocean
no one will see your penalty
for excessive celebration.
And to add insult and injury
to that slap in the face…

they won’t see or hear that either.

So it’s so tempting
to colonize your name
in neon lights across
every unclaimed fragment
of interplanetary rock
that shows up as “unconquered”
in a star registry.

Point at it with pride
like you’ve “found” yourself,
when everyone who hears this poem
knows it’s only your reflection.

In short,
the universe will never belong to us
until we get our inner verse in order.
And once we get our inner verse in order
we won’t need an entire universe
to fit our big ass heads
in the room.

We will know our place…

just beyond the past,
where the present goes to fly
in the name of content.

Realize that we
are the Hot Tub Time Machine
kind of magic
that is both past and future
In the same person
at the same now.

Realize those higher forms of intelligence
we go “mach” for
are secretly afraid
of the boogeyman in the moon.
They are hiding behind
8 year old you
in that lil’ nook
between ventricle and vertebrate.

Your favorite hiding place
for the past 14 years
and a hundred forty-four generations,
between your heart
and your backbone.

The kind of evolution
that wakes my son up
every single morning.

Like that place
just beyond the horizon
called “history”.

Can’t recall the address exactly,
but overheard the ancestors
referring to it as Atlantis.

And they might still be there,
waiting for us to call.

And you ain’t gotta be NASA
to figure out how to do that.

This piece was written by:

Hakim Bellamy's photo

Hakim Bellamy

Hakim Bellamy was the inaugural poet laureate of Albuquerque and is a national and regional Poetry Slam Champion. He holds three consecutive collegiate poetry slam titles at the University of New Mexico and his poetry has been published in Albuquerque inner-city buses and various anthologies. Bellamy was recognized as an honorable mention for the University of New Mexico Paul Bartlett Re Peace Prize for his work as a community organizer and journalist and was recently bestowed the populist honor of “Best Poet” by Local iQ (“Smart List” 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013) and Alibi (“Best of Burque” 2010, 2011 & 2012). He is the co-creator of the multimedia Hip creator of the multimedia Hip Hop theater production Urban Verbs: Hip-Hop Conservatory & Theater that has been staged throughout the country. He facilitates youth writing workshops for schools and community organizations in New Mexico and beyond.

Hakim is currently finishing his MA in Communications and Journalism Department at the University of New Mexico. He is the proud father of a 5 year-old miracle and is the founding president of Beyond Poetry, LLC.

Hakim's photo by Wes Naman

Contact Hakim Bellamy

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