god i didn't get to explore it thoroughly, but what i saw of it was great.

my, but it does seem pretty rough in spots.

buncha crazy motherfuckers.

i felt at home.
unhinged small dirty dark bars
the chiming clock
of home savings and loan
that was youngstown
through all the cracks in the sidewalk
and all the firecracker gunshots
the drugs
we smiled sometimes
sitting on federal plaza
in the steamy heat
smoking cigarettes
watching the sticky breeze
play in the trees
and his crooked teeth caught rainbows
ivet model citizen naked being
jarring loud downtown
i was a groupie
but a few miles away
jesus smiled at the nyabinghi
he remembers when it was pop's lounge
driving on the northside
watching the expensive houses flash by
on fifth avenue
was just a jump away from downtown
unhinged leaving
i am so goddamn tired
can't you people see
i moved eight hours away
i'm away now
i still think of you everyday
i do
but i can't live my life
in two places
i'm so goddamn tired
but that doesn't mean i don't love you
but christ
let me be
unhinged me: i think that everyone should just vacate that place and it's surrounding areas
him: no doubt
him: it's turned to shit
me: but for some reason, it is so hard to leave there and i didn't even grow up there
him: lot of drugs and partying
him: lot of bars too
me: but it just wasn't that; every place has its drugs and partying and bars
me: the people there have this mutual bond of misery and are somehow less randomly shitty to each other
him: lmao
him: couldnt have said it better myself
me: so i guess there isn't a better place in the united states to be depressed....
me: cause walking down the street is like walking to your support group
me: but it's really hard to be anything but depressed and addicted there
unhinged only in youngstown would someone sell their bar on ebay

the scene in that town just imploded so now there aren't any good bands to play there. the owner used to get semi-decent national acts in there too sometimes like clutch, the white stripes, and wesley_willis .
unhinged the same people who paid me to play in orchestras for their listening pleasure made my friends smack addicts

fuck the sopranos. living in a documented mob town was not glamorous. living in a documented mob town in the rust belt was desensitizing.

she freaked out about hearing A gunshot outside of his house. when i lived on the streetside of my dorm, i heard gunshots almost every night. but i lived in cafaro house. there were tall fences and video cameras and locked doors and cops at the front dest from midnight to 5am every night. to be honest, i kinda miss the security.

there were no good sides of town. only worse and better.

when the pizza hut on 422 blew up no one was surprised.

the only good restaurants in town were the italian ones.

red lights were stop signs late at night and 'i felt unsafe' was actually a viable excuse for the cop not to write you a ticket. 'ok. good thinking.'

pretty much any drug known to man was available in that town.

the only economy left in the town was the university and the bars.

there was a serious rock scene in that town for awhile and i saw some of the best of it. i really fucking miss that. but the scene is dead there now. too many wannabes couldn't handle the forementioned drug availability.

it was not uncommon to check yourself into the mental hospital. i had several friends who did.

living in that town was like a sick surreal movie by the end. i would have loved to make a shostakovich music video there with him.
unhinged you don't stop just cause you're down. most people don't have the ability to be happy for your accomplishments cause their too caught up in what they don't have. that doesn't mean you listen when they talk shit. i've got a path in front of me that wouldn't be there if i didn't know you. 080522
unhinged according to that article i read on the rust_belt today, over 30,000 people have left the mahoning valley since i lived there. you could already see the tumbleweeds rolling down federal plaza at midnight on a friday night before i left. and now he's raising a kid there....she's in my blood now though.

'you know who you sound like dude?'


'you sound exactly like frank.'

cause the shit i saw and lived through in that place makes anything around here a fucking picnic. damn that dude was right 'you can leave youngstown but youngstown never leaves you'
past the mayor of youngstown is now talking on as_it_happens, in a segment talking to him and the mayor of flint regarding bulldozing "depopulated and blighted" neighbourhoods. 090413
unhinged i remember driving in the neighborhood near wick park with her, getting_high between classes in the winter. the snow on a porch roof so heavy that it was beginning to collapse. in my altered state, it seemed like a visual metaphor for my life there. the weight of that place collapsing my heart.

blight seems like such an innocuous word for it, the reality of a ghostly abandoned town. the desolation, despair, hopelessness.

things are leaving
never to come back
all that's left
the chiming of the clock
of home savings and loan
echoing endlessly in the empty valley
the shadow of death
long and lingering
and the
. . 090513
unhinged i haven't really talked to her since she moved back. blather seals it. i'm calling her. 090513
unhinged i could walk down the street there
and no one would say a word
(and then again
i had my secret hidden places
out in the open
on campus to go and cry)

when i told him that
'shit dude'
and the empathy in his voice
hooked me

i know. right? how could you watch someone cry and not give a shit?
unhinged some of the ways i learned how to hurt myself never occurred to me til i loved people that did them 110202
ever dumbening an ex-lover is a professor at the university there. 110825
unhinged woah

considering ten years ago the university was really all that was left there, i'd hate to see that place now. actually, i did have a lot of good profs there though.

what's she teaching?
ever dumbening espaņol 110825
a clever disguise I went there for musical theatre.

Dropped out for a year and went back for Accounting.

I had so many wonderful professors. The kooky Julliard pianist music appreciation professor was probably my favorite though.

I would tell anyone to go there.
unhinged actually i had a lot of good profs there too; religion, sociology, oceanography, literature, music history, music theory, orchestra.

the experiences i had off campus were a different story; but then again maybe not. i guess i wouldn't trade it. we took care of each_other there and i have yet to find that again.

but you gotta admit, there's something overwhelmingly oppressive and shitty about that valley.

i like living in a place where it isn't odd to walk downtown or take the bus.

maybe i still have a sour taste in my mouth from that time i couldn't get out of bed for two weeks. all the gunshots were kinda creepy too.

the seed of tibetan buddhism was planted in the borders in boardman; the seeds of learning how to adandon_expectation and getting to perform the solos for madama_butterfly


she's not all bad but im pretty sure id refuse to go back if asked to too
unhinged * abandon_expectation


unhinged no one there said 'it will get better.' we didnt have the evidence to support that. 140715
unhinged recently i got really irritated by someone using the
word blight to describe someone pulling a gun on someone at a gas station

i was hot boxing a car with bobbi s boyfriend and other people from his floor in their dorm and watched a twelve year old kid carry a gun down the street towards the other kids.

we started thumping on wes's seat 'drive dude...go. faster'

we didnt want to be witnesses to kid on kid violence. 'blight' isnt the word for it
flowerock. The experience you describe here reminds me of "Always coming back home to you" but a little bit in reverse...

Sorry that happened... I want to become capable of helping that happen less, I hope it ended well somehow.
unhinged fracking; i mean you have to be fracking kidding me. i really think that, thanks to the dnc, ohio has a chance of being the pivotal state that puts trump in the white house. first nafta, then fracking, if the rest of the country thinks ohio is voting for shillary...guess again. i watched the clintons destroy my hometown and i know how stupid most of middle america is. get ready, ohio, pennsylvania, wisconsin, michigan will all gear up to make america hate again. 160720
unhinged the new minority - justin gest

a sociologist embeds himself in youngstown and tries to figure out the zeitgeist of the constituency that elected jim trafficant and why they turned to trump. he almost got there when he spent a small amount of time discussing the mob and the corruption in politics caused by the mob. but he may not have embedded deep enough to get all the way to the bottom of that.

i lived there when trafficant was kicked out of congress for bribery (his bad toupee was a precedent for trump) and thrown in prison. like any gang, getting locked up is a badge of honor. the kooky ass shit that guy spewed on the floors of congress was a point of pride in the city. gest didn't understand why; i think the reason why most people from the mahoning valley loved it was because it kept us in the news. it meant we were on the radar. any press is good press. trafficant was a social media train wreck before any of us even knew what that was.

(my dad had a hidden interest in mobsters because the suburb of cleveland he grew up in was run by a self proclaimed mafioso. to the point that my dad wore a pinstriped suit to a job interview at the plastic warehouse and didn't confirm or deny the interviewer's question about him being part of the mob in town. he kept an eye on youngstown because more often than not she was in the news in cleveland for moral support. the whole cleveland area could breathe a sigh of relief 'at least we aren't THAT bad' i.e. when year after year youngstown made it onto the top ten murder per capita in the country list. i was talking to him on the phone one day 'your buddy trafficant just got out of jail and triple a baseball team in niles had a jimmy trafficant bobblehead night to celebrate. there were people in the stands with 'welcome home jimmy' signs' like anyone that lived or had lived in the mahoning valley i could only laugh.)

the dorm i lived in for four years was named after one of the biggest mobsters in town. i lived there for free on a completely full scholarship, that no doubt was in part funded by the same mobster. so big in fact, that this embedded sociologist even sited the family name when talking about the mob's influence over politics in the town. these things aren't hidden in youngstown. if you know the cafaros you let everyone else know you know them. in a small town that consistently makes it onto that list of highest murders per capita (or at least it did back in the 80s and 90s...the mass exodus from the mahoning valley since i lived there might have skewed the statistics) in the country doesn't get that distinction without the mob.

but the most enduring symbol of that town in my mind was when we would drive up the main street that cut through downtown out towards one of those suburbs, austintown, boardman, my memory all these years later is hazy, was it market street? the sign for the steel mill that had closed thirty years before was still there to direct you. no graffiti to cover it up, still readable, with an arrow pointing you in the right direction, just in case you didn't know where it was. there was a good chance when i was driving past that sign in my friends car i was either smoking a bowl in the car since i had nowhere else to smoke, or we were driving out to the suburbs to hang out with our friends that were heroin and coke addicts. everywhere i turned there was desperate clinging. clinging to the past, clinging to each other. clinging to any comfort, small or toxic. letting the 18 year olds into the bars to binge drink (hey, the mob just paid off the cops to turn the other cheek). public displays of out of control fuckupedness, real rock music with crowds so intense the floor shook because we were all caged animals in an abandoned zoo waiting for the rescue squad.

so mr gest, in a corrupt union town where all the politicians are democrats, but all the politicians are mobsters that sell the rest of the town down the river to line their own pockets, and like the rest of the neoliberal assholes, they throw the poor and the desperate just enough crumbs to keep hoping, after decades of this shit, yes, there were plenty of white working class people in youngstown that supported trump. your conclusions didn't surprise me. but just like everyone else that has ever done time in youngstown, i had some sick pride at the fact that you cared enough to ask what has become of us, what got us to the sad pathetic point we all found ourselves in, why most of us got up and left.
The maggots in the iron lung с дачи вдоль смеха волга Джилл Стайн 170317
dafremen Yay! Someone noticed us! We are the abused and neglected wife who gets to make tea for company. Beats living in Hell unseen. 170318
unhinged not quite. i know that everyone that doesn't agree with you is tagged as petulant and childish but youngstown actually held for hillary. but it took the mob to make sure she got a scant 52% of the union vote because the democrats have sold that town down the river for decades. in an area that has had a heroin epidemic for twenty years so many chose trump because they didn't want to vote for the corrupt democrat whose party was pushing another free trade deal. in my own nerdy way i felt pride that a sociologist bothered to give a shit. you don't need to be a snipey asshole 170319
unhinged the_noose

im more than just a little curious how you're going to go about making your amends to the dead
'i was born in a city called youngstown ohio....i have seen therefore very clearly what capitalism is capable of and i have tried to explain basically that america can and should do better than capitalism' - richard wolff
LoversLament How odd that I decided to come to look at Blather tonight. Odder still to see Ytown pop up. But oddest yet the person I find blathing about it. 171204
unhinged part of my heart will always be with you and youngstown

a lot of who i am right now
was formed
in that place
in those yesterdays
unhinged something about this poem felt like you, like you and me together



Because a burning sword notches both of my doorposts
because I am standing between
my burned hands in the ashprint of two different houses
midnight finds weave a filigree of disorder
I figure in the dreams of people
who do not even know me
the night is a blister of stars
pierced by nightmares of a telephone ringing
my hand is the receiver
threatening as an uncaged motor
seductive as the pain of voiceless mornings
voiceless kitchens I remember
cornflakes shrieking like banshees in my throat
while I battle the shapes of you
wearing old ghosts of me
hating you for being
black and not woman
hating you for being white
and not me
in this carnival of memories
I name you both the laying down of power
the separation I cannot yet make
after all these years of blood
my eyes are glued
like fury to the keyholes
of yesterday
where I wander
solitary as a hunting cheetah
at play with legends call disaster
due all women who refuse to wait
in vain:

In a new room
I enter old places bearing your shape
trapped behind the sharp smell of your anger
to my voice
behind tempting invitations
to believe
tipped like a pudding under glass
and I hear the high pitch of your_voice
crawling out from my hearts
deepest culverts
compromise is a coffin nail
rust as seaweed
tiding through an august house
where nobody lives
beyond choice
my pathways are strewn with old discontents
outgrown defenses still sturdy as firebrick
unlovely and dangerous as measles
they wither into uselessness
but do not decay.

Because I do not wish
to remember
but love to caress the deepest bone
of me
begging she's that wax and wane like moonfire
to absolve me at any price
I battle old ghosts of you
wearing shapes of me
surrounded by black
and white faces
saying no over and over
becoming my mother draped in my fathers
bastard ambition
growing dark secrets
out from between her thighs
and night comes into me like a fever
my hands grip a flaming sword that screams
while an arrogant woman masquerading as a fish
plunges it deeper and deeper
into the heart we both share
like beggars
on this moment of time
where space ships land
I have died too many deaths
that were not mine.

- audre lorde
unhinged she asked me to have a drink with her after work yesterday. in recent months she has become a confidante. she has had a hard life, she is bipolar...she reminds me of my life before everything got hard. i can tell her things i usually keep to myself.

yesterday she looked at me, appraising, 'you hide things.'

yes i do

some things need to be buried

(but i can't erase them
even though


have i tried)

seeds that were planted in this place are still sprouting bitter fruits. sometimes my nostalgia_stomach still turns over. i hope you fuckers are well, even still. still, i have to remind myself to breathe deep.
unhinged 'today, most of the factories in both cities (youngstown and akron) have closed, and most of the manufacturing jobs have disappeared. instead of 24,000 factory workers as in 1960, only 2800 live in youngstown today. but the number of married couples raising children has dropped even faster. less than a quarter of the households in youngstown are married couples - a bit more in akron - and only a quarter of THEM, or less than five percent of all households, have children in the home. from 21,000 married couples with children in 1960, there are only 1000 today. more than two out of every five households in both cities is a single person living alone. even though youngstown has half as many households today than it did in 1960, it has the same number of single people as it did then.' - allan mallach 180815
unhinged mission statement of the youngstown neighborhood development corporation (yndc):

'to transform neighborhoods into meaningful places where people invest time, money, and energy into their homes and neighborhoods; where neighbors have the capacity to manage day-to-day issues; and where neighbors feel confident about the future of their neighborhood.'

founded in 2009 (cause by then the amount of abandoned houses was surely unmanageable)

thank you presley gillespie
thank you ian benison

(i still care about this place and the people that kept me alive through one of the roughest periods of my life)
unhinged beniston....damn autocorrect 180816
what's it to you?
who go