Don’t Buy the Dream It Shouldn’t Be for Sale

I don’t trust anybody who’s running a business
Cause they’re looking to make a profit offa me
And when we’re talking profit
We’re talking money
And when we’re talking money
We’re talking greed
And when we’re talking greed
We’re talking unscrupulous
And when we’re talking unscrupulous
We’re talking system
And when we’re talking system
We’re talking power
And when we’re talking power
We’re talking usurping
And when we’re talking usurping
We’re talking strategy
And when we’re talking strategy
We’re talking deception
And when we’re talking deception
We’re talking advertising
And when we’re talking advertising
We’re talking mind control
And when we’re talking mind control
We’re talking dirty pool
And when we’re talking dirty pool
I take my money off the table
and I walk

Everything Serves a Purpose

A cup of black coffee
provided the first rush of the day,
at the shiny, red counter
of the W.T. Grant five and ten cent store,
where the natural, wood slat floors
were dark and greasy
and the counter girls
all wore pink hair nets,
as they cheerfully
refilled my coffee cup
without my ever having to ask.

Bible passages were scotch taped
to the back of every cash register.
“Every hot dog sold an opportunity
to save a soul,” I thought to myself,
as I spun a rack of tourist postcards.
There must have been fifty faded copies
of a cornfield at sunset, with a message,
Greeetings from Iowa,
handwritten across the front.
I bought three for a quarter,
but didn’t send them to anybody.

It was high noon, and the sun
was closing in on the portly farmers
who mopped their brows with blue bandannas,
as they drove their tractors down the middle
of the narrow Main Street.
I watched this lazy action from the corner bar,
where I drank twenty-five cent mugs
of beers with the locals.
The Oasis Bar was considered a den of sin,
in this Bible soaked town.
One year, the church tried to close down the bar,
but the violent outcry from the boozehound citizenry
prevented this assault on their civil liberties.
At least that’s how the story was told to me
by Jimmy the bartender, who figured,
“Hey, if it wasn’t for us sinners,
who the hell are these church folk
gonna pray for, anyway?
I guess everything serves a purpose under the heavens."

Mary Shanley is a poet/writer who lives in NYC. She has had two books published: Hobo Code Poems and Mott Street Stories and Las Vegas Stories. She reads new work online, as well as publishing online.

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