UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY

MICHAEL SHORB

CLASS WARFARE

Iím calling the mediaís
bluff. Letís have it.
Bring it on.
Wring those richies
like a bell.

I put out my grievances
in a formal declaration
just for a touch of class.
For starters, the other sideís
been blasting away for some time,
I got American cities
look like Nazi Berlin after the war,
a job market resembling a lottery,
an infrastructure rating of D,
a trade imbalance big enough
to drive a Japanese truck through.
Iíve been optimized, outsourced,
downsized, downgraded,
I got a safety net in shreds,
Iím taking artillery hits
to the Maginot Line of
my Social Security system,
Iím drowning in debt and
sleeping with the fishes anyway,
and meanwhile, the 1 percent,
owners of more than half
of everything, live in their own
private Gilded Age, get welfare
when their schemes collapse,
then seven figure bonuses,
then drive away in their
Lamborghinis while the rest of us
struggle on the wet pavement,
marching to take our place
in a new, improved
Darwinian America.


2012 PLATFORM

I urge you, my fellow
Americans, to join me
in implacable hatred
of my opponent, whom
I will henceforth identify
not only as the enemy
of liberty, not only as
the man who wants to swamp
your grandchildren in debt,
who yearns, in his obvious
antipathy toward wealth and power,
to kill the very seed of what
makes this country supreme,
both in its foreign policy
and in its courts.

It may be necessary to
postpone your retirement
several years out and
funnel greater amounts of your
tax dollars into military
super systems and subsidies
for wealthy corporate entities,
this, we knew you wouldnít mind,
in concert with vital slashes to the bloated,
so-called Ďsafety netí ensures
that good moneyís not wasted
on education and the arts,
also serving to keep our blue collar
classes lean and fit for a growing
array of service sector jobs,
as well as the obvious possibilities
of military service.

So vote for us, the right party, weíve got the juice,
the edge, lightning in a bottle, and just
between us, we canít possibly lose.


NOW THE STORY CAN BE TOLD

In late developments,
Venezuelan leader
Hugo Chavez reveals:

CAPITALISM brought about
the end of life on Mars.

Turns out those long canals
mark the remains
of a giant amusement park,
the bank that owned
the developer
too big to fail
long ago in
a better solar system.

This confirms mounting suspicions,
chances for our planetary host
dim in both instances,
what in hell will
look at remains we leave behind,
wondering aloud
what bumbler from a distant system
left the place in such a ruin?


Michael Shorb's work reflects an abiding interest in environmental issues, history, and the lyrical form, as well as a strong focus on material that reflects the dazzling horizons of the 'real world.' His poems have appeared in over 100 magazines and anthologies, including The Nation, The Sun, Michigan Quarterly Review, Queen's Quarterly, Poetry Salzburg Review, Commonweal, Rattle, Urthona, and European Judaism.







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