The Grievous Math, The Revised Definitions, And The Continuing Adventures Of Economic Reform
Employees sent on their way
with handshakes atremble
seared by the wobbly seal of the bad deal.
Use the words “Health Care”
in a blank verse poem
and mark your stresses.
Bootstraps barked all night
chained and abandoned in the neighbor’s yard
till you had to go out and shoot them.
You felt bad. Your children grimaced
their crooked teeth
like bad cartoons from the fifties.
Chickens have learned to fly
and are taking over airports.
They have stopped giving out peanuts.
The first crash site became a shrine to real estate greed.
The second became an ATM distributing
religious pamphlets. The third sold Chinese ice cream.
Compromise was laughed at for its tall hat.
The Harumphers danced till midnight
then strangled the clock and shred the videotapes.
They color-coded FOR SALE signs.
AS IS became the AKA for CABLE READY.
The banks hired elves to construct smiley face dollars.
The grandfather rolling over in his grave bumped the father
rolling over in his grave. The son sold his blood for scrap
and wrote one last bad check before he began digging.
“Honey, I’m home,” the True Believer said. He took off
his hat. He took off his clothes, He bent over and waited
for the gloved hand, but the gloved hand was counting money
in the sterile room.
Wordplay was admired, along with the skillful use
of silence. They hung out at the Above All That Club
and sighed, then transcribed their sighs.
Our Hero was arrested on suspicion of providing free steroids
that promoted honesty and compassion. The drug companies
exported him to Canada, where he continues to live quietly.
Big Oil and Big Money had a child
and that child was so spoiled
he never got potty trained. Those giant diapers
only soak up so much. Storks
drop bundles of shit on the rest of us.
If rage does not become us, can we become rage?
It’s like everybody’s on the same quiz show
and even the cheaters are losing, but then the sponsors
give the cheaters consolation prizes for getting caught
that far exceed the price of admission
In a few years, we’ll all look back on this
and still want to vomit. Today we stand
with our fingers down each other’s throats
imagining we’re all in this together.
How’s the fairy tale end again? The Big Bad Wolf
huffed and puffed, I remember that part,
but did he throw that big party before or after
he ate granny? The pig with the brick house—
what kind of mortgage did he have? Fairy dust
and a glass slipper, an apple that puts
us to sleep for all our good behavior
The porridge is cold.
I got that part right, didn’t I?