Magazine article Monthly Review

Ballade of the Poverties

Magazine article Monthly Review

Ballade of the Poverties

Article excerpt

There's the poverty of the cockroach kingdom and the rusted toilet bowl

The poverty of to steal food for the first time

The poverty of to mouth a penis for a paycheck

The poverty of sweet charity ladling

Soup for the poor who must always be there for that

There's the poverty of theory poverty of the swollen belly shamed

Poverty of the diploma mill the ballot that goes nowhere

Princes of prédation let me tell you

There are poverties and there are poverties

There's the poverty of cheap luggage bursted open at immigration

The poverty of the turned head, the averted eyes

The poverty of bored sex of tormented sex

The poverty of the bounced check the poverty of the dumpster dive

The poverty of the pawned horn the poverty of the smashed reading glasses

The poverty pushing the sheeted gurney the poverty cleaning up the puke

The poverty of the pavement artist the poverty passed-out on pavement

Princes of finance you who have not lain there

There are poverties and there are poverties

There is the poverty of hand-to-mouth and door-to-door

And the poverty of stories patched-up to sell there

There's the poverty of the child thumbing the Interstate

And the poverty of the bride enlisting for war

There's the poverty of prescriptions who can afford

And the poverty of how would you ever end it

There is the poverty of stones fisted in pocket

And the poverty of the village bulldozed to rubble

Princes of weaponry who have not ever tasted war

There are poverties and there are poverties

There's the poverty of wages wired for the funeral you

Can't get to the poverty of the salary cut

There's the poverty of human labor offered silently on the curb

The poverty of the no-contact prison visit

There's the poverty of yard sale scrapings spread

And rejected the poverty of eviction, wedding bed out on street

Prince let me tell you who will never learn through words

There are poverties and there are poverties

You who travel by private jet like a housefly

Buzzing with the other flies of plundered poverties

Princes and courtiers who will never learn through words

Here's a mirror you can look into: take it: it's yours. …

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