Three Poems

Headline: Lawmaker Destroys Shopping Carts

Marge Piercy

 

The homeless make him angry.

They’re in the way.  He doesn’t

find them scenic.  How dare they

survive on the street, in parks,

in alleys, doorways and beaches.

 

Making life even more difficult

for those at the end of choices

is his answer to their problems.

Euthanasia would likely please

him.  Has he never lost a job?

 

Run out of money?  Been robbed

or beaten?  Never been hungrier

than a good steak fixed? He can’t

understand how people scrape,

pick trash to survive, pushing

 

all that remains of their past

in a shopping cart. Their lives

aren’t hard enough, he thinks,

planning how to vanish them

taking the little they have left.

 

Junk Dream

Marc D. Goldfinger

 

The dope calling to me again, junk sick, dirty

money clutched tightly in my sweaty palm, I find

myself in the subterranean apartment of the Troll.

The shelves that lined the stone walls were filled

with bottles of blood, a name on every bottle.  The

Troll takes a bottle down as I walk in and I ask

what is up with this.  He answers,

 

“This shipment of heroin came in mixed

with the blood of dead junkies; nothing

gets wasted except for our lives.”

 

I hesitate as he fills an eye

dropper with blood and hands

it my way.  Ask if they used

the blood of junkies who had died with AIDS.

 

“Of course,” said the Troll, “but it’s

only the blood of junkies who died

of overdose; we mixed it with lemon dope

but no lemon juice is necessary.  The acidity

 

of the blood boosts the high.”  The sickness

fed my urgency and I watch as the blood

from the dropper disappears

into a metal spike plugged into my vein,

wait for the rush, watch my name

appear on one of the bottles as the Troll

moves his old wooden wheelchair

to the next customer, eyes yellow

with desire, who walks in the door.

 

“You’re gonna like this,” is the last thing

I hear him say.

 

The Many Faces Of Terrorism

Rich Quatrone

 

Let’s start with a passage from “Outrage Builds

After Collapse in Bangladesh,” the front page

article in today’s New York Times:

 

“Even in a situation of grave threat, when they

saw cracks in the walls, the factory managers

thought it was too risky not to work because of

pressure on them from U.S. and European

retailers to deliver goods on time,” said Dara

O’Rourke, an expert on workplace monitoring

at the University of California, Berkeley.  He

added that the prices Western companies pay

“are so low that they are at the root of why these

factories are cutting corners on fire safety and

building safety.”

 

So, 250 people die.  Most of them extremely poor

women, many of them very young.  We’d call

them children in this country.

 

Will there be memorials here in America for

this all-too-common tragedy?  No?  Why not?

Because these human beings lived ten thousand

miles away?

 

Are we not a human family? And if we say no,

then shouldn’t we close the churches, synagogues,

and mosques here in the states right now and be

completely honest with ourselves about what our

bottom line values are?

 

And, finally, should we not expand our definition

of terrorism?

 

 

 

 

 

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