Jack Saturday

Monday, August 22, 2011

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom: 2 Poems

And They Obey

Carl Sandburg

Smash down the cities.
Knock the walls to pieces.
Break the factories and cathedrals, warehouses
and homes
Into loose piles of stone and lumber and black
burnt wood:
You are the soldiers and we command you.

Build up the cities.
Set up the walls again.
Put together once more the factories and cathedrals,
warehouses and homes
Into buildings for life and labor:
You are workmen and citizens all: We
command you.

Internal Exile

Richard Cecil

Although most people I know were condemned
years ago by Judge Necessity
to life in condos near a freeway exit
convenient to their twice-a-day commutes
through traffic jams to jobs that they dislike,
they didn't bury their heads in their hands
and cry, Oh no! when sentence was pronounced:
Instead, they mumbled, not bad. It could be worse,
when the bailiff, Fate, led them away
to Personnel to fill out payroll forms
and have their smiling ID photos snapped.
And that's what they still mumble every morning
just before their snooze alarms go off
when Fluffy nuzzles them out of their dreams
of making out with movie stars on beaches.
They rise at five a.m. and feed their cats
and drive to work and work and drive back home
and feed their cats and eat and fall asleep
while watching Evening News's fresh disasters-
blown-up bodies littering a desert
fought over for the last three thousand years,
and smashed-to-pieces million dollar houses
built on islands swept by hurricanes.
Its soothing to watch news about the places
where people are dying (literally) to live
when you live in a place with no attractions-
mountains, coastline, history-- like here,
where none aspire to live, though many do.
A great place to work, with no distractions
is how my interviewer first described it
nineteen years ago, when I was hired.
And, though he moved the day that he retired
to his dream house in the uplands with a vista,
he wasn't lying- working's better here
than some misplaced attempt at having fun.
Is that the way it is where you're stuck too?


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