amtrak, business class


riding dead-eyed in an alcoholic glaze to Connecticut,
hours to, hours fro, twenty days a month
(happy that man who rises and walks to his work!)
look at the juggernaut of three-piece suits,
the power ties, the snapping suspenders!
they imagine they own the world
as they ascend into their termite towers
in a manhattan cleared now of the inconvenient poor


the deal, the merger, the acquisition,
(the quick transfer of soaring or falling stock
in secret amid the wheeling and dealing
    for a little personal profit) –
all this produces nothing, not one apple,
    not one steel bolt nor fatting hog,
nothing whatever produced by their labor,
yet richer they grow, richer than
   the gloating emperors of byzantium


tycoon atop his tower of glass, perched
at the peak of world dominion,
has never heard “no” from his employees –
he’s driven everywhere, has but to nod
for a free lunch in the best-appointed spots.
he could not count his possessions,
and his so cleverly taxed that his worth
increases with every filing, oh wonderful,
this thing called oligodemocracy.


imagine his mute astonishment
as he reads in the morning news
that two of his dummy corporations
have hostile-merged him to nullity.
call button pressed, he waits,
but no one comes. his coffee cup,
empty, may show its bottom
for the first time ever. his broker
is theirs now, his law firm, theirs too.
which one of those many women
is his wife now? is one of the others
involved in this distressing affair.


he sighs. there is always the offshore fund,
the stock in those armaments and diamond mines.
there’s nothing left for him now
except to run for The White House.
run, as in, run for the office. it’s his turn, anyway.
in time he could be president of everything:
the justice department, the military (left hand
selling the right hand weapons to use and replace).
it seems only fair: with the mess they’ve made,
they should beg him to make everything right again.

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