Monday, February 08, 2010

Field Report from San Diego

I woke up on the hard edge
of contemplation this morning with a thought.
I want to be a poet. . .
not a great one
like June Jordan or Alice Walker. . .
just an honest-to-goodness, California-born oracle,
scribbling the obvious and chronicling
this long, dark moment, which is like
driving through a tunnel
from the city, past the suburbs,
and emerging onto an old time road
where miles of sad, brown swirls of dusty
commercial farmland are stabbed in the middle
by aging, “For Lease” signs.
And the occasional, green swatch
sticking out
like a watermelon patch
with five thousand, striped green bellies
lying sunny-side up
makes me wonder whether midwifery is on the rise,
now that most hardworking people are hard pressed.

The People of California are broke.

Perhaps we should round up all the single mothers, disabled veterans,
street-people, and recently released inmates
and give them a 95,291 dollar salary
for pursuing the unsatisfying and clearly unsavory job
of telling the oil companies that

"There ain’t no free lunch."

Nor food stamps, nor children’s healthcare, nor homeless shelters.
No mental health services, no public assistance
for survivors of domestic violence, inequality, or predatory mortgage lending,
No Black Infant Mortality Program, and no, absolutely no, poetry for the people.

It’s like a goddamned, post-apocalyptic, third world country out here.

What’s it like where you are?

Posted with Stanchich, Zinn, and the State of the State/Union/World in mind.

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