Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One Shot: Help me! I'm melting!

i'd give you my two cents
but the gov'ment would tax it
so a penny for your thoughts
on this out of control racket

slavery is poor existence but
we do it at 18 plus percent
interest in our insistence in
owning stuff, we stuff collectors

ferreting away stuff in corners
and closets promising we'll
use it til we run out of space
to stuff stuff and need a
place, much bigger, which we
promptly insulate with more
shiny flashy new stuff stuffing
at easy monthly payments---

that three generations from
now will still be paying for,
all because some one once
told us that's the way you do it,
legacy-ing our children as
indentured servants---

i mean who can live without
a can opener pocket knife
GPS HDTV converting
vegetable juicer---act
now and get 25 fabulous
ginsu serated edged recipe
cards but only if you are
the first one hundred callers---

and we laugh, laugh cause we
would never be so dumb
as to buy something like
that but its really the small
stuff that adds up, but don't
sweat it---

BEWARE

street corner prophets peddling
plastic life sentences, little
hits until payday, feed the habit,
life waylayed, dreams left in
lay away---

it makes no sense, no cents,
innocence squandered, my
thoughts are geodes cracked
open, inverted, prickly on
fingers and played with by
children---

break free, break free chil'
while you still can
hear the jangling chains
in the massa's hand
run away, run away
you still can...

One Shot Poetry - an experiment in seeing how much poetry we can link on one page...smiles. Write a poem, come join the poetic revolution. Kicks off tonight at 5 PM EST.

116 comments:

Alan Burnett said...

Wasn't it Marx that used to refer to wage-slavery? You wicked Marxist you.

lori said...

"street corner prophets peddling plastic life sentences..."

Gotta love it :)

Maybe I'll be brave enough to give it a try tonight. We'll see.

Steve E said...

Gosh...I thought Alan Burnett meant HARPO--grin!

Your brain ("BRIAN-BRAIN) will one day be the subject of scholarly scrutiny, examination and possibly enthroned(!)) in a famous museum.

Mine is Already in wax.

Brian--amazing thinker, philosopher, writer...and other stuff.
Thank you, Sir!

happygirl said...

legacy-ing our children as
indentured servants---

to China.

*I just love my new iPhone* ;-)

Captain Dumbass said...

Praise be!

Mighty M said...

Thanks for reminding me to order that GPS HD Juicer. Not. :)

Brian Miller said...

debt is the new/old slavery...payday loans target low income areas, pinning them to location...look at the recent 'recession' and those tht carried a debt load into it... just some scribbled thoughts...

lori, you should...

Sue said...

I agree with the message wholeheartedly, but that's not the crux of why this poem appeals to me.

The sheer genius is what pulls me in.

=)

Kim A. said...

::heading out to clean out closet:: A very motivating post today. So much for my nap. :-d

♥namaste♥

CM said...

So true. The flow makes me wonder...did you write this in one sitting? Great form.

Brian, I saw your comment. I totally agree. I believe that those of us who were fooled into the "buy bigger, buy as much house, car, land you can afford" propaganda are now stuck, trapped in a house, car, land that you can't sell. Some have tied the housing boom to unemployment, because people can't move and find jobs elsewhere. They have a mortgage and can't sell. Maybe home ownership isn't the great investment that all the banks and loan officers have convinced us that it is. Just food for thought.

BLOGitse said...

Far too many people around the globe have trapped themselves with huge debts with more than one credit card...The most expensive money.

Stranger said...

best stanza:
"street corner prophets peddling
plastic life sentences, little
hits until payday, feed the habit,
life waylayed, dreams left in
lay away---"

Ah, so true.

Cinner said...

Wow Brian, amazing and so true, slavery for sure, how easily some of us are led astray time and again.very well written, you are the master.

Claudia said...

..this is indeed an out of control racket..and your fast paced lines meet the whole madness in this weird game..but honestly, someone swiss can't live without a pocket knife...Victorinox of cause..smiles

Daniel said...

This was ginsu-riffic my man. I shall beat my bongo as you recite it again brother!

Claudia said...

...meant rocket of course..not racket..ts..ts..

drybottomgirl said...

Be content with what you have, it's a hard thing to do...excellent write my friend...

repressedsoul said...

Hot collar, penny pinching credit. I'm a tech geek, but I would never endanger the financial flow for an ipod lmao. Good on you Brian, love the poem x

Tara Miller said...

Oh, so true...the small stuff does add up. Good stuff to think about here. I like the fast paced read.

Valerie said...

Gone are the days when we saved, saved, saved for what we wanted. Yes, people here were fooled....
but not me... no loans, no repayments.

Caty said...

it is definitely a day of "plastic life sentences". Great thoughts, Brian.

KB said...

This really hits home. I love the way you knda ramble on but it makes perfect sense.

Jannie Funster said...

But I want 26 ginsu edged recipe cards. Twenty-SIX, I tell you!!

:)

xo

anthonynorth said...

I feel exactly the same. nicely done.

Joybird said...

It took me 6 years to pay off credit card debt equal to my annual income. I know this slaver and am very wary. He still owns a small piece. But not the whole.

Marian said...

ugh, this makes me a bit sick to my stomach. but on a lighter note, also reminds me of that steve goodman song "vegematic" and that's a lovely association. good one, brian.

Friko said...

Let's all stop CONSUMING,
Let's get back to BEING.

Diana Lee said...

Who cannot relate to this? A wonderful message and I think we'd all be surprised by what we can live without.

Myrna R. said...

Thoughts are jamming up in my brain so that I can't express anything, but I'll try.

What a wonderful manner of calling for a revolution. Freedom Now! I wish we could all be debt-free, unchained from the lies we are told.

Great writing as always.

L.L. Barkat said...

I liked the penny being taxed. :) Or, I guess, the cents (the sense? :)

kenny said...

enjoyed this, especially the first stanza.

Asobime said...

I lost my comment! Ok, this resonates deeply with me and a whole bunch of others I know.

Our rampant consumerism is out of control~!

Last week, funny enough, I got an email from Duane Elgin...the author of "Voluntary Simplicity". I need to reread that seminal work.

Good Oneshot, Brian. Timely and deep.

Lady Nyo

David Allen Waters said...

amen brotha...preach :)

Carys said...

I am never disappointed when I come to your page Brian. It's always edgy and sharp and so very well observed and this is no exception. Terrific poem, great message.

Old Ollie said...

Ain't this the truth!

Heather said...

this is so true....i have been on a mission lately... less buying more enjoying what i have...most of us have more than we need anyway...why pile up the debt? I love this brian, good one! xo

Beachanny said...

Oh Lord do I identify. Will I ever break free of those dark depression memories of parents and grandparents.
And those treasures - each one greeted with moist eyed gratitude, cared for and cultivated to be given to my children and grandchildren who don't like the look of them and consider them even as I dust and polish them, something to be boxed for Goodwill and Salvation Army. Lord, lord where's the one who will understand? Thanks for this Brian.

Thoughts Not Lost said...

A lot to think about in this poem. Wow. Well written and compelling!

Magpie said...

We are working very hard at being debt free and are very close to our goal. Now I need to pass that trait on to my children and try to break the chains. Not that our actual money is worth very much anymore.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh, those Ginsu knives! And the Popiel pocket fisherman...

Joann said...

The truth told with humor, Brian.
Somebody stop me! Making room for the new stuff. Cheers!

flaubert said...

Brian, oh, the woe of the consumers' needs.
Well said, it pulled me right along.

Pamela

Natasha said...

I am truly at a point in my life where I would love to see it all burn. Take it all please because I lost myself somewhere in this pile of mass materialism. I see it in my daughter and am so ashamed...Are those my values staring back at me, straight in the eye? Wow...might have hit a nerve with this one! lol Great write...off now to ponder the delusion I've been living in :)

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Topical for this time of year.
You always have your way with the words. -j

hedgewitch said...

You don't own it, it owns you...I think thoreau or buddha or somebody said that.That's not my trap, but it's a deadly one indeed.

"...my
thoughts are geodes cracked
open, inverted..." <-this line would be great in any poem, but worked especially well here. Love your work, brian.

She Writes said...

I own almost nothing. i swear. i gave almost everything away. Plastic not useful on my limited income and space. Best thing I ever did.

woih said...

that was really intense man. awesome write. Someting that long and it didn't get boring, awesome.

marousia said...

Great writing - a long poem and I read it twice :)

Semaphore said...

Great social commentary, and wonderful linguistic gymnastics!

Carl said...

Fabulous journey! My mind traveling around the house to all of my junk while I read. This is good work!

Teresa said...

We certainly are slaves to our possessions. Great commentary.

Glynn said...

What you owe, owns you. What a nation owes, owns it. Perhaps we have already indentured our grandchildren.

Apryl Gonzales Sweet said...

wickedly turning a phrase, and the rhythm.... love it! Fave line : "thoughts are geodes cracked
open, inverted, prickly on
fingers and played with by
children---"

Shewriting said...

nice, brian...you are quickly becoming my favorite rapper ;) - awesome message delivered in a powerful, attention-grabber way here...

moondustwriter said...

Run away indeed! Any way to make that statement louder before the sellout???

excellent Bri you are on a roll - I can hear your heart being incensed by this stuff

Moonie

budh.aaah said...

Packing my life away nowadays in cartons I feel this..so God help me.

Celestial Dreamz said...

a writer and a philosopher aren't you? a great write and some unparalleled expressions ....

TALON said...

Oh, yes, we're all under somebody's thumb. Loved this, Brian.

signed...bkm said...

it is pretty bad ..taxes, taxes everywhere and only more in site...nice sounding off...bkm

forpuck said...

Very nice..

jen revved said...

think you hit the jackpot w/ this one-- look at all who can relate-- "...makes no sense, no cents,
innocence squandered, my
thoughts are geodes cracked
open, inverted, prickly on
fingers and played with by
children---" e...xxxj

Zuzana said...

This comes across as poetic rap.;)
Yes, the modern world is all about spending and using and being in debt.
As of lately I have been feeling that I want to get rid of all my possessions and live a simple life.;)
Always a joy to visit here dear Brian,
xoxo

Shadow said...

slaves to credit (and stuff as you so pertinently put it)

River said...

Great write! Great Work! I loved this line... "street corner prophets peddling plastic life sentences..."

natalee said...

Um yeah.. i collect more stuff then most.. (shhhhhhh don't tell hubby I bought a pair of shoes..lol) hence I will clean my closet this weekend..promise!!

PS did you see that darth vader commercial?? so geared for boy starwars lovin families..lol

TechnoBabe said...

Pointing out we are slaves to our fancies and addictions. Adding more debt upon debt is the American way.
It had to all fall down eventually and guess who it fell upon in our society? Wasn't it a pity to see the check cashing places popping up all over every few blocks like 7-11s used to be? My favorite line in this great post is "dreams left in layaway".

booguloo said...

Ron Popeil turned over in his grave and is trying to find a way to market the news..

Shashi said...

Dear Brian

I enjoyed reading this one very much... and I agree to it to an extent...

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya
http://shadowdancingwithmind.blogspot.com/2011/02/whispers-another-kind-of-valentines-day.html

the walking man said...

Just heard on Public Radio yesterday credit debt is on the rise again after two years of Americans paying it down. Stupid is as stupid does.

Judy Roney said...

Wow, this is masterful (pun intended). The first one had me laughing but knowing the sad truth of it all. The second one was a shock and a drop and another thought and ..wow! Great work.

LauraX said...

as I read this Brian all I could think about was my husband as he works for a Borg-like corporation...who essentially owns his time...all the time...but if he left we wouldn't have the health insurance the rest of us need...even though the stress of his job is subtly, slowly killing him. It's about more than just the stuff we collect...and it is all so very heartbreaking.

izzy said...

What are we chained to, indeed ! I hate the idea of someone else in my family
having to make sure my debts are paid off. Then they will have to sort through
and dispose of all junk...Great reminder
and nicely done.

Lorraine said...

problem is Human beings need Beauty and what constitutes that is well unique to everyone, so The money guys ensure that everyone's truest desire is the most expansive of all...I guess if we stop purchasing anything everything, some one would have to reduce...but alas, majorities are not ready to let go, all this to say Love this Brian

blueoran said...

A think a person's politics is massively affected by whether they have children -- at least, one thinks of the consequences of the present far deeper and further down the road. Parent's job. Great poem. -- Brendan

annell said...

That's a very good write! You said "it" well!

Tess Kincaid said...

Yeah, it's that small stuff that adds up so quickly.

ModernMom said...

Oh you summed it up so perfectly!

Lori said...

You hit it right on the nail...so much truth to your words Brian and you expressed them quite well in this post. Happy hump day!

Chris G. said...

Run away while you can...

Sound advice. And I adore:
BEWARE / street corner prophets peddling / plastic life sentences, little / hits until payday, feed the habit, / life waylayed, dreams left in / lay away---

It's not a quick death to give in, but a slow one, a long life sentence condemned to mind-numbing life...powerful stuff. A piece that really speaks to the consumerist-minded culture of today, and the absolute monotony of this mad little world...and you know you're doing something right when the first comment is someone calling you a marxist...haha. Seriously, though, nice work.

Kim Nelson said...

Love this. You've captured the essence of our material ways. Think the tide is shifting, the times are a-changing?

azfree said...

I can see it now. The next huge Reality TV Show: Stuff Stuffers.

D.C. Lutz said...

This is awesome!
Love the turn in the middle, the quick judgment we lay as we watch those commercials on our financed big screens, weilding our plastic pocketknives of financial freedom, slowly but surely selling ourselves into slavery.
So true and so skillfully written
Wonderful One Shot Brian!

trisha said...

well brian you perfectly painted our shopaholic generation.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hello Brian,

You have not written a poem.You have written a new economic theory to redeem people from doom and disaster.

If people will heed to your advice they will be saved.

Accumulating unwanted things in the house because of the easy availability of loan is a foolish thing to do.Yet the fact is that the modern generation uses the loan facility to the hilt and then struggling later to settle the debt.These poor debtors become worried,anxious,fearful,lose happiness and cheer and the debt haunts them like a ghost.

You have propounded a wonderful economic theory to save world.

Best wishes,
Joseph

mama-face said...

Love the two cents being taxed (Well, in the poem I do, not in real life.)

You are a beautiful geode.

R. Burnett Baker said...

Love this, Love this, Love this!! Being in retail, I appreciate this bit of writing more than you imagine!

And, I've heard all kinds of "stuff requests". The latest this week: "Do you carry remote control candles?"

I mean, really!

Rick

fromtheivorytowertothestreet said...

Ouch-- this hits a little to close to home. Love the plastic street peddlers, the cracked geode-- fresh, insistent imagery.

Ami Mattison said...

Wow, what a fantastic political rant! This one definitely needs to be performed! Snaps, brother!

Mona said...

This is so true. Our children will be paying for our plastic credit created bubbles. Indeed, the real expenditure is in the small stuff that ppl buy on impulse, just because they have a credit card. Result? Recession and Depression!

Shame on us. :(

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

I'm ordering one of them can opener pocket knife GPS HDTV converting vegetable juicers right now!

(Dials toll-free number) "All operators are busy at this time. Please stay on the line. Your call is very important to us."


A sober message cleverly concealed in a humerous wrapper, Brian!

Debbie said...

Excellent - but depressing!

Mama Zen said...

Wow, this is good!

Joanne said...

treet corner prophets peddling
plastic life sentences, little
hits until payday, feed the habit,
life waylayed, dreams left in
lay away---

Just like Stranger, I was caught by this stanza. "Plastic life sentences." So true. It is the joy and sadness the human talent with words, the connection because of it. That's the wealth.
Thanks, Brian!

randallweiss said...

It seems like such a hopeless situation.

Nice wordplay.

Nancy said...

Speaks volumes, doesn't it? A sign of the times.

Leslie said...

Ugh. So true... now I need to go clean out my closets : )

But seriously, this is a really good declaration of independence.

Heather said...

"it makes no sense, no cents,"

I love word plays like that. well done Brian.

Mom said...

So much wisdom in this poem,son. Have recently been reading a book that made me ponder materialism...too much stuff...where did it all start? Know I contributed to encouraging you to get "stuff". There are so many more important things in life.

Maha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maha said...

It is my favorite post by you. Full of life. meaning, and a tricky word-play. It seems to me that the more material we gain, the more we lose our souls into it. And material, it just bereaves us of all that is sacred and leaves us as cheap as it is. Ads can certainly be a joke, a painful one that is more likely to evoke tears on how deteriorated we are seen by the fat cats, instead of humans, we are "consumers"

Kavita said...

Whheeww!! A strong message here, Brian!
"legacy-ing our children as
indentured servants---" -- alas, this is all too true, and we know it for a fact...and yet, we seem to conveniently turn a blind eye to it.. (sigh)

If wishes were horse, I would ride mine with this poem as the reins!

An eye-opening read, my friend! Thanks for this one...

Sophia said...

"street corner prophets peddling plastic life sentences" --- one of many great lines in this piece.


Gets the mind to really turnin'!

mairmusic said...

It's always the plots of your poems that amaze me. the act of donning a persona and writing from it. Nice jobs w/ these two.

ACEBiggaveli said...

wow this is the best writing i read all day

Rachel Hoyt said...

I loved this! Such a great message. Stuff isn't worth going into debt for.

Don't Want A Real Job said...

I love the flow as well as the content. Great work!

the redhead said...

Love the sounds & rhythms, particularly in

"street corner prophets peddling
plastic life sentences, little
hits until payday, feed the habit,
life waylayed, dreams left in
lay away---"

Margaret said...

What a great read and so true. And do you know I just cleaned out my closets and they are staying "sparse". Or at least that is what I told myself. I haven't hit the aisles of TJMaxx yet... I'm sure your words will be going around in my head and helping me resist temptation. My husband thanks you!

Just Be Real said...

Brian so very true.

gautami tripathy said...

Loved it!

ransom

secret agent woman said...

Funny, I'm on a major decluttering/simplifying kick myself.

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
As soon as I started to read your poetic revolution poem...One word came to my mind...truth.

Brian said,"which we
promptly insulate with more
shiny flashy new stuff stuffing
at easy monthly payments..."

LOL!!!!


Thanks, for sharing!
DeeDee ;-D

PattiKen said...

You can run, but you can't hide. The stuff will track you down and find you and seep into all the corners and fill every available space. Like the Blob.

Goofball said...

in dutch consume is = consumeer(but meer = more) . So there's people telling us that we should consuminderen (consuless)

Syd said...

Sad state that the future generations will pay for. We have made a mess and digging ourselves deeper.

Marla said...

Last night I told Bob I thought there was something wrong with us living in a big house with empty rooms when there are people sleeping on the streets.

We don't need "stuff" unless it's meant to be shared or given to others.

Amen on your poem. Keep writing little brother. Keep writing.