Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One Shot: Eww! What did I step in?

this is not another poem
but a manifesto written
in red lipstick
on the morning after mirrors
of a nation that has forgotten
its identity in drunken debauchery
and the rush of get rich,

quick scams to join the
one percent, drawn on dry
erase boards for fast exits
slowly turning the tourniquet
cutting the flow of blood to
the innocent & amputating the
masses as gangrene populace

who then will you find to
cut your grass & wash your
Aston Martin at minimum
wage?

rage against the machine
that chews the bone to suck
the marrow of the weak, spewing
bullshit rhetoric in excess, exhaust
to choke the few trees left
that haven't been martyrs to the cause
of containing self-egrandizing
laws---

Tocqueville said,
"self-interest properly understood"
was our strength, but butchered
it has been, in two word
short attention
spans

so while you sup on
caviar and crackers at state
dinners kissing the ass of those
you have indebted us to, think of me
for once, as I often think of you
when cleaning off the bottom
of my shoe.

sorry if this hurts your feelings,
i am still just waiting for
change i can believe in.

One Shot Wednesday ~ the place to play poetically, so bust a rhyme, or not and come join the party. We get started at 5 pm EST. Special thanks to Paul C for the inspiration this week. 

Voting is now open for the Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere, go drop a vote here.

131 comments:

the walking man said...

Dude that is telling it like it is and is going to be. I get tired of having to scrape my shoe soles though. Currency can be more than ink and paper, so let us leave as much paper alone as we can and trade in amity and fellowship among us low class no class underclass. Let them rule their world and let them cut their own lawns, I'll be a tending my own fences just as I always have. What little is left to take...*shrug* have it. At least I know I have lived without chains for some portion of my life. I can sleep in the house of my ancestors comfortably with that thought and this poem to blanket me.

Maggie said...

That's the world we live in and some people can just get caught up in all of that it's easy to lose yourself these days.

rosaria said...

Man, you speak for the masses today, for those whose hunger shuts down their concentration, whose eyes are too bloody to see.

Sandi McBride said...

THIS ISN'T A POEM...are you sure? Poetic justice from a certain point of view. I've heard it all my life, the truth hurts...and right now most of us are hurting with the truth of the matter, our Nation is in serious trouble...SERIOUS TROUBLE!
Thanks for putting it into words that don't inflame, but burn with intensity!
Sandi

Sue said...

This is perfection:

"so while you sup on
caviar and crackers at state
dinners kissing the ass of those
you have indebted us to, think of me
for once, as I often think of you
when cleaning off the bottom
of my shoe."

And I, too, am still waiting for change I can believe in.

May I add that my expectations are low?

"/

PS. I wish this could be read to the Congress and the Senate. Seriously.

Nessa said...

Tell us how you really feel. :)

happygirl said...

I hope your weren't holding your breath. Somebody should have given a copy of the Clinton biography and reminded him, "It's the economy, stupid."

Bonnie said...

I understand the disappointment and anger with Obama. I just don't understand how it is so much more manifest than any anger with the cause of it all, Bush.

Beautifull written Brian.

Pat Hatt said...

Yes this one is so very true I don't even want to rhyme. It's pathetic how nothing is done, spit out all this crap, then the rich still stay rich and the rest get shit on.

Yes expectations shouldn't be high
As we all will likely die
Yet still nothing will change
Except maybe a slight rearrange
The day I kiss ass
With the so called high class
Is the day I shut my yap
So guess I'll never fall into that trap..lol

TALON said...

So much truth and it applies to so many nations.

Raven said...

Wow! Exquisite! And so true. You are amazing.

Rebecca S. said...

'change we can believe in...' We are in Federal election mode here in Canada. Here's hoping for good change, a government that cares about the arts, the environment, and is just a little more in touch with the struggling poor.
Cheers, and Happy Easter!

California Girl said...

May I re-post this to Women of a Certain Age?

Mom said...

You put into words the thoughts and ideas of so many of us...the working middle class who wanted to believe in Yes we can. We who keep voting with hope for the future. Change we can believe in...will it ever come?

Monkey Man said...

Truly a page from the Walking Man's book. How much is enough when you can't take it with you? Even as they speed by in their hand polished Auston Martin, don't we all end up at the same stop sign?

blueviolet said...

It doesn't really matter who's in office. Nothing ever really changes for any of us.

budh.aaah said...

Its because apathy rules that things are the way they are...but a few words are your drop in the ocean that will one day swell in anger and be the tsunami for the corrupt and corruption....

Glynn said...

A week ago I was so disgusted that I wrote my first political poem. It was as bad the politics I was complaining about. This poem of yours is as good as the politics is bad.

... Paige said...

change is not always good, but it is what it is and that is perhaps time for another change

... Paige said...

errr, I mean I want my dollar bill back

Kathy's Klothesline said...

You speak for so many. We need someone to listen to our thoughts in Washington ........... but who??

Daniel said...

This one pulsates with a vibe of anarchy and earnest pleading. Perhaps, we should recognize that for some, withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy. (a line from R.E.M.). This is a strong piece B.

Natasha said...

Again, Brian...I fear my soapbox may overtake yours, and this is not my place, so rather than rant, I will simply say...YOU ROCK, poet friend. I know it's getting old...perhaps someday I'll stumble upon something that needs tweeking, but I doubt it! :)

Little Ms Blogger said...

I can go on and on about this piece. I love it, but it also makes me angry when I think of it.

I wonder what would happen if the truly rich lived a month in my life. Maybe, they would learn to stop whining.

Everyday Goddess said...

intense, which is why i love it.

Christine said...

Check out Canadian politics we are now in our third election in 5 years. Billions spent, for what? They could put a few more MRI machines in each province and my hubby wouldn't have had to wait 14 months to get the help and surgery he needed on his back. It was ALL free though, so should I complain?

Diana Lee said...

You never disappoint. Politics without the rhetoric, simply a bitter little pill of truth.

hedgewitch said...

This next election looks even bleaker. The plutocracy is in charge, whoever wears the hat on Pennsylvania Avenue. And no matter how you scrape, they just seem to make more of it. Good one, brian.

5thsister said...

You know, I started to respond by giving an alternative view to your work but I stopped. No matter where you are on life's political and/or financial spectrum, this is a powerfully meaty piece and definitely gives one food for thought. I am grateful you shared!

lorely said...

Chews the marrow of the bone to suck the marrow of the weak...brilliant imagery...appreciate your courage...gas here in chicago is 4.11 a gal.. and I thought that was a good day :( Breyers ice cream $7.49 for 1 and a half quarts...and my potato chip bag is shrinkinggggg...Keep speakinggggg..we need your voice

someday a piece of bread may buy a bag of gold...

Claudia said...

i love your red lipstick manifesto..it has an angry beat and a honest voice..rap on brian!

Dulce said...

Brian dear,
you really know how to make use of that they call freedom of Speech, no bias...
loved this One-so true, and sad though.
:-)

drybottomgirl said...

I keep waiting for that real change to happen. I guess I'll learn to have a lot of patience...excellent write, so very well said.....

Friko said...

You sound very angry.
Are you?

Timoteo said...

You're getting to be a downright radical, Brian !

Kodjo Deynoo. said...

Brian,

You grabbed the main point of this situation, one of those things we need to talk about...

Anthony Desmond said...

man, this is amazing... the harsh reality of the world we live in.

tolbert said...

Good work Brian, I think you've been reading my mail. These are my sentiments exactly and I don't even have an Aston Martin.

Tara Miller said...

My sentiments are those of Sue and mom. We hope for change but are yet to see it....so true. so sad.

ayala said...

Give them hell... I feel the same frustration ...brilliant !

anthonynorth said...

When the masses reach critical mass, things change.
Great words.

Louise said...

Brilliant, in a word ~ so well said mate! : )

kez said...

wow so powerful and as true in the uk as in the us, well said and well done thank you !

Goofball said...

you damn socialist ;) you should join politics, we all need you

River said...

Great work Brian from start to finish. :) Once again you have spoke what needs to be said.

David Allen Waters said...

BRAVO my friend, I love the intensity of this piece, you made your point most brilliantly:)

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
Once again your "poem" cause me to think...Because I feel that you challenge us with your words.

Brian said,"sorry if this hurts your feelings,i am still just waiting for change i can believe in"

[Postscript: I doubt if we will ever see any real change...If your poem is directed to politician...all we can expect from them is promises, promises, that they will never keep!]

DeeDee :-(

Belinda said...

It's frustrating to watch what's happening and feel mostly powerless to do anything about it. I imagine this is what so many generations have felt in the past; not just here but in other countries as well. There is no perfect government, I guess, and democracy doesn't always look so democratic.

Marian said...

will you marry me?

tracy said...

This is a masterpiece, Brian. Frustration at its most poetic.

Baino said...

Shame all that caviar and crackers isn't changing things fast enough or in some cases, at all

HisFireFly said...

Waiting here too.. for the real.

Mama Zen said...

Yes, yes, yes!

C Rose said...

Well this is what I love about poetry and I too think there is a poetic tone to this piece! This bold delivery, that stings the truth so needed in these ridiculous times. Much enjoyed ~ Rose

Josh Hoyt said...

OOOh I like this. Rage against the machine. It is such an interesting phenomenon that we experience. The line that is pushed constantly. I love the end about the trees. Great job.

Captain Dumbass said...

That was a full bodied pimp slap.

Paul C said...

Yes, self interest properly understood is thinking about the people around you...appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest, the common welfare,is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being.

Thanks for the link, Brian. Keep up your wonderful poetry often shaped with a social consciousness.

Asobime said...

Powerful, powerful, powerful poem.

I'm with you, Brian.

A classless society?

I think not. We have perverted it indeed, but perhaps there is hope.

as long as the sun rises, and the moon exchanges place in a velvet sky, we have hope.

Evolution in consciousness and a gathering of forces, strength with a revolutionary purpose.

(and I want to slap these coiffed, white haired senators, who sit on the aspirations of a nation lost to its revolutionary past...as much as I loathe these ponytailed lawyers)

Eat the Rich.

Lady Nyo

wolfsrosebud said...

"cutting the flow of blood to
the innocent & amputating the
masses as gangrene populace"

Interesting word picture...

jtwhitaker.com said...

hell. yeah.

(two words, but enough.)

:)
xo

Bing (PinkLady) said...

wow this is powerful, brian! this is one rant that applies to so many of us..

i guess once you are in power, you tend to develop alzheimer's on the promises you made on the way up.

beautiful piece!

tera said...

Awesome. The problem is, if we have to keep scraping that yuk off the bottoms of our shoes, we will wear out our soles (souls?) too quickly.

versebender said...

Truth to power, my man. Hard not to be cynical when faced with reality. The purpose of art is to express the emotions. You flat nailed this. Vb

Mary said...

"written in red lipstick on the morning after mirrors"...loved this imagery. Great job! Look forward to reading more!

moondustwriter said...

That's what I smelled - I thought it was the stench of faux green or was it the fuel folly or ...

Me said...

We'll be voting in (yet another Federal election in Canada on Monday. Sadly, the percentage of people that actually get off their duff and SHOW UP to vote is dismally low (under 60% in the last federal election).

I wish more people cared like you do.

Andy said...

Well, well, Brian...you certainly got that off your chest! You do speak truthfully about the state of things today.
I agree with Sue, you should send this to Congress.

(Thanks again for coming by)

Corinna said...

"slowly turning the tourniquet
cutting the flow of blood to
the innocent & amputating the
masses as gangrene populace" ... what can i say...i'm jealous.

She Writes said...

rage against the machine
that chews the bone to suck
the marrow of the weak, spewing
bullshit rhetoric in excess, exhaust
to choke the few trees left
that haven't been martyrs to the cause
of containing self-egrandizing
laws--

Is it wrong or blasphemous to say amen to this? Amen

Joann said...

If only Congress had ears to hear.

There's no dancing around the piles these days. Ya just have to step in it, if only to find out how deep it is.

Thoughtful and provocative, Brian. I never believed the "change" that was promised and I'm disgusted with the change we got!

We need to find our moral heart before we can be worthy of the blood spent on our beloved country.

signed...bkm said...

As much as I agree with you Brian I do not believe any of these people really care what we think of them...sadly it has been the state of affairs for most governing bodies over history....the state of affairs does not appear to be getting any better of the middle class if it even exists anymore....bkm

e said...

Well put, Brian. It is conditions like these that cause people to immigrate...Unfortunately, some of us are stuck.

CM said...

Oh snap!

Dang, I don't even know what to say. That was good!

Deborah @ThirtyCreative said...

A great and powerful Manifesto, indeed!

- still looking for that poetical change too.

Heather said...

i'm with you on this one -

upinthecosmos said...

What an awesome write!! I would love to hear it spoken!

pandamoniumcat said...

Whoa...and boy so true...all I can say is I'm with you! Great write!

haikulovesongs said...

an all-too-true account of the state of the union.

"i am still just waiting for
change i can believe in."

my level of disappointment has reached an all-time high.

great One Shot, Brian. ♥

haikulovesongs said...

and congratulations on your nomination for poet laureate!

Matt Coughlan said...

If a sign of a good poem is how it can stir passions, then this must fall into that category. Good work! :D

sonny said...

* standing ovation

i had a discussion recently on my personal blog page about an essay in the book i am currently reading...i had to delete it after 300 odds comments because some of the people who have known me for almost 3 years felt i was bashing america by posting that blog...

thank you brian...for not being an ostrich burying your head in the sand...

http://www.commondreams.org/views01/1003-09.htm

John (@bookdreamer) said...

What the politics of envy - brother we need to earn the money so folks like you can eat...go on I bet some of you wanted to say that. For me coming from old communist England, the poem hooks into the deep biblical notions of community love as here:

Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

Alan Burnett said...

Fabulous Brian. A poem worthy of a Poet Laureate if ever there was one and therefore you have my vote.

jen revved said...

Oh, dear. I love Obama. But.... it's a good hard write here, direct, coherent-- draws us in. Splendid. xxxj

Lorraine said...

keep on believing Brian, 'cause in the end it matters not at all

Apryl Gonzales said...

I'm still waiting... the best poetry draws the heart of the reader to feel as if the words were their own and you've done that powerfully with this piece. Wow!

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

You must have really wanted to say this to sacrifice your red lipstick like that, Brian. (LOL!)

Old Ollie said...

This is a big poem machete.

Barbara said...

Unfortunately, Washington sucks them all in. So disappointing.

Reflections said...

Touching piece, somewhat political, yet very emotional to touch the needs of the common man made mad by the urgency of the state of the world. Ills not yet washed away in the wasteland of our own tsunamis of greed and power.

LauraX said...

"quick scams to join the
one percent, drawn on dry
erase boards for fast exits
slowly turning the tourniquet
cutting the flow of blood to
the innocent & amputating the
masses as gangrene populace"

OUCH!!! powerful man, really powerful!

TechnoBabe said...

Do you think that change will truly come some day? Have things gone just too far?

Ann Grenier said...

Fabulous! I join all the folks before me in praise of your just anger.

sheila said...

turning the tourniquet cutting the flow of blood to the innocent... wow. I really love this. I was surprised a bit at the end about change you can believe in... as I think we were all hoping for that, it's just that 1/2 the gov't never intended to change -- just to prove a point. Those that suddenly found their voice after years of control, stopped any change in it's tracks for fear of change itself.

Valerie said...

Can you convert that the English... we're also in a whole lot of trouble.

Jerry said...

Wow Brian, you don't have to be tactful, just tell it like it is...

Valerie said...

I like this poem best when you're channeling your message through concrete images.

(p.s. I think it's "self-aggrandizing")

natalee said...

TRUE!! TRUE!! TRUE!

Kiera O'Brien said...

After reading this, I have only four words to say:

Brian Miller for President.

Sally J said...

As the 100th comment, I doubt you will see this, but I was agreeing, ferociously all through this poem. Especially liked
'exhaust
to choke the few trees left
that haven't been martyrs to the cause
of containing self-egrandizing
laws---'
Just perfect.

JH_Poetry said...

At least you realized what idiots we have always been. Chasing our dreams on paper and not getting any green backs, only green faces. Great Eww One! :)

Kim Nelson said...

As a Southern Arizonan, I feel particular kinship to the feelings of disenfranchisement and prejudice expressed here.

Amanda Moore said...

amazing analysis of the classes but with a bit of a twist I enjoyed this very much!

DeLi said...

manifesto in red lipstick?

that is something to think about!
like

Magpie said...

Brian! Quit reading my mind! :)
Very powerful and well-worded. We have become a nation of haves and have-nots. Is this "my" chewing gum piece?

Brian Miller said...

oh i read every one of them sallyj...thank you

Brian Miller said...

techno...hmm...has it gone too far...i think that to correct the ship would take radical changes...

siubhan said...

Ouch! Those words sting. Here you prove once again that poetry is the stuff of revolutions...

Alegria Imperial said...

Powerful poem, Brian! Cuts where the wounds have been oozing. A gangrene soon. Your voice in this poem is the cry of millions today not only in your country that in many minds still is 'the greatest'but also now in other countries supposedly 'advanced' like yours, not to mention of course those wallowing in the mire of nothing! And you've described how yours has become afflicted with severe 'dementia', "...forgotten its identity..." Kudos to this your "...manifesto written in red lipstick..." Thanks!

The Bug said...

I so agree with that last sentence. My husband says that the problem is that Obama isn't really a lefty at all (as we are) so he's never going to be what we want. But can any politician ever be what we want with our current system? Not too sure about that.

Not that I want anarchy :)

gautami tripathy said...

Poem or not. But nevertheless a poem. I like!!

Here is my one shot:
diamonte

yellowhousecafe said...

simply brilliant.. you got me with 'red lipstick'..there are too many excellent lines to reprint.. only thing missin' your youtube readin'!

(btw~ thanks for Paul C link, good blog & great VF article on Tocqueville (never have gotten through his book!)

Aquarius63 said...

Powerful words so well expressed.

Anita.

Emmanuel Ibok said...

Deep one here, B...and the message was razor-sharp. Good luck with the contest.

Bless!

Percy Freeman said...

The emotions of the free... this poem tells it like it is... i think of you when cleaning the bottom of my shoe!(Awesome)

Mari said...

This wasn't what I was expecting, but glad to find it!

I'm frustrated to find our system lends itself to constant bickering and stymies any real change. It was a shock to discover, upon growing up, that politics is just Junior High for the masses. I don't have a better answer, but our party system means constant bickering.
The reality is (imho) that no matter who occupies any of those Capitol Hill offices and no matter the passion of the people who put them there, their will always be other representatives for equally passionate people on the 'other side.' Eventually, maybe the politicians will figure out that we're all on the same side really, and we just want them to figure out how to merge our beliefs and form a unified front.

lynnaima said...

Certainly this is for slam poetry night! I can "hear" anger, even hate, lots of energy, cool! Thanks for the visit.

Carl said...

Great piece in terms of flow and passion. Great power in the passion.

Brian Miller said...

ok, i have not gone mad..sure maybe there is some anger there...at some point you get tired of the lies we buy into...yeah i think i could slam this...

Dasuntoucha said...

...sorry if this hurts your feelings,
i am still just waiting for
change i can believe in
...

...indeed...felt...ONE::

Olivia said...

You nailed it with this one..

Radical or not; that's how it has become. Just how can we keep our eyes blind- folded or for how long!

Then again.. just how many?
Hope it gains some count!

Hugs xox

D.C. Lutz said...

So much truth in this one Brian. Not just spoken to party lines drawn in the sand but to the overall steaming pile we are all stuck in. Forgetting what (and who) it takes to get where we got is a sin to be reckoned with for sure:
"who then will you find to
cut your grass & wash your
Aston Martin at minimum
wage?"
There is so much to clean off, I think it might be time for a new pair of shoes

Celestial Dreamz said...

such powerful opinion .... vocal about the distinction between the savage and the civilized ... I welcome your write ... there's a relevance found at every part of the world.

Colleen said...

Ah everything hurts my heart today for some reason...very very good writing.

Tracie Skarbo said...

Love the candid honesty!

Mad Kane said...

So true, and so well said!

trisha said...

very powerful poem brian.

Patricia Caspers said...

What Old Ollie said. Tear 'em up. Scrape 'em off. Repeat.

Sheila Moore said...

awesome! Thank God they haven't taken away our freedom of speech (yet)...The title is great!!!

lori said...

Ah, yes..our hopes for change are dashed, and yet maybe we'll work together someday to make that change happen. Until then, we'll just keep saying, "tag, you're it!" :(

Another excellent piece.

Pastor Sharon said...

Now this will preach, brotha!