Dear Dirty America



April 10
16:00 2012

Credit: Vergel Bradford

(originally posted at 100 Peculiarly Useful So-Called Poems)

Where has humanity come from? Where is it going?
Will it ever find a way to integrate its impulses?
Will it ever learn to discriminate between leaders & frauds?
Will it ever get over its awe of mere size & confidence?

Who are the Caucasians?
Where did the Celts & Teutons come from?
Where did the ancestors of the ancestors
of the Hellenes & Romans come from?
What sparked the Vikings’ voyages of conquest?
What are the heart-felt beliefs
beneath Europeans’ professions, liturgies, & scoffings?
What is the relation among altruism & insecurity & greed?
How far along is the machine revolution?

Who are the Africans?
What is the relationship of the tribes & nations?
What is the relationship among the genes, plains & jungles
mines, teeming cities, & international commerce?
Will Africans organize & integrate?
Will they be an overwhelming army or enlightened cooperating race?
Will Africans be defeated by their legacy of victimization & poverty?
Will a great prophet appear in their midst
only to have his or her message bogged down
in generations of administrators’ competition for authority?
Will Africa continue to be the land of plague, drought, famine, war?

Who are the Semites?
Will the Hebrews & Arabs find their common cause?
Will the Aramaens, Phoenicians, & Parthians re-emerge?
Have the Assyrians forever been assimilated by other peoples?
Where did the Sumerians come from?
Were their gods truly space-travelers who cloned human laborers?
What is the true history of agriculture, metallurgy, brewing, cities?

Who are the Hindus? the Chinese? the Japanese?
Where did the Polynesians come from? the Ainu?
Aborigines? Mongols? Finns? Basque?
Who do the Central American flat-nosed Olmec statues represent?
Who else is gone without a word of history?

What is the origin of the tribes of America?—
the buffalo-hunters, pyramid-builders, canoe-voyage traders?

When did it all start?
Is humanity forever bogged down in wishful thinking, panics, greed?
Will the necessary questioning always be suppressed
by those with the most force & those whose struggle
has been to find a comfortable way to serve them?
Will the only impulses—the noble impulses—that might unite us
always be feared, handicapped, ridiculed, persecuted
by those afraid to postpone even for an instant
adaptation to whatever unjust status quo prevails?

Is humanity a primitive organism
with attributes that are merely startling preludes
of what a more successful species yet to emerge will manifest?
Or is it a joke, a dead-end, a bragging drunk about to collapse?
Or is humanity still in its infancy—
& wisdom refraining from grabbing the most popular toys
& working for a maturity never yet experienced—
& only occasionally & briefly conceivable?

Is humanity early on, or in the midst of a stage of development
or on the brink of a sudden transformation?—
like birth, death, spring, or the metamorphosis of caterpillars?

Will it be able to recover after reaping the bitter harvests
planted by those no one could or would stop
in waters, atmosphere, foods, & soils—
& after the enraged striking-out of victimized youths
no one cared about enough to help effectively?


Eric Chaet, The Turnaround Artist, born Chicago, USA, 1945, raised on rough South Side, pre-computer factory, office, & warehouse jobs. Some teaching, some independent self-taught technical consulting. 1974, Old Buzzard of No-Man’s Land, poems, Toronto, Canada. 1977, Solid and Sound, vinyl LP of songs, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA.  Mid-80s to mid-90s, silkscreened, hitchhiked, & stapled 1500 cloth posters to utility poles along American highways.  1990, How To Change the World Forever For Better, brief prose philosophy, Greenleaf, Wisconsin, USA; 2nd edition, 1994.  2001, People I Met Hitchhiking On USA Highways, mostly narrative prose, De Pere, Wisconsin, USA.  Lives in Wisconsin, industrialized dairy farms & cows, remnant cheese & paper factories & factory hands & outlaw mammals & birds, post-construction boom, reactionary politics & obsolete machinery, a smattering of professionals & millionaires.  Poems published, over 50 years in many USA states, plus Brazil, Cuba, Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Nepal, India, China, Singapore, Korea, & Taiwan, often in translation. 

You can contact him by the Leave a Reply box on each page of his website, 100 Peculiarly Useful So-Called Poems, <>. 

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Brave Media


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Dear Dirty America Copyright

© Dear Dirty America, 2011-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dear Dirty America with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.