Dear Dirty America


Obscure Romans

April 27
11:30 2012

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

Which of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire
when Rome was at war with the world
& ruled by a paranoid elite
that imagined itself entitled to the fruit of others’ efforts—
never established reputations?—
& so were lost to history
as trees’ buds, a season’s seeds, stems
foliage & canopy
grains of wheat & barley, olives, grapes, cotton, wool
generations of cattle—milk & beef
maybe feeling abandoned to cruel Fate
thru civil wars or long or brief lives of grim toil
coping til they couldn’t cope any more—
or fiercely maintaining a constantly attacked integrity
& delivering compassion & skillful service
among the few aware enough at least
of who they were
& capable of accepting from them
what they were capable of delivering?

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 at the Leave a Reply box on each page of his website, 100 Peculiarly Useful So-Called Poems, <>.

Find Chaet’s book, People I Met Hitchhiking USA Highwaysand read a review written here.

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