Dear Dirty America


I Apologize

January 02
19:37 2013

I apologize
tho it’s not entirely my fault
that the nation’s government
is a right hand fighting a left hand
& projecting power all over the world
in response to & provoking resentment & fury
& in support of entrepreneurial pirates
attempting to control every resource & market
while allowing the oppressed & daunted to suffer & die
even bombing them if their response is too inconvenient—
it’s true that, like those in charge who got rich & seemed important
while failing to do even what’s necessary, let alone what’s good
I have tried to seem to myself more important than I was
to fend off fear
which kept me from gaining cooperation or pay
that I have clung to prejudices & childhood programming
as others who cling to prejudices & childhood programming do
only different prejudices & different programming
that I’ve wasted time
hoping things would work out better in the future
while predictable consequences of trends sped toward climaxes
it’s true that I excused myself because of circumstances
in which I felt trapped
that I kept withholding myself from trivial involvements
with base & selfish competitors for whatever isn’t nailed down
that might have earned me a penny more than the cost of earning it
without destroying my precious integrity
without requiring me to take advantage of someone’s gullibility
so that I’d be free to invest myself in the glorious transformation
but that I rarely knew how
even to plant another seed of the glorious transformation—
I apologize—
now I’ll try to save myself a while longer
& do better what I have been trying to do for myself & for you—
I’ll try to do it today, I’ll try to do it now, then persevere—
OMG, I hope this so-called poem is no mere perseveration
that it has a useful effect on & for someone—
yes or no, I must now file it, plant it, & leave it behind
&, without demanding from myself what I am incapable of doing
become more capable & do something else, too—
save myself while I can, & do my part in the glorious transformation.

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 hereSee also, There’s still a little breath in the old American RevolutionOn Job Creationand Stalin.

“Like” Dear Dirty America on Facebook

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.