125 Dollars A Year
|Your situation may not be ideal, but it could be worse|
If I can’t make a living at my art,
am I selling my soul
by working at something
in order to eat, or feed my family,
while I pursue my life and art?
And does it matter if I
make minimum wage,
Who and where is the
judge who judges
Was my writing better
sleeping on park benches
food from super markets, and
walking the streets?
I speak to you, you reading this,
you hearing this, you of the
privileged class! Yes, you elitist
You who can read … reading books
and magazines of literature, you who own computers …
while three-quarters of the people
of the earth
exist on a 125 dollars a year.
We are the privileged, we are
We who can afford to write and
read in the comfort of
some individual corner. Even if you happen to be
on the bum when you read this … you have
a dumpster, or garment box,
or maybe a tree to lean against.
At least you have that!
You may say that everything
is relative on the earth..
But there is nothing relative about starving
and oppressed human beings
You know or have known poverty?
Well, I don’t think any of us can really claim to know poverty.
Yet, let me know the
sweat and blood
of my labor, whatever
it may be.
Even, if I end up hating the
machine which produces it,
knowing full well it is the
very same machine,
which is responsible
for the destitution and ignorance of
>people, who populate
three-quarters of the earth.
Doug Draime’s most recent full-length collection is More Than The Alley (Interior Noise Press). Also, available are 4 chapbooks. Dusk With Carol (Kendra Steiner Editions), Rock ‘n Roll Jizz (Propaganda Press), Los Angeles Terminal: Poems 1971-1980 (Covert Press), and an online chap, Speed of Light (Right Hand Pointing). A presence in the ‘underground’ literary movement since the late 1960’s. Awarded PEN grants in 1987, 1991, and 1992. Nominated for several Pushcart Prizes in last few years.