Dear Dirty America


At A Counter On A Cloudy Morning

At A Counter On A Cloudy Morning
June 04
13:00 2013


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

-for John Bennett

I wake, cold.
I don’t remember any dream.
The ground’s frosty.

I sit at a counter, drinking coffee.
The others are preparing to drive their trucks,
feed their corn stalks to their white-breath cows,
operate machinery that produces toilet paper & packaging.

They know what they owe, & how much they will earn.
They tell of recent bureaucratic run-arounds & vandalism–
& catch up on the ball teams.

The newspaper is full of celebrities
the useless pronouncements of authorities
attempting to cut themselves heroic notches in history
& tragedies that have occurred
to people never before considered worthy of mention.

The Sun has been obscured for a long time already.

I don’t know how long I’ll sustain myself.

Eric Chaet, born Chicago, 1945, South Side, beaten, denigrated, sinking, swimming—servant of a refractory nation and species, sweating laborer in factories and warehouses, wearing jacket and tie in offices and classrooms—“so-called poems” published and posted around the world, sporadically, for decades—author of People I Met Hitchhiking On USA Highways (read a review) and How To Change the World Forever For Better—perpetual polymath student, synthesizer of specialists’ insights and methods, solo consultant regarding space exploration and accidents involving obsolete industrial machinery—album of songs Solid and Sound—hitchhiked back and forth between the Pacific and Atlantic, sleeping out for years and subsisting on water and sunflower seeds, stapling a series of 1500 posters he made to utility poles, inciting whoever saw them to seize the responsibility for their own lives—governing without coalition or means of or inclination to coerce or confiscate, from below, approximately invisible.

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