Dear Dirty America



February 05
13:03 2015


(originally published at 100 So-Called Poems)

Sun must be struggling
as I am while driving with headlights on the icy road
to emerge from the cold soil of night—
not a pink hint yet.

At the D & G Cafe in Greenleaf
Wisconsin, USA, 2015
Gene exclaims for the umpteenth time,
“Another day, another dollar!”
&, as always, chuckles
delighted at his own brilliance.

Likewise, John, who has focused
on my insistence on compassion—
when, rarely, I’m provoked to respond—
parks himself on the stool next to mine, & declares:
“I am a redneck bastard!”—& laughs.

Are the songs of the birds
yesterday & decades of mornings & afternoons
holding branches or power cables
along the straight, contracted, asphalt roads
all the seasons I’ve walked, run, driven
similar declarations?

Who I’ve been, I must no longer be
in some fundamental way—
what I’ve been doing is insufficient, wrong—
I must do otherwise.



Anthem for Humanity


We get used to


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.

[Icy road photo from Qyd]

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