There’s Only Enough Room for Me, Myself and I Up Here

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door

They buy masks
mud-encrusted fertility wooden carved
hand-dipped feathers of the exotic
talismans curved wooden nuts
glass beads strung into necklaces

they are consumers, art connoisseurs
trading in voodoo and shrunken heads
an eye’s tooth for landscapes
primitive etchings, animal creatures
designed for living rooms

they parachute into backcountry
Nikon safari, vaccinations, really
fruity wines and canned cheese
from Norway, they hold the light
into the evening, perfect image, zebra
hyena, and sluggish spear thrower

there are no anthropologists
no archeologists
no hunters of history
no pontificators of origins
no hunter-gatherers
just the combined weight of TV stars

running through digitally enhanced
fields of prey, posed primates
the world is their oyster Banana
Republic, the flow is in their
capped teeth, unimaginable
Yiddish upbringing
splurging parents for summer camps
in Belize, tellers of stories
musical, connected by blood, the line
to success more bat mitzvah and bar mitzvah
East Coast connects

the world is shiny, flowing musicals
animals and spear chuckers
inventions of coding, burnished
colors of shopping photos
concordance of consciousness
the telling is in the reality, perception
is truth, the glimmer more than
there will be Macy’s advertisements
in cheetah print, some anaconda a star
for Nike shoes, some giraffe with blubbery
lips selling entire projects
to save the savanna
Serengeti for $10,000 a person
safaris, blood and guts part of the
garnishing, each slab of crocodile
steak smothered in sage and white
wine from Sicily, or is it Swiss
the repeating hunting gun
crossbows designed by Scotsman

you will inherent the earth
from poor, pushed into Dystopia
constant shuffling
Diaspora, caked eyelids
a Canon moment forever
enlarged in corner office
reminders of the inheritance
meek mutilated, God’s children
extras in your cinematic
orgasm, the tattoos of tribes
as close to humanity you will
ever fall, as the giant leap forward
pushed more behind, meek and weak
give me your tired, your poor
your huddled masses, yearning to
breathe for thee
your freedom, elite, the comedy
of we are the Ninety-nine
we the reckless few, amassing the huddled
poor, tired, yearning to eat free
of the oppression of your One Percent Race

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.