Let Me Tell You Something

It’s gotta be a cruel joke mister
you thinkin’ I ain’t worth the salt
you pour over your fancy dinner each night
with your wife on one arm
and your Ashley Madison mistress on the other
you almost got me believing
that’s its me who owes you something

spouting Reaganomics in your sleep
telling “bums” to get a job every morning
on your way to bundle and swap CDO’s
calling it work
contributing to society
let me see the paper cuts
on your hands
and I’ll cry you a river
so that you can contaminate it
one day
when you ain’t too busy doing nothing at all

you ain’t seen the things I seen
you ain’t been to the places I been
priding yourself on overcoming battles you’ve never had to fight
profiting from things you ain’t built
from work you’ve never done

why is money to survive
milking the system
while money to bribe
is Democracy in motion
I ought a leave ya to it
but I got these children see
and they don’t deserve to come of age
in this miserable world of yours

they deserve all that I can’t give em
all that you take and keep taking
and stole in the first place
and there ain’t no one in this world
deserve to live the way that I have to live
ain’t you human mister,
ain’t you got no heart?

James Diaz is the author of This Someone I Call Stranger (2018, Indolent Books) and editor of the forthcoming anthology What Keeps us Here: Songs from The Other Side of Trauma. In 2016 he founded the online literary arts and music journal Anti-Heroin Chic to provide a platform for often unheard voices, including those struggling with addiction, mental illness and Prison/confinement. He resides in upstate New York, in between balanced rocks and horse farms. He has never believed in anything as strongly as he does the power of poetry to help heal a shattered life. Read other articles by James.