“A home in homelessness is my cherished box, if you please”

Rusty hinges locomotion
tired stress points, wheelchair, she
thrusts hand out, crutches swaying
her smile a child’s
mothers bee-lining away
all-in-black guard
shooing her out of the dry
keep moving, keep running
stay wet for holidays

those Macy’s and Nordstrom’s
window displays
all that hustle bustle down
main, people flooding streets
impressive scented SUVs left behind
stunning boots, sweaters style
drop dead gorgeous, all happy go lucky
while sister holds
to the wet wind, overcoat
layered onto overcoat

you tell your children to not question
raise hand to heart, teary-eyed
salute paid killers, all uniforms
men and women in armed forces
defending your freedom
each and everyone living in box
alleyway theater of the absurd
defended sink or swim
mostly bottomless pit
more jolly in the slipstream
of retail madness

step over grandad
he’s toothless, holding
sign, do you believe
Vietnam was a country
or is war for them, now
surrendered to the flow
of effluence that is
marketing, Freud
Jung, sweet lies, bigger fibs
entire worlds propped up
on American make-believe
shed no tears, Argentina
cry for white baby, swaddled
in pink and camouflage

drain toilets into falls
effluence confluence
of the sell, the buy, high
brow retarded American
laughs to be snarky
anything but seriousness
avoidance therapy
big happy pilgrims
and turkeys and Wigwam
children wear paper feathers
reenact ghost history
reverse of the mirror
and smoke, lies, big fat
Disney lies, Sesame Street
filth, but younger they
will come, if you put it on app
younger they will be washed
in flood of nanosecond
sales, in uteri bargain
basement sales
three for one
credit at 10 years of age
feel the magic of Matrix

tsunami, mud slide
hurly burly cracks
on sides of hills
we’ve given souls
to the builders
developers, futures
mortgaged, each Plasma
TV at nineteen percent
compounded yearly
searching catalogs, hoping
for Amazon smile
awaiting After Christmas
sales, Hanukkah pre-paid
summer trips to wailing
walls, boys at Yale
girls into MIT
soon back on Wall Street
counting children illegitimate
but sure bets, marks
lawyers, psychologists, doctors
needed to bless poverty
cauterize death slowly
sell high, buy low

guys cough new blood
bourbon nothing more than
Boone’s Farm, sweet elixir
of money to be made
chosen few, shekel madness
industrial complex turned
on their heads – prison
poison propaganda physical
machine devouring offspring
rotten schools dead end jobs
oh the horror heart of darkness
more Breaking Bad offal

welcome to Golden Globes
broken back men pushed
just far away from starlets
their signs will work for food
cans of feline fancies
the stars are bent over
now, asses in air
wet hand prints guarded
by Homeland Security
Blackwater gets TV series
cold poor shooed away
stars get shadowless glam
shot, whisked away to Malibu

their mothers could be choking
sisters prostituting brothers
shoplifting, but America is middle
class bulge or super workout
smile readjusted for five grand
personal training life coaching
surgical counseling Buddhist
adviser keep-it-positive
friends, politically correct
feelings, emotions ticked off
in that new app

one paycheck from hell
on the streets
kicked with the cans
picking up returnable
bottles, the smear on windshield
worth more than a child
in fever, run down by-the-week
fading room, television not included
parades, football pageants, endless streams
of stretch limos for sweet sixteen,
high school proms
while child roams, flicking
tongue at sidewalk
cafes displaying piles of fried oysters
bottomless glasses of Pinot
so tragically hip or phony
folks looking away
catching little bits of guilt
in the corner of eyes
drippy wet from
so much tragedy
on Netflix

happy new year and see
you later sanity
the door cracked open
more of us will CRACK
fucking groveling for
your coins, AMERICA
smearing your lies
like wet toilet paper
you killer of TURTLE
island, desperate men
in blue shooting 32
body of 19 year old
seared with heat
of policy makers
prick politicians
kiss this life goodbye
before even latching onto
mother’s teat
adios amigos
left on the editing
floor, let those chosen
few write your obituaries
as you are marionettes
for their economic
cultural savagery

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.