Wearing the Uniform Issued by the Armies of the Kleptocracy

children circle the bard of barbarism
wait for marching orders
reality TV twenty-four
seven rolls of the dice
one part disharmony, two parts despotic
the youngsters await some sonrisa
of sanity, anything resembling
rebellion, shorting the hedge fund
holding love hostage, anything,
any sign of humaneness

You’ve got to learn to leave the table
when love’s no longer being served (NS)

this ship is sailored by ghosts
cheeks puffed like gerbils
the captains of industry laugh
the strange fruit like cocoons of capitalism
high on their fancy masts
these anti-humans cut to the chase
require your pound of flesh
the spittle at the end
those four point five pounds
of cremains left as a door stop

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop (BH)

those Pinochet Roy Coen
Kissinger lynching coils
hand-made by the eunuchs servicing
the bankers-militarists-barristers
jingle jangle of the shekel love

the death spray is hitting all four
corners, the seven wonders of the world
napalmed with the love of industrialists
black winds and eternal glowing waters
jungle savanna bog mountain desert forest beachhead
the purveyors of death smear caviar late into
the Château Pétrus night
homeless picking teeth from hominy
served by the braceros
sweet 19 year olds hitting the streets
blow jobs like a mountain of graying
rancid billionaires humping the air
with arrogance

The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruption
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell
General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
Hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary (GS-H)

remembering what is never said
the children peddle down alleys
scattered with fragrant mothers
sisters and aunties listing inside
the fog of old rapes like swarms of mosquitoes

that brother can’t spare a dime
looks hard before the gavel cracks
60 years freefalling
sons epoxied to their tools of lobotomy
each splat and trigger pulled
their poetry in digital disharmony

But from each crime are born bullets
that will one day seek out in you where the heart lies. (PN)

• NS — Ina Simone; BH — Billy Holiday; G S-H — Gil Scott Heron; PN — Pablo Neruda

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.