A Tribute to the Power of Shopping
A Poem in Four Parts

1.
Under Union Square there is thick, womb-tombed dirt
dying for anything other than SUV air and sneering policemen,
Macy’s window propaganda and the five ring-worm billboards ;
Atlas is stumbling now, hyperventilating in the stuffy two-inch slit
between his gasping mouth and the synthetic rock and flattened tar
that brings plastics and styrofoam to shop ;
Even the ground beneath is disturbed and scooped out for a garage
where they leave everything but their wallets
I myself am bundled in polar fleece and a cotton tumble dry low
This big advertisement makes me happy though
I sit like a bum on blackened gum on the corner of two fuming streets
car lights flashing past all those still lights –
busy to get more do more give more spend more than I ever will
and I wonder where all that fuel comes from
I think it might be the dirt,
the decorated undertaker of our black receptacles,
Safeway bags, and radioactive nuclear waste products
Embalmer of our shit and trash, he is mortician and mr. gravedigger;
He’s the blubber bloated of a beached whale
What a terrible stench !
If one day the moon shoots past and the earth grows a bulge
(though I doubt we’ll live to see thirty)
I don’t want to be in charge !
I don’t want to see that day !
Some gloomy November when the crust begins to pop
The earth is mad
It will vomit out our collected wastes
And swallow imposing tricksters
Lava ! Jesus ! Alien invasion and asteroid showers !
O I don’t want a life in the clouds !
How can I stand on vaporized water?
I won’t stand, and I won’t stand for it
I dance with the metal man
and I yell at shoppers
Can’t you see I’m crazy? They pull children closer, they walk away,
I scream after them You’ll be like this one day ! You’ll see !
An old woman asks Is it money you need?
I say Do you know there’s hot magma in the heart of the earth?
I can see she thinks it’s only the devil down there
Or Marijuana

2.
How much power that TV tower yields !
The hill is topped with a blinking red light
Its stretch reaching high into heaven
I glanced at it and saw that the station
needs petroleum power for its broadcast so
some bald man who controls my holiday cheer
can tell me to buy every five minutes
The power of being the highest point in the land
I glanced at the bare knoll and saw no wolves
That might eat me with their fangs
O I longed ! My carcass dragged
by mighty jaws and devoured
I cursed at my inhibitor
Lions, tigers, and bears, all gone! I live my life in shade !
Always under roofs
Beneath ceilings !
I stuff my face with stuffing
and stuff my house with stuff
and insurance and fears
When will we realize we live under the sky
Not in the shadow of towering television?

3.

A
Gift
To Earth
From Bobby:
Craters miles wide
Stripped your land
Hosana in the highest
O Surprise Ribbon and Bow
Raped slopes milked muddy
Flattened forests all bombed
The termites emerge and swarm
Clouds leave ghosts behind in the dusk
Jets of fire shooting up from the ground
A million Christmas trees and multicolored lights
Trees Thickening silhouettes blotted ink of dying leaves
B
U
Y

4.

Last night a brown boy walked down the loneliest street in the world
Today the city is filled  the sun bright white and affordable
People sell their goods cheap cheap cheap cheap
Dogs lick their lachrymal mangy hair
Overlooked comatose silence  flies sweeping the dusty air
Orange fruit smashed on the ground sticky and smeared
Water stagnating in the streets  blocks falling out of walls
Land mines paneless windows blanched blue sky
Poisoned rodents ceaseless noise concealed weapons wheeled hot dog stand
A splintering hot dog stand is abandoned on the side of the street
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