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Saturday, May 23, 2009


by Gary Beck

The short-term tenants
on the indifferent earth
greedily grubbed their way
to accumulation,
first of survival weapons,
spears, fire, meat, furs, fuel,
the primitive requirements
necessary to insure
desired continuation.

The exercise of power
won storage space
in the caves of comfort,
allowing distribution
in varied times of need,
or for public rewards
of vital commodities
for services rendered
by loyal followers.

The innovation of cities
provided greater space
for storing more goods,
permitting more resources,
regardless of the weather,
or enemy siege,
to sustain a household,
personal bodyguards,
constabulary, armies,
until one controlled many.

This is history's lesson,
only briefly contradicted
by illusions of democracy.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His chapbook Remembrance was published by Origami Condom Press and The Conquest of Somalia was published by Cervena Barva Press. A collection of his poetry Days of Destruction has been published in 2009 by Skive Press. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and toured colleges and outdoor performance venues. He currently lives in New York City , where he's busy writing. His poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines.