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Monday, November 28, 2011


by Zev Shanken

Born in the Twenties before the Wall Street Crash,
raised with the lessons of the Great Depression,
The Greatest Generation went to war to stop
madmen from ruling the world.

They married too soon and learned from TV
how to think you know things you don't know.
They watched their kids invent sex, their sons invent peace,
their daughters invent women, their gays invent pride.

They watched Jews invent Israelis; Hispanics, Latinos;
blacks invent Africans; Orientals, East Asians.
They watched the century's greatest distracting inventions,
while all along Wall Street was inventing new tricks.

Zev Shanken teaches English at High School for Health Careers and Sciences in Washington Heights, and lives in New Jersey.  His father fought in World War Two and was a freedom rider in the early 60s.  Zev participated in SCLC and SNCC projects in Cambridge, MD and Orangeburg, SC in the 60s.  His chapbook, Al Het, was published by Blue Begonia Press, Yakima, WA, in 1996.