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Thursday, August 30, 2012


by Karl Kadie

                       For Bill Costley

The speakers are all talking about
themselves: me, me, me;
How I made it by myself,
how great it is to be me,
And with an example like me
Someday you become the destined you.
When New Jersey Boss Chris Christie says
What’s needed is leadership,
I’m surprised: I didn’t know I asked for a new boss –
Ding, ding!
– To keep my kids out of the schools and hospitals
To neglect the roads I drive,
To make it easier for the corp lords to
Reduce my pay or cut my job,
To build the black, wrought iron fence
‘Round Christie’s house with a
Healthy, stealthy electric charge.
Ding, ding!. 
The Ninety-Nine Percent bell rings in my head once more.

Yet when I think about the present alternatives,
I can barely breath.  A public meeting at the
Library, whose moldy air sets the stage
For dark coffins of paper to drop
Off the edge of the age’s edifice,
Treasures to trash, a handy metaphor
For our own marginalization.
We enter the meeting,
Arms full with gifts, voices, and money,
And leave by the red exit,
Our hearts vacuumed out, our hands empty.

Standing on the margins
Of a new edifice of power,
I know I’m a Ninety-Nine Percenter,
And when I hear Chris Christie say
What’s needed is leadership,
I suspect I have much more to lose,
And muse that connecting
With my community
May be the only prayer
Ever to be heard.

Karl Kadie has poems in The New Verse News, The Santa Clara Review, Haiku Headlines, and poetry blogs, and featured at Poetry in Song and Cupertino Winter Light.  Karl is a native Californian, and holds an MA in English from San Francisco State University.