polemical poetry to prickle the politics of "permanent austerity"
thistles stretch their prickly arms afar
There is a fitful grasping in the world,
a body’s massive hand
gathering by the train- and truckload.
There is a howl for more
and yet more, a Grand Canyon
of want being carved in the landscape.
A man swims a smooth backstroke
through a pool of Franklins, euros,
riyals, stocks and bonds in waves
rippling like fanned bills he swallows
with deferred interest and fresh oysters.
There is an ever-expanding waistband,
a craving for infinite zeroes, a finger-
snap that overturns governments,
and at the end of each trading day
another Senator to be mounted
above the great fireplace where
everything, every body, is cordwood.
There is a gilded razor, a platinum toilet,
an unsated Jaguar stalking
a Lamborghini, a fanged loophole
that widens as it overflows into
a pit there’s no crawling out of.
Steve Abbott is a product of parochial schools and a liberal arts education, resulting in stints as writer & editor for an underground newspaper, landscaper, delivery truck driver, criminal defendant, courtroom bailiff, private investigator, social service PR flack, union organizer, and college professor. His poems have appeared in The Connecticut Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Rattle, Pavement Saw, Plainsongs, Pudding, Slipstream, and Big Scream, among other journals. He edits Ohio (USA) Poetry Association’s annual member journal Common Threads. He is a founder and co-coordinator of The Poetry Forum in Columbus, now in its 32nd year, and is active in local socialist political actions.