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18-04-18

18-04-18
Man! – they sure fucked things up!
In less that forty years of trickle-down bullshit
Designed to screw the Working Class
Out of everything they fought for
For almost two centuries
The Middle Classes are now being squeezed
And bled dry!
It costs more than a million dollars
To buy a rundown shack in the former slums
Being gentrified
By absentee owners
Or ripped down
And replaced with hideous condos
They sell in far distant lands
To cover their building costs
So they can sit empty
While the ranks of the Homeless grow and grow
So that soon,
Even the Middle Classes
Will be joining them
And is it any wonder
The buggers are beginning to bleat and moan?
Oh well,
At least they know
Finally,
How the Working Class
The worked so hard
To screw
Feel about what was done to them.

So,
I ask,
"Who's really to blame for all this?"

Is it the speculators and traders,
The builders and developers,
The estate agents
And the people selling their homes
At grossly inflated rates
Everyone hoping to make a killing
Off the Housing Crisis?

Is it the big financiers
And the bankers
The businessmen of Bay Street
And the CEOs they hire
To do their dirty work?

Is it the politicians –
The mayor and council
In the developer's pockets?
The premier
Who is afraid
To do what has to be done
Take bold steps
To reduce foreign ownership
And land speculation
The Prime Minister
Who seems to exist solely
To ponce and preen
Before the public gaze?

These are all
Supposedly
Leftwing politicians
So paralysed by their fear
Of Big Business
And what it can do to the Economy
They fail to understand
That they do nothing.
For all their effectiveness,
They might as well be
Politicians of the Right –

Regardless of who we elect these days
Business gets what it wants
And the rest of us
Get screwed.

Perhaps it's the politicians
Who openly serve
The interests
Of Big Business –
The Righties!

Rightwing politicians
Openly work for Business
Though they pretend otherwise
At election time
When they couch their real intentions
In the same tired old rhetoric
They've sold the Middle Classes on
For decades
"Fiscal responsibility!"
"Balanced budget!"
"Level playing field!"
"Becoming more competitive!"
"We must learn to stand on our own two feet!"
"What's good for Business
Is good for Society!"
"Reduce red tape!"
"Fairness!"
"Freedom!"

Funny how the National Debt
Usually rises
When the Righties come to power
Though
Spending on anything
Beneficial to Society's longterm interests
Education
Health Care
Social Welfare
Environmental Protection
Worker Safety
Fair Wages
Gets cut to the bone,
Our Future well-being
Sacrificed
To the needs of Business
To make a bigger buck
Than it made yesterday –
But the Righties
Have more important things
To spend our taxes on:
Beefing up the military
Hiring more police
Spending more on policing equipment
Such as anti-riot gear
Tax cuts for the wealthiest members of society
Huge sporting extravaganzas
To keep the masses entertained.
Crime is always a big concern
Of the Righties
And usually increases
Dramatically
When they're in power,
But
Organised Crime
Is a business too!

The last thing Big Business wants
Is a level playing field
With a more competitive environment
Unless it's for those young upstarts
Threatening to take these bloated bastards down.

If the playing field really was level,
What big established businessman
Would be able to stand
On his own two feet?
What Businessman has ever
Been able to stand
On his own two feet
Without massive tax breaks
And subsidies
Bail outs and buy backs
As though the reservoir
Of our tax dollars
Was bottomless?
At one time
We gave our resources away
At bargain basement prices
Then we just gave them away.
Now,
We are paying
Big Business
To take them off our hands.

This makes great business sense
If you're a businessman
ROTFLYAO all the way to the banker
Who's also in on the joke.
What's good for Business
Is rarely good
For Society,
Like reducing the red tape
Enacted
To protect our environment
From the businessman's greed.

In all fairness
The businessman
Seeks to be free
To do as he pleases
Free from the responsibility
To clean up the mess he makes
While he's profiting
From our gullibility.

So,
The Left
Let's us down
Through timidity
While
The Right
Screws us
On behalf of Big Business,
Leaving us
To wonder
What's the point
Of voting anymore
When the end result
Is just more of the same old bullshit?

Enter in the Populists!
With much fanfare
And drum-beating,
They talk the talk
And appear to walk the walk
All the way to the podium.
They're on our side!
They too hate those elites
Who've hijacked our democracy!
But,
They too are righties
They are part of the elite
More often than not
And,
They are racists
Trying to divide us
Turn us against ourselves
Using race as a scapegoat
For all society's ills.

So
They talk the talk
But change the story
And
They walk the walk
Right up to that day of glory!

But,
The story
Is given a new twist
On the day after,
As once again
Everyone who fell for their bullshit
Gets fucked right up the arse
By these dire wolves in sheep's clothing
Bursting our doors down
With their noise;
For,
They are really
Working for those same elites
That have been screwing us all along.

Am I too cynical?
It seems to me
The majority of the Middle Classes
Want a strong leader
Who will tell everyone
What to do.
In this way,
They can evade any sense of responsibility
For the ills and woes of Society
Since they were only
Following
Some one else's orders.

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Last few words: 
Since I wrote this last night (and rewrote it this morning) it is the most recent thing I've written, but it has been festering in my head for ages, though I keep evading the main issue that obsesses me lately; namely, society's attitudes towards the Homeless. (This is at least the second poem I have written recently that kind of skirts round the issue, rather than confronting it head on.) Judging by some of the comments I've had previously, some people are not going to like the content or the cynicism. I therefore only ask that people critique the poetry, rather than the content, for I struggle to write about things that don't affect me emotionally in some way, even if that emotion is the negative one of pure rage. (Turning rage into poetry seems a lot more constructive than letting it devour me from the inside out. Better for my health too!) And I wish that uploading would preserve the poem's physical structure on the page! I use line breaks and indents with specific purposes in a lot of my "free verse" poetry, and it is unsettling to see this structure annihilated by the uploading algorithms.
Editing stage: 

Comments

I have on the other things I've submitted, given the knock me back choice, but I was told off for content (it having a religious component, in the sense that it was asking where Jesus is when children get killed or horrifically injured during a war). Everyone has a right to disagree with a poet's point-of-view, but the poet should still have the right to air that point-of-view in a poem, and the poem should be critiqued on its merits as poetry, rather than on its content per se. So, I chose the option of asking for helpful critiquing rather than knock me on my arse. I am happy to have people knock me on my arse for the poetic qualities, but I think it's wasting everyone's time to complain about the content (unless it is really vile, like loaded with racist, sexist or homophobic bullshit). People seem reluctant to post poems with either religious or political content I've noticed. Yet, both are big themes that have obsessed poets for centuries, millennia even. If we cut out themes that might offend people, we are failing as artists, because artists have always been provocative. Aristophanes never held back his views, no matter how much they annoyed the local Athenian authorities. Menander perhaps had to be more circumspect, since Greece had become a kind of military dictatorship after Alexander took over and conquered the known world. (There are hints of self-censorship in some of Menander's plays, almost all fo which only exist as fragments. Be interesting to know what the full plays might have revealed.) Shakespeare lived in Tudor times, which were dangerous times, and he therefore had to be careful what he said, but even he lets drop occasional hints of discontent with the way things are.

author comment

Very informative, i have gained new insights after reading your poem.

" I therefore only ask that people critique the poetry, rather than the content,"
That will be a hard thing to do; since this has been festering in your head, and suddenly poured out, it is then about content.
This is a very coherent presentation, but some times explanations go too far, even branch out.
There are many jewels in here. Now It is like wine, if it was condensed it could become brandy .

T

The most powerful reaction
of mind on mind
is transference of sight

Thanks for your comments. I used to go in for that business of condensing but I disliked the staccato way it sounded when I read it back to myself. It has been the mantra since at least the late 60s, and I remember a Creative Writing teacher advising me to condense as early as 1975. I also recollect, as an editor for a literary publication produced at McGill University by its Arts and Science Students Society or summat like that, helping other poets to condense their work down. Somewhere along the way, I kind of rebelled against the long-prevailing wisdom and stopped doing it, unless I wanted to achieve a certain effect. Last Creative Writing course I took was at UBC, and one of the students (who became teacher's pet) was a proponent of extreme concision. (I disagreed. The poetry teacher was not amused, and I got the lowest mark.) I still disagree: any technique should be used with a conscious purpose in mind, including concision. I will read through it and see if I agree or not, and make changes accordingly. Personally, I like things to flow with occasional turbulence when it serves a purpose.

author comment

I am constantly editing! I was editing this thing even while I was posting it on here! (And now I have noticed a bloody typo, which I can't remove!) As I said, I use concision when I want to get a certain effect. There are moments in this poem where I used it. I have come to view a poem such as this one, as kind of like a river: there are smoothly flowing sections and there are riffles of turbulence, whitewater, back eddies, waterfalls and so on. When I write a kind of rambling free verse thing like this, I use indenting and line breaks to enhance that sense of flowing. Unfortunately, every internet thing I've seen anywhere for posting a poem removes this structuring. (I ceased posting poems on Facebook for this reason. Also, I got paranoid about Facebook and the possibility that they might be able to slyly steal away any sense of personal ownership somehow.)

author comment

concise ending fraught with religious connotation. Amen!
~ Geezer.
.

It seems that the days and hours that people
are available for chatroom are staggered and
not a good match for most everyone. How about
if everyone just shows up at the door, whenever
they have a few free minutes?

I guess one can see that I am not a big fan of the middle classes! They did give us Thatcher and Reagun and two Bushes and Harper and Brexit and Cameron and May and Trump! In Ontario, they are likely going to give us Doug Ford (who is basically a thug), brother of crack-smoking former mayor of Toronto Rob Ford. (I'm not condemning a man for being a drug addict, which it seems Rob Ford was; however, his brother has come out as being dead against safe injection sites for addicts. Seems it was fine for his brother to be a druggee, but anyone else it's no go. Given our current opioid crisis with overdoses skyrocketing thanks to Fentanyl and carfentanil – safe injection sites are a necessity whose time came a long time ago.)

author comment
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