• Boardwalk #1 – Krista Schwimmer
• Wage Slaves – Jim Smith
• Sweet Freedom – RFWagner, Jr.
• Once Again – Mary Getlein

• Declaring War – Mark Lipman

____________

Boardwalk #1

So it begins.
The summer pulse
on Venice Boardwalk.
i walk towards the pier
passing tattoo bodies, sun bodies
muscle bodies, wrinkled bodies, new bodies.
i breeze past two Latino women
their shopping carts lined in black
selling bouquets of watermelon, papaya, cucumber
in long, thin strips.
The vendors are in place,
the buskers are ready to perform
on glass, on stilts, with fire and knives
and the tourists arrive eternally.

i reach the pier, noting
a Latino man hurriedly leaving
his steel cart neatly packed with his fishing gear.
“That’s what the homeless need!”
exclaims another Caucasian man to his friend,
pointing at the fisherman’s stylish cart.
i pause to ponder
this man’s solution for the homeless: better carts.
i want to say something, anything
to the happy, stupid man but he has already
dissolved into the crowd, taking
his better-carts-for-the-homeless-campaign
with him.

Still, the pulse goes on
with the pleasures of the Boardwalk
prepared by the desperate, the creative,
the independent, and the damned.
So come on over!
Get your name engraved on a grain of sand.
Let Zoltar tell you your fortune for a dollar.
There’s enough chaos here
for all to feast on
now that summer is back
on Venice Boardwalk again.

– krista schwimmer

———–

Wage Slaves

By Jim Smith

Wage slaves,
men and women:
Rise up!
Run away!
This is no way
to live

You get your education
in the bowels of a factory
You slave for a paycheck
in the bowels of a factory
You lay when you’re sick or dying
in the bowels of a factory

You don’t need your toys,
your TVs, your circuses.
they can’t save you
from the abyss
that is rushing at you
with the speed of time.

Throw off your image.
Throw off your chains.
Stop being entertained.

Look at the ocean.
Look at your life.
Find out what’s left.

———–

Sweet freedom beckons me to take my leave./ An ace that I had hidden up my sleeve/ that I’m about to play. Held in reserve./ concealed for when I finally got the nerve./ Sweet freedom hides, this moment, but once called,/ will swiftly rise to revise my whole world./ she promised she would come, by faith believed./ Then, when I least expected, was approved./ Sweet freedom in the wings, soon she’s revealed./ And whether curse or blessing, it’s been sealed./ I’m ready. Let her come. It’s time to move./ I have no doubt that she will find a groove,/ and we will dance on clouds, forever save/ this moment. I consent to be her slave……..leaving LA forever for Yellowstone. –RFWagner, Jr.

———–

Once Again

I go to the beach and once again
I’m treated to the spectacle of eight cops
busting one tired old homeless guy –
who had too many tickets –
he’s politely trying to explain to the cops why he
didn’t pay his tickets –
They pack him and all his possessions up –
He asks –
can’t you put my food out on the bench so
homeless people could eat it? The cop threw it away.
He told them earlier he had a nice mango for dinner
when he was still begging for an O.R. –
How many cops does it take to arrest one homeless guy?
Eight, apparently.
After they left, my friend and I liberated the mango
from the trash can.
I’m a “formerly homeless” and have no fear of trash cans.
Especially the ones on the beach,
with fresh new liners for the weekend crowds.
We scored a mango, two apples, a container of cheese.
It’s the first and the guy bought some good stuff.
I used to be mad, and rant at the cops.
Now we’re just tired and used to it.
We watch how someone’s tax money is misspent.
“Cleaning up the beach” means locking poor people away.
God forbid someone should see a poor man eating a mango.

–Mary Getlein

___________

Declaring War
By Mark Lipman
I’m going to war. I’m declaring war on poverty. I want to rip it out by its root causes and trample it to the ground. I am declaring war against hunger. I want to know why hundreds of millions are dying from starvation, while we are paying subsidies to farmers for burning crops. In this world today there is no excuse for one hungry mouth.
I am declaring war against homelessness. Why is it that in the richest country in the world, hundreds of thousands of people live and die on the streets? Why do they feel such helplessness? Why is one man’s wealth based on another man’s poverty? Why are the personal interests of a few powerful men equivalent to the national interests for all? I want to know these answers and I want to find the right solutions for these problems.
But most importantly, I am declaring war on hatred and ignorance, because without these you can have no crime and violence and without these we can all live in peace.
Declaring War
By Mark Lipman
I’m going to war. I’m declaring war on poverty. I want to rip it out by its root causes and trample it to the ground. I am declaring war against hunger. I want to know why hundreds of millions are dying from starvation, while we are paying subsidies to farmers for burning crops. In this world today there is no excuse for one hungry mouth.
I am declaring war against homelessness. Why is it that in the richest country in the world, hundreds of thousands of people live and die on the streets? Why do they feel such helplessness? Why is one man’s wealth based on another man’s poverty? Why are the personal interests of a few powerful men equivalent to the national interests for all? I want to know these answers and I want to find the right solutions for these problems.
But most importantly, I am declaring war on hatred and ignorance, because without these you can have no crime and violence and without these we can all live in peace.

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