counting worth city-scapes 4
listen up - click on the arrow
these humans beneath our feet, on sidewalks
and in doorways, they’ve gone
hidden in piss-stained pants, puke-crusted clothes,
masked weather-torn faces,
toothless, numbed tongues.
Scene 2 – add and on
we calculate meaning and value useless and undeserving
with new equations.
x, annual salary +
y, savings, investments, +
z, home, golf club or spa x 2 (for prestige) +
a, restaurant, holiday expenses +
b, cars, children in private school =
w or worth
we’ve reduced lives to a series of additions and subtractions
to economics and formulas.
as we should, we follow examples of government
and big business to climb
over backs and heads
to reach a pinnacle -
we can't yet see.
it makes redacted sense –
if your ‘w’ is greater than the neighbors,
you’re a success.
take it, cherish it,
one day you’ll notice a lawn that’s greener,
a car that’s larger,
a house more mansion.
that day, you’ll be a failure
again - welcome back.
Scene 3 - and minus
for people who have barely enough,
these formulas are cement cold, their feet are concrete.
they are forgotten urban pilgrims, scorched earth people.
society shrinks behind a mask that covers grimaced condescension and tidal wave repulsion
at their cringing weakness.
Scene 4 - buried
we rush by, faces high in ignorance, leave a wake
nothing left behind,
nothing to forage,
nothing to hope for, no help on a white steed.
and in that wake inevitable as ice floes,
voices of sharp-fanged uniforms
‘move along, can’t stay, just my job,’
fully weaponed refuse the reality of dis-members of society who scramble away
until uniforms blue and red lights
Scene 5 - still gone
still strewn, on corners and concrete crevices.
on streets of frigid shame.
forgetting who they are. we pay angry attention
to those who are unable.
to keep up,
to raise their voice.
those who endure
life on the crumbling edges, daily inconsequence.
they are unseen rubble we stumble over.
as their lives blur out of
our focus, we breathe as normal.
Scene 6 - inevitable
their existence tramples our normal,
like halloween kids ruining flower gardens.
their lives - housed in back alleys - hot air vents -
are the credits that roll at the end
of a cheap horror movie, that dim, dim, dims
until the curtains close.
their lives fade they return to where they belong.
fade out …