Feb 20, 2011

State of the Poem

Direct Deposit


We allow Tom, Dick, Harry or any other
Employer, customer, utility or con man
To put money in our bank accounts;
We call it direct deposit.
Don’t give me a piece of paper
That I have to take down and sign
Over to the bank, just put it right
In there where I have all there is
To my name, address and social
Life savings teetering on the honesty
Of myself, my friends and acquaintances
That I try to dupe out of their hard earned
Disposable income anyway I can.


What if we happened upon Mr. Wells’
Time Machine? Would we use it to further
Our schemes for wealth and power or
Would we let well enough alone
Refusing the opportunity to make a buck
Out of an advantage? What if we could
Propose a sale of something we didn’t have
And go back in time to buy it when it was
Cheap to acquire, hide it where we could
Keep it safe and return to the present
For our own gift and sell it at current prices?


What if we could not resist the addiction
Of easy money made time after time or
Would that be time before time? Perhaps
We would not be able to handle the volume and
All the jobs it takes to make something grow
Large with largess and so we would have to
Add someone else to take care of the store
While we constantly ran back in time to
Save time while we bought up what could not
Be bought if you sought it out now. But
What if we developed a simple but easy
Superstition, a jinx out of sorts with the idea
Of looking at the place where we would hide
Whatever we were going back in time to get?


What if that was our tell, our giveaway that
Let our helper think they could help themselves?
Maybe we would be too consistent in our pattern
Of always looking in the same place for our loot
Thinking that we understood how this all worked
Or at least that we wouldn’t look too closely at
The walls, lest they be glass and we fall against
Our shattered hopes and superstitions.


What if we ventured into a time and place
When times weren’t so safe as we supposed
Where no matter how much we prepared
No matter how well we watched out
When maybe we should have been looking in
To what our ego was warning us about,
Something went wrong, terribly, awfully,
Completely wrong and we could not ever
Come back to the present.


What would our assistant do when we did not
Return to the store, or return to our hidey hole?
Would they simply go home, find another job,
Become a soap opera revivalist, grow their hair
Long time for a good time, or would they be
At least a little tempted to look, to see whether
Or not Schrodinger’s cat was hiding in the hole
And think at least a little bit about what it might
Mean if they found a tiger instead?

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