Machiavellian Business Snakes

Machiavellian Business Snakes - art by Frost Newton

Forests falling down
destructions all around
spotlights on fellers
felling old growth trees

Tough guys gazing into space
flatten unprotected
homes of the innocent

Steamrolling habitats
wiping out wetlands
striking up strip malls

Corporate crooks they factory farm
practice mutagenics
global warming’s just a start
sweeping under carpet
the harms they perpetrate

Damn these parasites these fakes
machiavellian business snakes
shortsighted money grubbing
wormy squirmy weasels

In their hackneyed coats and ties
narcissistic weenies
trumpeting a host of ways
that entangle and divide

Spewing worse than stinky
destructive plumes of air pollution
machiavellian business snakes
claiming they know what it takes
to help poor folks prosper

In reality they hide
inside golden towers
interested in strangleholds
monopolizing power

Killing every creature in the forest
quite capricious making sure
more and more
eco systems vanish

Hollow and barbaric
a juggernaut this world of suits
multiplying knockout blows
pumping toxins into creek beds
dumping plastic in the ocean

All the time refusing
to accept responsibility
evil power prizing pricks
raping mother earth

  

Drawing above by Frost Newton

 

© 2017 by Kelsey Wilder

The Savior

On Powell Street a few blocks up from Market,
a rail thin, black transsexual in hot pants and a bra
is yelling at people, “25 cents. That’s all I need
to get something to eat!

When I put a dollar in her hand, she says in a high-pitched voice,
Oh my God, darling! You saved my life!

And after I walk a few steps past her, I turn and see her
moving through the crowd, probably to the Burger King
or McDonalds where she’ll savor her food
as if it was a gourmet meal,

and maybe say a prayer for me. . .

the one who saved her life.
 
 

© 2017 by Jeff Zable

Selective Taste

I’m eating a sandwich in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s
when a homeless guy appears on my wife’s side of the car.
When she rolls down the window I say to him,
What can I do for you?
Looking at my sandwich he says, “I’m very hungry. Can you help me?
Putting my sandwich down, I take out my wallet, hand him two ones
and say, “This should get you something at Trader Joe’s—good luck!
I continue eating my sandwich when all of a sudden it hits me.
What the hell is wrong with me!” I say to my wife.
Why didn’t I give him the other half of my sandwich!
My wife responds, “You could still catch him if you wanted to!
With that I get out of my car and see him standing in front Joe’s
begging for money.
Here!” I say, and hand him the other half.
He looks at me and asks, “Is it a good sandwich?
Is it good!” I say to him, “It’s chicken with pesto.
It’s the best you’ll ever eat!

When I get in my car my wife asks if he appreciated getting the sandwich.
To which I answer, “I don’t know. I’d have to ask him.
I get the sense that he has very selective taste. . .

 
 

-copyr. 2017 by Jeff Zable

[This piece originally appeared in Tower Journal, 2016]

Have a Pressing Problem?

A place on Sacramento Street
that sits you in a catbird seat.
For finery in need of care,
Peninou, he’ll meet you there!

Old hand Pierre Peninou
knowing what your garment’s worth,
glowingly he measures girth.
Unrivaled service brought to you by
plucky Pierre Peninou!

In a hurry? Please, don’t worry.
There is so much he can do.
Skillful Pierre Peninou!
Fancy looking logo on his company hat.
Consummate taste, it shows in that.
Cultured Pierre Peninou!

Pierre mending collar stays.
He’ll impress proper plays.
Remarkable his craftsmanship
especially with finer things.
He’ll make sure seersucker
suits positively sing!

He’ll unwrinkle, block, repair, even cuff & collar
skirts, culottes, sweats and blazers.
Pierre spruces laundry bags
always with a winning splash.
Velvet capes he’ll clean with style.
Get your night gown pressed with dash.
Suits he tailors just for you.
Crafty Pierre Peninou!

He will reinforce, depill,
stain guard & repel for you.
Flat cuffs cold, that’s old hat.
Stuff that he can quickly do.
Call up Pierre Peninou!

  

© 2017 by Kelsey Wilder

Casing the Headlands

Casing the Headlands

Snappy cannons in these hills
conveying what’s American.

Here by Rodeo Beach
before there were A-bombs
mammoth gun turrets
kept enemies at bay.

In this place orderlies
from distant eras congregate.
A wistful klatch of inductees
gath’ring under clumps of trees.

Attachés from long ago
in silver hazes by the sea
spindly ring metallic notes
buoys fiddle dee dee

Gazing out at blue sea stack
(along this coast a shimmery glaze),
taking in the crashing waves

Like Helmut Lang in days of yore,
a slinky wisp perambulating
prancing this majestic shore
wandering ’round I lurk and ponder Hill 88.

What ghosts will some strange cat see
fifty years from now?

Will there be another batch of narley
spirits by the sea?
Gaucho reincarnates
loping down scrubby slopes?

Maybe they’ll be perched beside
a dreamy wag like me
who also comes to perorate…
a little philosophical by Hill 88.1

  

1 Rodeo Beach & Hill 88 are in the Marin headlands of Golden Gate park, locations which for a hundred years plus were part of a monster military base. Happily, these are now a staging ground for spectacular sunsets.

  

© 2017 by Kelsey Wilder

The Managed Care Machine

The Managed Care Machine

Are we just reptiles?
Managed care patients building up steam
in agony sit around waiting to get seen

First fill out form sir
handed wads of paper and a clipboard
manifesting gloom
contemplating doom

Hokey art darns the walls
everything in here screams
Welcome to The Soulless Managed Care Machine

Short shrift that’s all you get
blinded by fluorescent lights
through your head disgust careens

Sitting here you can’t escape
plastic horror after horror
Kafka-esque this place obscene
The Managed Care Machine

  

© 2017 by Kelsey Wilder

Music and Poetry Audio

The following tracks are performances by author Kelsey Wilder with music by Anthony Sepulveda.

Note: Below are short samples only. These are all clips taken from this author’s longer, entire songs or poems. Contact us here to get the full songs or poems.

 

      (clip) The San Francisco Beat - Sepulveda and Wilder

 

      Clamorous Brooklyn - Sepulveda and Wilder

 

      Her Black Crushed Velvet Hat - Sepulveda and Wilder

 

The Mass Transit Blues

I.

Nonexistent safety net
no help for the ones who get
billed a hundred thousand times
the going rate getting sick
swindled by some Kafkaesque
health insurance bureaucrats

Jerked around and fingered
like a piece of human lumber
treated like a grim subhuman
tagged with ID number

Corporato profiteer robots far and near
pawns and peons rushing ’round
(ambitious sorts who do not care and
could not be more cruel)
obsequious and cavalier
greed has become cool

Where is love where compassion
human warmth not in fashion
space cadets in public spaces
sporting ugly stressed out faces

Wondering and pondering
what does all this mean
jittery fingers palpitating
up & down purse strings
challenged brains don’t care
nothing works any more

Pacing floor corner store
trudging down a filthy sidewalk
between trash heap squares and screws
miseries a zillion billion bundled up shoving throughs
between every hangdog face
the mass transit blues

II.

Snapping turtles left and light
snip snap about grand dysfunctions
underpinning urban blight

  

-copyr. 2017 by Kelsey Wilder

Healthy Sign - Deep Ecology in SF Bay

Healthy Sign

Flip flap happy ducklings
trawl a brackish pond
eleven fuzzy downy feathered gadwall ducklings
not a single one has ever faced danger

Mother goose watches them
chasing eel grass tadpoles fish
encouraging to see eleven
energizer ducklings

Sunlit days thru SF Bay
visions of these flash within
eco conscious minds like mine
a palpable inordinately welcome
healthy sign

  

© 2017 by Kelsey Wilder