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By Dear Dirty America
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125 Dollars A Year

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Your situation may not be ideal, but it could be worse
If I can’t make a
living at my art,

am I selling my soul

by working at

I hate

in order to eat, or
feed my family,

while I pursue my life
and art?

And does it matter if

make minimum wage,

or become

financially solvent

from my

despised labor?

Who and where is the

judge who judges

such things?

Was my writing better

when I

was going


sleeping on park

and stranger’s 



food from super
markets, and

walking the streets?

I speak to you, you
reading this,

you hearing this, you
of the

privileged class! Yes,
you elitist


You who can read …
reading books

and magazines of
literature, you who own computers …

while three-quarters
of the people

of the earth

exist on a 125 dollars
a year.

We are the privileged,
we are

the elitists!

We who can afford to
write and

read in the comfort of

some individual
corner. Even if you happen to be

on the bum when you
read this … you have

a dumpster, or garment

or maybe a tree to
lean against.

At least you have

You may say that

is relative 
on the earth.. 

But there is nothing relative
about starving

and oppressed human

You know or have known

Well, I don’t 
think any of us can really claim to know poverty.

Yet, let me know the

sweat and blood

of my labor, whatever

it may be.

Even, if I end up
hating the

machine which produces

knowing full well it
is the

very same machine,

which is responsible

for the destitution
and ignorance of

people, who populate

three-quarters of the

Doug Draime’s most recent full-length collection is More Than The Alley (Interior Noise Press). Also, available are 4 chapbooks. Dusk With Carol(Kendra Steiner Editions),Rock ‘n Roll Jizz(Propaganda Press),Los Angeles Terminal: Poems 1971-1980 (Covert Press), and an online chap, Speed of Light (Right Hand Pointing). A presence in the ‘underground’ literary movement since the late 1960′s. Awarded PEN grants in 1987, 1991, and 1992. Nominated for several Pushcart Prizes in last few years.

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