a.d. winans | the system


Politicians who run on change
and give us chump change

A system where the young drown
in loan debt

A system where half the Congress
Are millionaires
Protecting their millionaire brothers

Manufacturing dead
Workers unemployed or forced to work
at low paying jobs
that cannot sustain a family

Men and women
Who have worked half their lives
Laid off
Given a two-week severance check

A Supreme Court of politicians
Dressed in black robes
who declare corporations
an Individual
And money
The 21st Century God

A system that fears voices of dissent
A system that stifles peaceful demonstrations
A system where pepper spray and tear gas
Are used on protestors
Like bug spray on weeds

Tear gas and clubs remind me of the 60s
The Vietnam protests the Chicago brutality
If you learn anything from history
you have learned nothing

You speak of the sin of our national debt
But the real sin is the homeless
Gay bashing wall street criminals
Greedy bankers and politicians
Bought by lobbyists

As we build more prisons
To discourage revolution
While cutting back
On food stamps for the poor
In order to give the rich
More tax breaks

Right wing radio calls the protestors
Hippie scum
When all they are doing
is crying out for economic justice
in a failed system

I worked the better part of my life,
But I can no longer pledge allegiance
to the flag of the U.S.
And everything it no longer stands for

I will not bow down to corporate America
And the tea party
I cannot accept your moral bankruptcy
Your greenback God
Buying and selling human lives
on the stock market exchange
Where Ka-ching Ka-ching
Has become the new National Anthem.

We protestors are not your enemy
We are your conscience
You have become one big insane asylum
Run by right wing extremists
Your manic-depressive innkeepers
Waging war on the masses
A war this time
You cannot
And will not

Poem I read last night at the launching for Occupy San Francisco Poetry anthology‏ — A.D.Winans | April 3, 2012

0 Replies to “a.d. winans | the system”

  1. Speaking of pledging, here’s an old piece which I hoped I could retire, but find it perhaps more apropos now than ever:


    i do not choose
    to pledge allegiance
    to black divided from white
    red states from blues
    shades of brown
    in every town
    one nation, all too divisible
    baptist divided from catholic
    gentile from jew
    muslim from buddhist
    me from you
    one nation, under whose god ?
    white collars
    washed separately from
    blue collars
    in an oh, so
    delicate cycle
    while collarless slaves
    dig their own graves
    trying to get to the
    one nation, invisible
    once they’re here
    there’s plenty to fear
    some living large
    others quite small
    i’ll pledge allegiance
    when there’s justice for all

    – Ralph Murre 2004

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