Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ballin' The Jack

Spread your lovin’ arms way out in space 
You do the eagle rock with such style and grace 
You put your left foot out and then you bring it back
 That’s what I call ballin’ the jack -
 Lyrics by Danny Kaye

What’s that you say
That I’m still behind on the rent
and that my food budget
is already spent?

And  the phone company
wants to shut off my phone                                                                                                                              
and I still haven’t paid off
that friggin’ student loan?

Here’s what I should like
to be able to tell them all to do-
(Expletives Deleted!
I have to think
of my grand kids after all.
Someday one of them may
get hold of a book of my poems
and then what?)

I think
It’s high time
that I begin to
once again
relearn the fine art
of telling
off the rich and famous!

I remember
(as through a glass darkly)
how we all
used to march together
taking our protests
to the streets
(And back then there were
millions of us!)

Those were the days my friends
days of anger and
days of getting our rage on
and attempts were even
made by some
(led by Timothy Leary and
Abbie Hoffman)
to levitate the Pentagon!

And yes
we managed to
get ourselves arrested
and yes
we got our heads
beaten with batons
by the Chicago police
and others
but in the end
we were able
(all of us together!)
to put an end to war!

Let’s go back and
search through some of the
old boxes of books
where we may have stored away
in the corners of
all of our collective
basements and attics
such antiquities as
may yet be
useful to our cause

Remember the books
we used to own by
Mao and Che
Lenin and Fidel
Malcolm and Martin?

It may sound like an old chestnut
but the meaning behind their words
nonetheless still remains true:

Workers of the world unite!
We have nothing to lose
but our chains!

Philadelphia, Pa. 2012

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