Don't Tread on Me
Every small business is a miracle
willed into this nasty world
and every business owner a hero
made perfect for one moment then gone
the way of the yeoman farmer
a terrible figure
of immaculate virtue and cred.
A miracle is to receive this miracle risen
again from scheming, eternal fires:
donít tell me that fire gives up on us
just smolders there and styles
beside the tzarís sarcophagus.
they have permanently burning fire
pits in the public squares
to remind its citizens of the eternal struggle
though I myself donít believe in work
as a virtue. I donít strip-mine the forest
or choke the river with garbage.
I have the decency to study my privilege
with a preoccupying scrutiny
print it out every day
to hate it, which is hard work
believe me. All day all evening thinking
positions to stave off despair.
Thinking how cacophonous fire must
be as you die in it.
What is work, when all of us are
sad and done. If I can, should I not loaf
in my sunlit cube, reading Lives of the Tzars
commemorating my wife
whose indomitable will I served
and feared gladly.
ďShe gets itĒ
I would always think, as she pegged me.
She really gets it.
is an†Assistant Professor of English at County College of Morris in New Jersey. He is the author of several books, including 89 Screenplays for Nightmare City, Universal Description of the Known World Without End and Country Album. His poetry has been published in more than 50 literary journals, and he is currently the associate editor of the Journal of New Jersey Poets and consulting editor for The Virginia Normal. He previously taught at Binghamton University, the University of Texas at Austin, Virginia State University and Bloomfield College.