Sometimes, when grim realities and the limits of plain old prose descend upon my soul, I escape into writing poetry. I apologize to all true poets for intruding so clumsily into their domain, but acute attacks of American Apoplexy drove me to it. Here are three of my efforts:

Do I Exist Without my Master Card? (2008)
Take me back to the daze of consumption,
To wallow in the craze of galore,
When spending was my quest for redemption,
And getting was the goal of my core.

I'm liable to laugh off my layoff,
Numb to my plunging credit score,
Giddy 'cause the rescue's a mess, too,
Yet deplore that credit's days are yore.

Still, a better voice inside of me
Gives thought to how to live:
My want has groveled deplorably,
My getting's neglected to give.

Do I exist without a Master card,
Down a wormhole in a money tree?
To soar, what gaud must I discard?
Where hides the entity I might be?

This raw apprentice does aspire
To seek the Way with mindful purchase,
To skirt the deficits of desire,
And dodge the dogs of swindle, thus:

Fire the chefs who cooked the books,
Inter the bankers who buried the bets,
Shun the experts, jail the crooks,
Bless us with forgiven debts.

Is credit the rear-end of the nation,
When tricksters open debtors' gates
To disperse--as they fertilize their station--
Insolvency at predatory rates?

Dupes in thrall to blandishment,
We blissfully bequeathed our rights.
Now heavy debt demands foment;
Awareness is what freedom cites.

Passivity! In nothingness be buried!
Fear! Transcend redundancy!
Let my new self be seeded or be married
With people, planet, and fresh equity.

America After the Great Bust (2009)
The Fed restructures its paper pyramid;
Capitalism, running naked, scrapes bottom;
Real estate vacates without a counter-bid;
Families stay homeless well into autumn.

The global downturn shifts Earth’s axis;
Finance consorts with psychopathic sorts;
As bankers rig losses by misplacing faxes,
Good times rot on the docks of idle ports.

Googling Earth, economists fixate
On the leading coordinates of calamity.
Electronic funds in flight regurgitate
Surcharges on the use of gravity.

The wily old Dow sells short its know-how,
(With the Nasdaq also panicked in retreat),
And glances shyly at the tenets of the Tao
Before reaffirming the laws of self-defeat.

Our passivity, our nonbeing, remits the Street
For rash risk and foreclosure’s humiliations.
By night we bear the toxic sleet
Of collateralized obligations.

In truth we see Masters of the Universe
As galactic raiders who scavenge off it.
To be American is to protest and curse
Elites that wolf down death for profit.

Debt-ridden, we leap into inner space
Where destiny’s heroes are endowed.
Self can buy infinity’s time and place,
Cold cash not a single cloud.

Coming to Our Senses (2009)
Mother Earth and Father Sky
Ponder their next sensation;
Inside the people’s pulpy heads
They propose deep fomentation.

Says the Father to the Mother,
“Let’s impose a trial by fire—
We failed to quicken their senses
With science, statistics, and satire.”

“Yes, wooden heads,” notes Mother,
“Are knotted in denial.
If Climate can’t reboot their wits,
Beggary’s the needed lifestyle.”

The two disperse disruption,
And a storm of perfect sense
Exposes bankers’ avarice
And discredits their pretence.

Old systems now refuse to boot,
Or rationalize what’s insane.
Coexistence conjoins reality,
And coagulates the brain.

“What’s sane?” wonders Father.
Quotes Mother: “They must displace
Their negativity: Necessity demands
The flowering of their grace.”

Knowing breaches mainstream news;
Our voices outsmart sound bites;
Wrenching out the roots of chaos,
We dance to psyche's guiding lights.