Hard scrabble

(Photo credit: Jeff Nguyen)

(Photo credit: Jeff Nguyen)

A life of relative ease
jet set and elite
never no pain
never know hunger
justice a mere arm’s length away

Life is hard scrabble
outside of the box
where who you don’t know
can swiftly kill in the end
judges stumble blindly in the street

When your belly is full
and the eyes call the shots
it’s all for the taking
all that glitters is golden and gated
for privilege so deftly inherited

When your belly is empty
the hands become weary
of grasping at straws
for needles hidden within
the haystacks of drudgery

So hitch up the bootstraps
and neatly do as they do
have American dreams in the night
with faces tilted upward to the nobility
and backs turned on the rabble.

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11 Responses to Hard scrabble

  1. Even your poetry bites. Well written.

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  2. smilecalm says:

    keep on singing it out, brother.
    gives me some hope
    on this princess cruise ship of fools
    headed for the falls
    and no sign of eddying out.
    may the peace in ourselves
    bring peace to the world.
    and we know sitting on a cushion
    is not enough.
    be well :-)

    Like this

  3. lens1 says:

    “So hitch up the bootstraps
    and neatly do as they do
    have American dreams in the night
    with faces tilted upward to the nobility
    and backs turned on the rabble.”

    Get. Out. Of my head! : )

    Great stuff Jeff…
    Thank you.

    Like this

  4. Open Up Life says:

    Powerful poetry! Peace and power to you. Tammy

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  5. Great work, my friend. :) I couldn’t help but feel (perhaps this is my misreading) that a sense of despair came across in your poem. Hard scrabble, indeed, but like Thornton Mellon we must–and will–rage against the dying of the light: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTv1Dmu5CYc
    And on a final note, in a twist on Bob Marley’s legendary jam, I’d say: “Them belly full, but them hungry.” This is in line with Slavoj Zizek’s re-formulation of the communist conception of the proletariat, motive force for moving beyond the capitalist nightmare you’ve so poetically rendered. Glad to be in touch :)

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