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THE KILLING FLOOR

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Editor's Note: The anti-establishment, anti-capitalist sentiments expressed in this poem do not necessarily reflect the views of OEN or its editorial staff. However, if they provoke you to  think, to disagree, or otherwise clarify your own sentiments we suggest that the author may have done you a service -- that's the nature of free discourse. 

 

THE KILLING FLOOR

Like free-range "beef" and "poultry"
we plead for a more gentle slaughter,
that we might arrive more comfortably unaware,
into the cattle chute of capitalism's abattoir.

When we raged against "The Establishment"
they said that there wasn't any.
There's no such thing as "The System" or "The Man"
said the beneficiaries of structural inequality.

The Leviathan lies in waiting
with all its bribes and soothing lies.
And anyone with a hope of uncloaking it,
most often signs away his life.

JFK signed Executive order one, one, one, one, zero
in order to usurp the money power
of its debt-slavery-dominance status quo
and thus condemned himself to die in Dallas.

Doctor Martin Luther King successfully exposed
the inevitable outcomes of capitalism:   war and poverty,
and was rewarded for this truth with a bullet through the throat
as he stood speaking on a Memphis motel balcony.

John Lennon was so charismatic to the young
in his insistence that we give peace a chance
and imagine a world with no religion or property
that he was murdered on his own front door steps.

Kennedy's true intent was defanged
with the relegation of his memory to Camelot's mists.
King's revolutionary epiphany was neutered
by limiting his memory to civil rights activist.

Lennon's legacy was simply left to be imagined
as a fan's tragic murder of a rock 'n' roll star,
but the killings at Kent and Jackson State,
Chicago's gassings and beatings of students,
were, indeed, the "invisible" Establishment's finest hour,

bringing the fact into undeniable focus
that the same thing can happen to any one of us, too.
And it was burned into the nation's collective memory
that this would be the result of dissent's pursuit.

And "they" soon put the invisible iron fist back
into the velvet glove of perception management
and relied on public diplomacy and advertising
for control as well as keeping us ignorant.

They pulled back on allowing the people to witness
unsettling examples of imperial brutality.
No more flag-draped coffins of cannon fodder or war
live and in living color, on prime time TV.

Our protesting would henceforth be confined to zones
behind barbed wire to ensure that our speech would be "free"
while  the Invisible Empire began to up their kill rate
using credit to cull our numbers financially

because The Establishment had no use for 2/3 of us
and the Middle Class had gotten way too large.
So they cut off our allowance by massive outsourcing,
taking back benefits and de-unionizing jobs

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Vi's works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is "Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).

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