“A Dime”

“A Dime”


A dime, a nickel, some few pennies,

Mementos gleaned from erudition in the arcade,
Treasured trinkets from the boardwalk and what is always made
In China of the Nimble-Fingered Children ever bored by destiny,
Abhorred and reproduced in millions; Luddite transformations
Transfix and fascinate in silence the quire of seekers of the moment,
Momentary movers of unimagined wealth and worth that foment
Profundity in shifts of circumspection. Quakes and admonitions
Break with all tradition to take care, to hold back, to withdraw a pace
To take a second look. How now laughter
At the child that chides the system: “After
English, learn Chinese, my son!” and so the race
Is on to turn the tawdry into excellence and circumstantial skill
That marries slavery and child abuse through cold dictation of the will.
The manifesto ministers to millions, and who is it stands
To gain—national pride and glory—who the peoples’ folly,
Who the witness in the valley of coincidence, the volley
Of inventions by the score, the copper’s light wires’ strands
That span the globe uniting minions yet dividing worlds beyond
The surfaces of forest meadows, lakes, and oceans,
Highest cliffs and even now is heard upon the Holy Mountain? Notions
In the cascade from the peaks to every sinkhole are the bonds,
Investments, hedge funds, the ponzis mounted to deflect the future’s
Sure surprise: “Please,” he says, “no more soup!” Too alkaline the innuendo,
Too acidic the gain, too little left to sustain the crescendo
Between what’s desired and what cannot be contained by cultures
Festering in the streets and buried bayous of the brokerage: virtual powers
Take umbrage in the security of the syllogism while fear and profit
induce the latest Book of Hours.

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