Stevieslaw: My poem on New Verse News

Big day today. Here is my poem on New Verse News:

Slum Lord

You send the beef
in bowling shirts
and shitkicker boots
every Sunday morning
to collect from the perennial poor
in the claptraps
you own on Stone Avenue.

Rumor has it
the hobbled wretch
who begs at the five and dime
offered lip
instead of money
and they showed him out
through a third floor window.

Dad’s mom lived
on the fourth floor of #720.
A refugee from the shtetl
she was well prepared
to live without heat
or running water,
to navigate the teeter-totter stairs
in the half light of a 40 watt bulb,
to coexist with roaches and rats,
the acrid smell of cabbage,
untended garbage,
and the methodical cruelty
that humans without hope
inflict on one another.

I know you.
You have the health
and building people
in your ample hip pocket
and while you might
hire some people to spit
shine your shoes
and some to break legs,
you spend every Sunday night
counting and recounting
the stack of smalls,
the nickels and dimes—
because for you,
a sumptuous view
of the New York skyline
can never compare
to the heft of a roll
of nickels.

And the link:

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2 Responses to Stevieslaw: My poem on New Verse News

  1. wpbzkzk says:

    Wow! Good poem to read as a break from reading the book Milkman, which I am reading now. Seems to fit. Z

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. stevieslaw says:

    do you like the book?


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