Monday Poem

Dear Joe The Plumber,

In E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, Emma Goldman explains to character Evelyn Nesbit why Evelyn (having become recently newsworthy) has become such a celebrity:

“I am often asked the question,” says Emma, “how can the masses permit themselves to be exploited by the few. The answer is By being persuaded to identify with them. Carrying his newspaper with your picture the laborer goes home to his wife, an exhausted workhorse with the veins standing out in her legs, and he dreams not of justice but of being rich.”

American Games
Jim Culleny


I could be a millionaire!
All I need is some money.

They say having money’s
the best way to be a millionaire.

So maybe I’ll watch a game show
to see how it’s done.

Then I could become a supermillionaire and
get more money so I could become
really fuckin rich

–it’s what life’s all about,
isn’t it?

January 2005