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High Abuse

By Gary Beck

PROMPT — No one noticed ...

I once dreamed of a land

where all were free

with equal opportunity.

Grade school cured me of that. As I grew up

prejudice, discrimination,

hatred, violence

pervaded my country,

poisoning the home of democracy.

It took a while for me to learn

our rulers weren’t elected officials,

but obscure oligarchs

who bought legislators

for their own needs,

rather then the nation.

And when amoral corporations

abandoned America

for higher profit abroad,

removing a blue collar class

that resisted the bosses,

leaving a rust belt

to defile the landscape.

And year after year

more and more of our rights

were taken away

until our birthright is tarnished

by ruthless exploiters

of a once hopeful people.


Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 26 poetry collections, 10 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays, and 1 collection of one-act plays. Gary writes from New York City.


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