God Save The American Dollar

I stared up at my pink blanket

Stretched between my couch and the armchair

My mother had saved for years to buy

I was on a conference call with Japan

My paper phone glued to my ear as I nodded along

To an

Imaginary

Voice

“Oh yes,” I said “business has been very busy.”

 

I was nine playing business man

Sunlight streaming through the window

Through my blanket

I mean- “skylight”

 

When people asked me “What do you want to be?”

The answer was the same then as it is now

I am a creator and a problem solver

I will build companies

And save the world

 

As I grew I came to realize

That there was more to this dream

Than what I had been told

Because in this country

The United States of America

Capitalism is god’s religion

And the free market takes care of all of our needs

Average Total Cost and Profit Margins our value system

God Bless America but more importantly

God Save the American Dollar

 

Those VCs and Startup Gurus haven’t told me that

Money becomes a scorecard

Our mentors don’t tell us

That we have evolved

To stock up on as many resources as we can

Even when those resources happen to be people’s labor

We don’t like to talk about

How startups and capitalism

Often looks a lot like neocolonialism

Have you noticed- on the cover of Fortune 500 we have white men and Oprah on the cover

 

Entrepreneurs are now targeting what we call the long tail

Trying to figure out how to make a buck off of people living on

A dollar fifty a day

Excuse me

Trying to figure out how to bring needed products and services

To those living in the developing world

 

Laws of Supply and Demand have  immobilized millions

Not so much a glass ceiling

As a cage constructed out of our, my, own complicity

It has been painful to accept that others have been imprisoned

So that my people could be free

 

No one wants to talk about

What else is going on here

There is an aching destruction

In this creative power

And I know I could become

Another one of its tools.

 

I’ve retreated to my fort

Wishing I could use that pink blanket to cover my eyes

Or my heart

Wondering if

I can dismantle the Master’s house

With his own tools.

Poetry Slam: 

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