Monday, February 24, 2020


     a hymn to the 14th Amendment

            Things are seldom what they seem:
            skim milk masquerades as cream.
                                    –  W. S. Gilbert

Malacorp awoke: ten million shifting eyes
focused on their groping mouths and prayed within their lies
for Malacorp to stretch its banks of flesh and gold and steel
and pixelated light to make the nation kneel.

Malacorp for Mayor!  The churchyard marquees shined
but the Board of Malacorp had bigger goals in mind.
Malacorp for Senate!  For Governor!  For King!
But the CEO of Malacorp, he dreamed another thing.

Malacorp the candidate was shining and immense.
Kissing babies and shaking hands at stockholder expense,
each primary was pricey and the competition roared
but Malacorp was triumphant, led by CEO and Board.

The steam was building nicely like the colors of the Fall,
Malacorp was polling in the sixties overall
and then that fateful Tuesday, Malacorp was on a roll;
five million times it voted for itself at every poll.

Its stock rose overnight as the news of victory struck.
The brutal winning margin was not beginner’s luck.
Malacorp our President!  Is what the papers said;
the Republic sighed a final breath and finally was dead.

The stockholders were millionaires now making all the laws
and never to the lesser folk did they give a moment’s pause.
The poor folk hadn’t voted, and not for Malacorp;
and once the thought was spoken, they weren’t thought of anymore.

The Constitution ‘mended so that Malacorp could hold
a third, a fourth, and fifth term, as it never would grow old.
All criminals, instead of jail, now worked at Malacorp:
the white ones in the office, the blue ones at the store.

Nothing now was taxed and each thing had its price.
The suburbs built their walls and all stopped being nice.
The cities grew like corpses swollen with the poor
who bought their food in markets that were owned by Malacorp.

Directors and stockholders all fell laughing back in smiles
as campaign funds metastasized in electronic piles
singing money spent on Malacorp was money duly spent
for now five million souls could claim they owned the President.

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