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Steve Abbott


There is a fitful grasping in the world,

a body’s massive hand

gathering by the train- and truckload.

There is a howl for more

and yet more, a Grand Canyon

of want being carved in the landscape.

A man swims a smooth backstroke

through a pool of Franklins, euros,

riyals, stocks and bonds in waves

rippling like fanned bills he swallows

with deferred interest and fresh oysters.

There is an ever-expanding waistband,

a craving for infinite zeroes, a finger-

snap that overturns governments,

and at the end of each trading day

another Senator to be mounted

above the great fireplace where

everything, every body, is cordwood.

There is a gilded razor, a platinum toilet,

an unsated Jaguar stalking

a Lamborghini, a fanged loophole

that widens as it overflows into

a pit there’s no crawling out of.

Steve Abbott is a product of parochial schools and a liberal arts education, resulting in stints as writer & editor for an underground newspaper, landscaper, delivery truck driver, criminal defendant, courtroom bailiff, private investigator, social service PR flack, union organizer, and college professor. His poems have appeared in The Connecticut Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Rattle, Pavement Saw, Plainsongs, Pudding, Slipstream, and Big Scream, among other journals. He edits Ohio (USA) Poetry Association’s annual member journal Common Threads. He is a founder and co-coordinator of The Poetry Forum in Columbus, now in its 32nd year, and is active in local socialist political actions.

Poor Doors
Sheriff Stars

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle
bedroom tax
Disrupt and Upset
bedroom tax
Sheriff Stars

thistles stretch their prickly arms afar

Black Triangle
Disrupt and Upset

Militant Thistles

prickling the politics of "permanent austerity"

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