Michael Andrews Arts

See Announcements for details on publication of Archilochus poems in Arion Magazine.

A Long Way To Go

by Michael Andrews


Artist Book

Three anti-war poems from Vietnam, Nicaragua and the Invasion of Iraq, including associated photography. The book evolved the day after 911 when I had pedalled down to Avenue C to metabolize the agony of existence.
First Printed 2004. 32 6x9 inch pages of text using Bernhard Modern and Carolus Roman typefaces, integrated with 31 photographic illustrations. Case bound in bookcloth with labels and signed by the author.


The Day After The Death Of America

12 Sep 2001

I pump the bike down to Avenue C, sweating under cold skies and hot clouds,
collapse wheezing onto the concrete bench, hold my head in my hands
and stare at the buzz dive of the gulls, the rip of the waves, while the wind
castigates the sand and

                                       I say good bye to my world.

The footprints of tyranny creep across the sand, the tongues of fascism lick the tide line.

Twenty thousand people move into Hermosa Beach and bring four more traffic signals.
Five thousand more apartment dwellers occupy a new spate of human hutches,
so many mink waiting for the slaughter,
and the property tax crawls up another five hundred bucks.
First they tear down all the schools and bitch about rotten education.
Seven thousand rich yuppy larvae ooze from the womb
and they bitch about the lack of schools. Taxes are gathered to make new schools.
Building limits expand. Prices go up. Services go down. Crime goes up. Peace and quiet decline.
Six thousand new lawyers are chasing ambulances down Pier Avenue.
Five thousand poor people move out of town looking for cheaper rent.
The cops chase out the street people. Street people are not the correct local color.
They are guilty of having more character than wealthy citizens.
Four thousand of the underclass, the underpaid, the less than legal
servants move into the vacated slum rentals.
There is money to be made serving the lords of the manors.
The frenzy to get rich quick by building to the limit becomes the rage.
Eight thousand brokers graduate from the college of something for nothing,
and ten more stop signs sprout up out of the asphalt.
More rules, more cops, more laws, more criminals.
Less culture. The Either/Or book store closes. The hardware is gone.
The pharmacy can't afford the rent.
Five thousand celebrities have decided to move into Hermosa Beach
hoping to buy a soul, a life or a mind in one of the new sport bars.
Undergrounding of wires becomes a civic extortion racket
in order to increase the property values of the already too rich
at the expense of the will never have enough.
Telephone wires degrade the view of mindless celebs and brainless rich.
The conversion of all humanly useful retail businesses into sports bars is complete.
Three thousand CEOs occupy the highground, the most expensive views
and the building limits are reduced to devalue the property of the poor white trash.
Money, after all, is made on the exchange. Up or down never did matter.
Taxes are doubled, the funds stolen, and the taxes doubled again.
The barbarians are at the gates.
They are us.
Healthcare declines. Fees, permits, licenses and incidental costs escalate.
Twenty more stop signs blossom at the intersections,
do not park signs flourish,
parking permits triple, speed traps proliferate,
parking lines become the new civic graffiti,
the local newspapers have been reduced to ad rags.

Three thousand miles away two trade towers collapse
into a cloud of toxic dust, smoke, twisted steel and rubble
and three thousand tax payers did not come home for dinner.
Madmen ride jumbo jets into the spires of global commerce.
Civil liberties are suspended.
Uniforms proliferate.
Freedom of speech is curtailed.
Laws exfoliate.
Machine guns patrol the airports.
Dissent is muffled.
The treasury is plundered.
Power coalesced.
Secrecy is more valued than human rights.
Democracy crumbles.
News censored.
Mobs rule.
Madmen bomb.
Towers fall.
Stupidity explodes

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