Gary Beck, 6/8/2015

Current Occupation: I am currently a writer
Former Occupation: I was formerly a director/playwrite.
Contact Information: 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. His chapbook Remembrance was published by Origami Condom Press and The Conquest of Somalia was published by Cervena Barva Press. A collection of his poetry Days of Destruction was published by Skive Press. His poetry collection Expectations was published by Rogue Scholars Press. His plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles were produced Off Broadway. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary magazines.


Worker's Dilemma

The strident demand

of master alarm clock

yanks me untimely

from wistful dream,

curse, shut it off,

doze off again,

then burst awake,


shower, shave, dress,

rush to work,

late again.

The implacable

office manager eye

glistens tyrannically,

glares accusingly

sending me to my computer

afraid of confrontation,

as long as I'm dependent

on my meager salary.



Divided Nation

Educated people

join a profession

that rewards efforts

with comfort, security,

even pride in status,

the return for attending

a learning factory.

Some less educated,

but also ambitious,

join the military,

don't open their books,

study rifle 101

learn how to kill,

rather than bookkeeping.

G.I.'s face frequent perils

civilians never encounter,

which sets them apart

from the foreign life back home

grown stranger to them daily,

with increasing rampages

turning the country

into a war zone

with unexpected attacks

not quite often enough,

at least not yet,

to throw us into panic.

When the troops come home,

those who still have a home,

because the banks have been busy

while they were bleeding far away,

flagrantly foreclosing

vulnerable homes,

owners too busy

serving their country

to dispute what they owed.

Yet when banks collapsed

the government rushed

to bail them out,

they were too big to fail,

callously creating

a new doctrine,

a capitalist dogma,

the little are too small

to bother saving.



I'm too tired to work,

so I turn on the tv

that tries to submerge me

into channels of response,

instructions to buy something

whether I need it or not,

graphic demonstrations

with painstaking details

of every type of crime

actually committed,

or created by writers,

motivation day or night

to get up from the couch,

grab my assault rifle,

go out and kill someone,

courtesy of the sponsors

whose inspiring messages

saturate the airways,

eroding repugnance

for iniquitous acts.


Democracy in Action

The streets are filled

with forgotten men and women,

poor, desperate, homeless,

while the lords of profit

feast in their mansions,

unconcerned with the well-being

of fellow citizens

ignored by secure congressmen,

who will shut down the government

at the behest of their masters,

rather than do their duty

for the suffering people.



Condition Normal

Across our troubled land

more and more disasters strike,

some wreaked on us by nature

unbalanced by the works of man,

more and more destructive acts

killing children, the elderly,

tragically unprotected

since we can't watch over all,

increasing rampage incidents

targeting schools, malls, movie theaters,

most frequently the workplace

where the disaffected return

armed, detached, implacable,

ruthlessly performing better

than any previous function,

murdering methodically,

finally killing themselves

after destroying the lives of others

in untimely slaughter,

frequently inexplicable

when breaking upon strangers,

leaving the gift of mourning

for devastated survivors

who cannot comprehend

the death by murder

of precious loved ones.


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