We shall keep the poor poor.
We shall be on them like
a master's whip on the backs
of slaves; but they will not
know us: we are too far and
too near. We shall use the
patois of patriotism to patronize
them. We shall hide behind our
flags, while we hold only one pole.
We shall have the poor fight our
wars for us, and die for us; and
before they die, they will **** for
us, we hope, enough. In peace,
we shall piecemeal them, and serve
them meals made of toxins and tallow.
For their labor, we shall pay them
slave wages; and all that we give,
we shall take back, and more, by
monumental scandals that subside
like day's sun at eventide. We shall
be clever, as ever, circumspect and
surreptitious at all times. We shall
keep them deluded with the verisimilitude
of hope, but undermine always its
being. We shall infuse their lives
with fear and hate, playing one
race against another, one religion
against a brother's. Disaffection is
our key; but we must modulate our
efforts deftly, so the poor remain
frightened and angered, but always
blind and deaf and divided. And if,
perchance, one foments, we shall
seize the moment and drop his head
into his hands, even as he speaks.
This internecine brew we pour, there-
fore, into the poor to keep them drunk
enmity and incapacitation. Ah,
eternal anticipation! Bottoms up,
old chaps! We, those who rule,
shall have them always in our laps.
We are, as it were, their salvation.
Copyright 2019 Tod Howard Hawks
A graduate of Andover and Columbia College, Columbia University, Tod Howard Hawks has been a poet and a human-rights advocate his entire adult life.