268

Outdoor bar

Copacabana Beach

Rio de Janeirio

Two ladies

Sitting next to me

Discussing

My old torn flip flops

They say

“Very poor gringo

Not a good catch”

I interrupt and say

“I have come to Rio many times

I’m married

To a Carioca

Her advice

Is to dress down

So I do not get robbed

Always works”

One of the ladies then says

“Your wife is very smart

Dressed like a poor gringo

Also keeps Rio women away”

260

Garbage Piles up on the curb

Filthy

Filthy

Filthy

All that is heard

The beggar sleeps hidden in the alleyway

Feed people fear

So they obey

Crawling

Out of the sewer

 Politicians

Offer promises

But only give manure

Internet

Tracks every move

All thoughts known

Carry a smartphone

Constantly watched

Never completely alone

Dumb down population into mediocrity

Take away paper currency

Pay electronically

Total control is the elite’s philosophy

253

My car broke down today

Received

A high interest

Payday loan

No catching the bus

The mechanic

Will get paid

I work

For a dollar more

Than minimum wage

Scared

Lose sleep

 About becoming homeless

Only a couple lost paychecks away

Eat no name can or box dinners everyday

I’m told

To put money aside

For my old age

Not in prison

But

Trapped

In a cage

240

Shattered eye glasses

Nothing makes sense anymore

Ice thawing

Below my feet

Trying to keep alive heartbeat

You offer me a weathered map

We both know

It is a trap

Speak louder

I’m having trouble hearing

You say I should follow society’s rules

What for?

All I find is locked doors

232

Snip Snip

Snip Snip Snip

The barber

His shop

Located on a luxury avenue

Some wealthy patrons

Would discuss a stock or two

No ordinary conversation mind you

Just juicy

Trading knowledge

He was privy too

Blue Chips

Small Caps

Bull Markets

Bear Markets

Decades gone by

Never married

Diligently

Investing every extra cent

Watching his portfolio

Climb up to the sky

One day

The barber died

Accumulating a sizable estate 

No family

No close friends

No one knew

No one to give the money too

Snip Snip

Snip Snip Snip

229

Craps was the game he played

Once a month

Took a round trip flight

Lauderdale to Nassau

Carried his cash in an old bag

Stood most of the night

At the table

Sometimes won

Sometimes lost

His demeanor

Always stable

Just a way to unwind

The game

Cleared his mind