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David Lerner
Living in the 3rd World

 

Iím living in the 3rd World
Iím living way uptown in the 3rd World
Iím living in the 3rd world in
Berkeley, California, USA,
1991

Iím waiting for the bus in the
last rain of the year

Iím waiting for the bus in the
last rain of the year in my
plastic sneakers from Payless
in my overcoat shy a few buttons
Iím going out stealing

I have a Medi-Cal card
which means I get to see the doctor
if I mind my manners

I have a Medi-Cal card
which means I get to see the doctor
if I mind my manners

I have a rent-controlled apartment too
I sort of have a rent-controlled apartment
I used to have a rent-controlled apartment
I might have a rent-controlled apartment
according to the papers that
come in the mail that I
need to show to the lawyer I canít afford

around the end of the month I
sometimes go to the Lutheran Church
for gluey noodles dotted with chicken
for stale bread and over-cooked carrots
for butterscotch pudding the
texture of cement with
things in it I donít care to identify

I remember living like this years ago and
having a drug habit
besides

in the 3rd World I smoke generic cigarettes that
taste like burning shit

in the 3rd World I smoke generic cigarettes that
taste like burning shit that I
buy from an Arab behind a
grimy white formica counter
surrounded by his 4 brothers-in-law
in case someone makes a move on the beer

we are all watching the black junkie whoís
talking to himself and
spinning around in small circles
while trying to decide between
a Slim Jim and a quart of Rainier Ale

no one is enjoying themselves

in the 3rd world
my old lady canít get her welfare check
till her worker comes back from vacation

in the 3rd world
my old lady canít get her welfare check
till her worker comes back from vacation

in the welfare office these days
the workers are separated from the clients
by chicken wire

sounds like a good idea to me

when I walk down the street I
pass by people sitting on the sidewalk
in clothes almost as old as mine
but not as clean

they ask me for things

while looking up at me as if I were
someone important

I do not enjoy the sensation of
being important to them

they live in the 4th World

thatís the one Iím trying to stay out of

the 3rd World is getting crowded, though

the 3rd World is getting crowded

thereís less room in the welfare office
less room at the free meal
less room on the sidewalk
in the nuthouse
in the prisons

you can still find a spot
in the graveyard

if you are poor
says the fine print
everywhere

if you are poor
says the fine print
everywhere you look

we encourage you to die

if you are poor
we encourage you to get it over with

if you are poor and have children
you should kill them in their sleep
and sell your story to the tv

if you are poor and have children with medical problems
if you are poor and have medical problems yourself
if you are poor and have eaten too much Ramen and rice
and white bread lately

if you are poor and the hole in your heart
is bigger
than the hole in your shoe

we advise you to get a weapon

we advise you to get a gun, a knife, a hammer, a
baseball bat, a shovel, anything
you can reach

and use it on anyone who
looks like they
might have more money than you

just kidding

some of my best friends
have more money than me

but thatís what happens, you know

the line between
thinking about food
and thinking about
hurting someone
to get it

is very thin indeed

especially the way
the rents in the 3rd World
have been going up
these days

Aus: Die anmutige Kurve eines Marschflugkörpers. poetenladen 2008
(Pray Like the Hunted. Zeitgeist-Press 1992)

David Lerner    27.06.2008      Druckansicht  Zur Druckansicht - Schwarzweiß-Ansicht     Seite empfehlen  empfehlen
 

David Lerner
Lyrik