Home » Poetry » POVERTY CRIMES & MISDEMEANERS (work-in-progress)


Poverty in the United States[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

Being poor in America

Is currently… not a crime.

Granted, the poor may be



And essentially ostracized

From the “American Dream”

“Nothing comes to sleepers but a dream?”

Bullshit! That must’ve been a joke.

Why else would the young folks say to, “Stay woke?”

Because the powers that be need the poor… to sleep.

Sleep through executive orders, judicial injustices, and legislative assaults.

Corporate welfare recipients help the rich get richer

By selling the poor high-interest loans destined to go into default.

The poor are penalized as if their poverty is their own damned fault

With mean-spirited public policies, long waiting lines, and reverse customer service

In which the customer is considered to always be wrong.

The poor become entertainment for the wealthy and their captive audience.

Some of the poor will shuck, jive, and raise their open hands for awkward high-fives.

Granted we have no debtors’ prisons

Although poverty often proves to be a life sentence crudely punctuated

By low credit ratings, summary judgements, collections calls, and foreclosures.

In this tale of two Americas the royalty has no intention

Of trading places and social positions with their pauper doppelgangers

Instead, they dig moats, erect walls, and mount gun turrets on their ivory towers.

A poor person’s credit rating is the only “minority report” needed

To forecast if they will commit the crime… of poverty.

The poor represent a potential threat to the security of privilege.

They also serve as the underprivileged motivator for the middle-class.

America abdicates its responsibility for creating the poor,

And continues treating them like convicted felons

Permanently disenfranchised from full participation in the American dream

The debt society holds over the poor like a sword of Damocles was never owed

To be poor in America

It is still… not a crime

America allowing any of its citizens

To live in a state of poverty

Intergenerational poverty

Situational poverty

Absolute poverty

Relative poverty

Urban poverty

Rural poverty

Wretched-of-the-earth poverty

So po’ you can’t afford the “or” kind of poverty

Insert-descriptive-adjective-here poverty

Should be a crime

But fortunately for the privileged class, it’s not.

Meanwhile the poor bear the bloody stigmata

Of Morality’s highly publicized crucifixion

For poverty crimes and misdemeanors.

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