It’s next to Philomena, Grandma’s story
About an Irish woman
teetered on three generations in

On stacks of Harlow’s Pub post cards, before memes,
We sat on foreign money, newspaper clippings, bumper stickers, lanterns, glass buddhas and
To see street signs and shrunken heads who looked at license plates from back when cars used to drive
To places like Brooklyn
before I knew I was a honkie or that they made Trump’s stuff in
Where I learned that everyone is a crook, but really everybody’s honest, but really everyone is wonderful and I just wanted to insert myself here because I,

Used to believe hard work led to success but only if you try hard enough.

But old photos are tacked to the same walls as obituaries,
where George bought Bill a beer and slid it to another George right before Don dumped it on Barack,
Each lamenting the fact that
people don’t read the newspaper anymore.

Bottle cap murals, our only artwork
As we sang, “we ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more!” Enthusiastically and radically
Purveyors of a chant that echoes like gunshots,
We heard at concerts, ball games, elementary schools and gay nightclubs
But never listened to in the desert, nor Korea.

“Ain’t gonna work in Maggie’s farm no more” we shouted!
As subprime pickpockets sneaked through the bar
And slid diplomas that
Tickled our toes and whispered words sweeter than the feel of another
Minded person telling us that we are in fact justified,
To throw up signs that say “Irish Need Not Apply.”

But balcony session poets always extinguished their cigarettes before they switched to ties and jackets.

“Say, how do ya do?” choked on the same damn whistles and alarms that said
I don’t want to smell like smoke at the office.

Everyone is a crook, but really everybody’s honest, but really everyone is wonderful.

Fifteen dollars an hour fell on black lives that mattered more to white nationalists as they molested a woman who didn’t win on death beds we couldn’t pay for because Syrians saw walls while they died in pictures we didn’t see from Mexico.

The coal dried up in Appalachia. Sincerely, that wasn’t your fault neither.

So Marx returned like a weekend at Bernies and resurrected a 1940’s perverted Nietzsche.

Berzelius Windup scoffed because 1984 distracted us while Sinclair Lewis screamed, “It can’t happen here!”

Barley and hops soaked our veins, better than rural heroin.

We screamed into encapsulated vessels we held in our hands,
Like liquid on electronics on paper on bread on rice on snow on sand on thread.

Until, I met Philomena.