I am still a newcomer to the group, so I do not have much sense of what you do and do not like.

One issue I have been thinking about for some time now, which has gotten into my poetry, is what do we replace the current system with.  I recently sent an Occupy activist four of these, so they are pasted below.  All of these were included in my book of political poetry, Seeking to make the world anew: Poems for the new dialectic. (Hamilton Books, 2008).

A lot of my work is available on the web. There was a section of my work that Chuck Levenstein organized to be featured on
Poems Niederngasse that dealt with work related themes.

Comments are always welcome on my poetry.

best
sam


After, on the way to thereafter
 
After the Heartbreak House of fighting,
and after the fire next time,
after the parties, the toasting and cheering
when none will bewail
that capitalism has been erased,
we will build our global city
like a flower from the ashes
with its roots suckled and fed and watered
by the local and daily and real.
One petal will be the friendships of work time,
another our neighbors, as we talk and we share.
Those who sew diapers, those who pin them and change them,
will share with the planners, will help shape the towers,
the basement foundations
and the neighborly labor of digging,
of digging and building our city anew.
 
And so, in the morning, I may scrape out a waste dump,
figuring out how with my pals on the job.
In my 2 p.m. gig, I may write a paper on AIDS,
or hug and console
a stranger or friend.
My evening, perhaps, put our heads in the oven
as we clean a community stove,
or I may weave a poem, or rest overlong,
or whatever seems needed and fun
as we build our embraceable
new global city
from the petals and rootings of dreams.
 

 
An earlier version was published in Murders most foul: Poems against war by a World Trade Center survivor. Central Jersey Coalition against Endless War. 2005.
reprinted Oregon Socialist, Winter-Spring 2008, http://www.thesocialistparty.org


August outage
Computers
light bulbs
elevators
subways
the blowers of cooling air
stand suddenly useless,
silent, gone.
Voices can now be heard.
Stairwells utter
descending feet.
Sweating bodies herd streets
swap tales and rumors of buses
exhausted.
Those with ideas or water bottles
share.
 
In my five hours wandering without electrons
on the midtown streets of Manhattan,
in the ghetto core of Plainfield, NJ,
and throughout the long bus-sit between,
I hear no hostility,
share confusion, water, and thoughts
with many strangers,
make many friends
of the moment,
 
of this moment when solidarity flowers,
this moment nested between years
of shoving, pressure,
talons,
fangs.
Seeking to Make the World Anew



Deregulation
Squirming bodies
like kittens in a bag
bump jostle squeeze
waiting . . . waiting . .  . waiting
hoping to get on the plane.
 
Weak-voiced airline rep
mutters corporate reassurances.
Some yell, some scoff,
no one believes.
Mood . . . ?  turning ugly.
 
Overbooking. Some won't get on.
 
Shouting at each other, jostling,
squeezing forward,
hour after hour after hour.
A few tell jokes,
talk our humanity,
but no one says good
about the airline. 
 
Three hours pass.
We have blossomed
friendships
jokes
smiles
in a miasma of 85-degree air
that moves no more than
the crowd
or the airplane
which may be
approaching the gates--
or may not (who knows?)
No jostling,
no vying pushing shoving,
just caring for kids
coping
helping.
Seeking to Make the World Anew



Second Negation: Notes on the Day after the Revolution
 
As crowds party loudly on glass-glittered sidewalks
and dodge around potholes while promenading the Bowery,
and offices and sweatshops echo crescendos
as workers debate how
they should now run them,
and what wonders to build
with their minds and their hands.,
I wander alone, alone among revelers,
with notebook in hand while I mutter and scribble,
jotting elation and jotting my fear.
 
The TVs in the windows replay it,
replay the Weeks of the Wonders --
how, after the years of the cynics,
when words of revolution led only to mutters of "not in my lifetime,"
we began having strikes again in New York and in Jersey;
and how, a couple of weeks ago, a boss in a tall box near the river
said "girl"
to one of the secretaries --
and everybody -- mailroom clerks, secretaries, truck drivers, even analysts --
walked out,
but then walked back in again
and sent the bosses home.
            Then, of course, the mayor called the cops,
            the governor called the National Guard,
            and the President the Army --
but everybody had been there,
everyone had been called "girl" or "boy" or "kike" or "Polack" or maybe "rookie" or "grunt" --
so our rulers called the cops,
            and they called the Marines,
                        and they called and they called and they called and they called,
but workers and neighbors argued with cops, joked with the Guard,
sang solidarity with the soldiers,
            and the now-rebel workers and soldiers beat up the few
who would not see reason,
and they all went home --
                                    or joined the crowd.
So the American peoples said "Enough!  It's all over!"
and workers stopped working
            and crowds seduced armies
                        and only 18 died in all the Americas
and a few score more died, across the green globe.
 
By the flickering light of the Tubes in the windows,
I wander through littered streets
once built by the defunct civilization
that brought us Agent Orange, pet stones, and AIDS for the millions,
and I rejoice as I dread
            and I dread as I rejoice.
 
And as I wander, I wonder:
            "What the hell do we do next?"
 
I mean, after the subtle pleasures --
            like making the bosses work 4 or 5 months doing some of the real fun jobs,
            like repairing the tops of blast furnaces
            or changing the linens in the ICUs;
            and letting the ex-cops sleep on the park benches
            and on the floor of the bus station,
            so we can cheerily poke them awake,
            crying, "Time to move on now," with a big grin and a big stick.
 
I mean,
            what the hell do we do next?
 
Spectres hover over my shoulder:
            the thousands of Communards gunned down by Reaction,
            Rosa and Karl murdered by the goon squads of social democracy,
the telephone exchange in Barcelona —
            where Uncle Joe "reached out and gouged someone,"
            and throttled the soul of a revolution —
dance with dreams of ice picks in my fear-torn, grinning head.
 
I mean,
            what the hell do we do next?
 
Sure, the market's got to go, but what do we replace it with?
 
How will we get the food grown
            and have all the candy, bread, and roses we need
            for the photo-journalists
            and our children?
 
How will we live our meanings, and not just numbers?
 
How do we unleash the sleeping poetry?  the smothered power to create that waits like crabgrass
            in the brains and hands of everyone,
even in the slit-eyed grimaces of the naysayers
who wear red tape
instead of suspenders?
 
Like crabgrass, these five billion poets will shoot forth trillions of pages
            filled with  tripe and doggerel
            which someone – maybe even me -- will have to read,
            pages filled with crackpot ideas redolent of disaster,
but salvation scattered throughout -- if we can find it.
 
So here I wander,
thinking of these Galileos and Miltons we need to create our new world,
and the humongous arguments that will fill our ears
as they shout forth their insights against each other,
and I ponder the epic mistakes our revolutionary democracy
is undoubtedly making
even as I rove, wander and scribble
through the rubble, the wonders, and the shoving salvation
as crabgrass pushes aside the arid asphalt of Madison Avenue
to seek its sun
and in so doing pushes the fears from my heart
(but not from my next-day mind)
and I walk grinning into the nearest party
to join the celebration
and raise glass after glass in toasts of global unison
with friends in Santos and Granada, Bangkok and Kampala,
Melbourne, Tacoma, Portland, and Detroit.
 
 
Earlier version published in News and Letters, December, 1997: p. 9. Reprinted Poems Niederngasse: The Journal of Winning Poetry



-----Original Message-----
From: herb fox <[log in to unmask]>
To: SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sat, Jan 21, 2012 12:47 pm
Subject: Re: Is there anybody out there?

I lke your piece , Sam.  Anything 
else you are willing to share w/ us?
herb

On 1/20/2012 2:11 PM, Sam Friedman 
wrote:
> I am confused. I am not there. I 
> am here.
>
> There seems to be an issue of 
> observer status here (or is it there?)
>
> Or as I have previously written:
>
> Here, here!
> When all the world becomes
> a mall
> there will be no there there,
> only a here there
> and a there here.
> Not everything will be identical,
> though.
> The Grand Canyon Mall will have many
> bargain basements,
> and the Antarctica Mall
> higher heating bills.
> All the Muzak will play
> the same global melodies
> here, here and here.
> To get through the day
> we will travel from here to here 
> to here
> and back again
> heroically.
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marianne Patinelli-Dubay 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> To: SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE 
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Fri, Jan 20, 2012 2:07 pm
> Subject: Re: Is there anybody out 
> there?
>
> Thanks, Phil for my favorite reply 
> yet...
>
> ---
> Marianne Patinelli-Dubay
> SUNY College of Environmental 
> Science and Forestry
> Northern Forest Institute
> 6312 State Route 28N
> Newcomb, NY 12852
> 518-582-2000
> http://www.esf.edu/nfi/people/patinelli-dubay.asp
> www.esf.edu/nfi/patinelli-dubay/ 
> <http://www.esf.edu/nfi/patinelli-dubay/> 
>
>
> ------------------------------------
> *From:* Science for the People 
> Discussion List 
> [[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>] 
> on behalf of Phil Gasper 
> [[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>]
> *Sent:* Friday, January 20, 2012 
> 2:02 PM
> *To:* 
> [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> *Subject:* Re: Is there anybody 
> out there?
>
> Anyone not receiving this message 
> please let us know.
>
> On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM, 
> Rich Rosen <[log in to unmask] 
> <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>
>     I am here.  -- Rich Rosen
>     *From:*Science for the People
>     Discussion List
>     [mailto:[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>]
>     *On Behalf Of *Michael H Goldhaber
>     *Sent:* Friday, January 20,
>     2012 1:46 PM
>     *To:*
>     [log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     *Subject:* Re: Is there
>     anybody out there?
>     What about elsewhere in universe?
>
>     Best,
>     Michael
>     Sent from my iPhone
>
>     On Jan 20, 2012, at 9:02 AM,
>     Kamran Nayeri
>     <[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>     wrote:
>
>          Aqui estoy tambien!
>         On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at
>         8:52 AM, Pedro Miramontes
>         <[log in to unmask]
>         <mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
>         wrote:
>         Aquí estoy.
>
>         Pedro Miramontes
>
>
>
>         > On Fri, Jan 20, 2012
>         2:52 AM CST Mandi
>         Smallhorne wrote:
>         >
>         >>Please, if ANYONE is
>         receiving this message,
>         just reply - the list
>         >>management has done
>         something so strange, and
>         it appears all subscribers
>         >>have been deleted - I
>         want to know if this is
>         true or not!!!!
>         >>
>         >>Mandi
>         >>
>         >>
>         >>
>
>
>         --
>         ********************************
>         *  No sea maje: use Linux  *
>         ********************************
>
>