Other People

You can grow up mean in little houses

without a single book, save the bible

slaughtering pigs, kicking chickens

drowning kittens without a second thought.


Rusty coal stove in the living room

poppa smelling of gasoline and oil

momma strange and unpredictable;

a quit school boy from Cracker High;

broad shouldered, uneducated pin head

working a plastic injector at the Rubber Maid factory.


Mutt faced sons and daughters of the Republic;

that American dream long forgotten

in the dismal corners of our great land

where fifteen hundred a month, free room and board

honor and glory, look pretty damn good

when compared to humping big roll sod

across the ever expanding landscape of MacMansions.


Yes.  Volunteer.  Defend us against the Other

as once you played cowboys and Indians

against Japs and gooks, browns and blacks

now rag heads and camel jockeys

Plastic toy armies tortured with flame and steel

Mathew Shepherd’s body twisted on a fence

doing dark deeds in faraway places, out of sight

on dusty back streets at the edges

of Empire.





A couple of days ago Bettleypete left a comment on my post “Green Cathedral”.  He recommended I read an article written almost a decade ago:  https://redflagflying.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/bred-for-meanness/

I read it and two days later out came the piece above.  Thanks Joe Bageant.  And thanks Pete


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Other People

  1. beetleypete says:

    A classic mix of Toritto and Bageant. Well done, Frank. If Joe was still alive, he would surely have approved. Joe’s piece was, for me, one of the most compelling pieces of modern American writing I have read. Some of yours are in that list too.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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