I’ve never cared for money despite working countless hours in order to get my hands on some. I movedto L.A. when I was eighteen and city living ain’t cheap. I’d go to school 9am to 1pm, work on campus 2pm to 6pm, then take the bus out west and work for food in a restaurant till about 10pm. The school gave a minimum of 4 hours of work to do at home each day and I’d do that on my commute or when I returned home and then repeat. After I graduated I worked all kinds of jobs and sometimes a few at a time, but I didn’t work to be rich or to buy fancy clothes. If you have a minute or two I’ll share an example of the little regard I have for money in this fragile existence.

I was in my late twenties, I’d been working two jobs behind a bar, after working myself into the ground I dialed back, to work just the one job at a bar which closed. I’d just paid rent and my bank account was laughing at me like a maniacal fool. I had a little food in the fridge, enough to last the week, I had hopes of landing a new gig before the following month’s rent was due but nothing is certain. Instead of saving every penny to my name, I calculated I had enough money to invite some friends to mine for a ‘get together’. It was the height of summer in Los Angeles so I told my friends I was making cocktails. I bought some rum, vodka and a crate of beer. Picked up some pineapples, some coconut and some other summery fruit. I bought as much as my bank account would allow. I hung up some bunting I’d acquired from some place across my apartment, cleaned the entire place and pulled out my finest chair which happened to be a camping chair I found in a field in Temecula. The chair was a faded green and yellow and had a logo on it reading ‘It’s five o’clock somewhere’. It also had written on it ‘Jimmy Buffett, Margaritaville’. It was perhaps my most cherished possession. I cleared the couch which my buddy used as a futon before he moved in with his girlfriend and cleared the coffee table my other friend no longer wanted and began whipping up cocktails in a blender. With the last dime in my pocket my friends came and we celebrated absolutely nothing other than our friendship. I don’t have many memories of the following few days eating my way through a loaf of bread but I still remember that night to this day and every last dime was worth it. I guess that’s how I feel about money. I did get the job and I paid the following month’s rent by the skin of my teeth.

I wrote the following poem not because of some party or some job I gained or lost, I wrote the next poem because if I’ve got a dollar, you’ve got fifty cents, or hell maybe I’ll give you my full dollar. Meanwhile fat cat bankers, investors, owners, y’know the ‘money people’ who would cling to every cent of their billion dollar bank accounts, own the world we live in and make up the rules to a game they invented. World poverty could be ended with a little pocket digging but there’s people with wine cellars under their homes with amounts of expensive wine they’ll never live long enough to drink. People own houses they’ll never visit, they own more cars than a garage and the buses are full of people ferrying themselves between three jobs just to feed their family. I may not have much but life has given me plenty and I still have my words so I put together this short poem I call Land of Opportunity.


We live in a world

Where money makes up the rules

Nepotism in the work place

Cash buying kids into better schools

Land of opportunity

But opportunities aren’t free

The cards are stacked

The dice are weighted

We learn nothing from history

Too easy to grow frustrated

Failing to be an ‘against the odds’ kind of story

We live in a world

Catered to the wealthy and rich

And oh no they don’t care to share

Ain’t that a son of a bitch?

Land of the free

Freely searching for an opportunity

Can’t work much harder

Not enough hours in a day

First world country with third world poverty

Begging to find some honest pay

First world country with a third world reality

We live in a world

Where money pays it to spin

Some people are born to lose

Some losers can afford to buy themselves a win

Land of opportunity

But opportunities aren’t free

Sycophants sucking on silver spoons

Regular folk too broke to eat

Lock the lock and throw away the key

Walk over me and let me sleep on the street

Shoot a hole in my boat and send me out to sea