Posted: January 29, 2010 in Poetry

It seems I started something yesterday. When I brought up the discussion between Amazon and I about slam, I was interested in the DISCUSSION. It has turned into an ‘attack Amazon’ thing, and I don’t think that is especially productive.
It isn’t that I agree with what she said, because obviously I don’t, but I find that once the invective starts flying it is pretty unlikely to reach the level of understanding.

Oh well.

CONTEXT: December, 2006

This was my ‘go-to’ poem for a little bit. I even performed it at the semi-finals that year (though it was my weakest piece of the five).

I DO want to mention the Larry = Lex thing. From the instant I saw O’Brien’s photo in the Citizen, proclaiming his candicy for mayor, I said, “Oh my god… it is Lex Luthor!”
I wasn’t the only one.

HOWEVER, I DO believe I was the first one in these parts to refer to him as such in a poem… predating Free Will, Prufrock and whoever else. Pruf’s is the BEST reference I have heard (on Average Day), but at least I was first. 🙂

A Lex Luthor reference, a Terminator/Arnold reference and a Tragically Hip reference in the same poem?


Who rules the world and everyone in it?
Who has the dollars to commit and submit
The politicians to enforce the status quo
And show all new ideas to the door?

A man sits at his deck and wonders
Does his company commit any blunders?
Do their goods and services serve the greater good
Or do they just line pockets and to hell
With the neighbourhood?

But he gets no say. He follows the orders of his boss.
A middle manager trying to make it through the day
Nearer and nearer comes his retirement pay
And a little gold watch to help send him on his way
He can’t worry about what the environmentalists say

He gets no say anyway. He follows the orders of his boss.
A slick MBA, ladder-climbing VP
Looking for that big score to show that he
Has what it takes to be one of the elite
And no homelessness advocate will bar his entry

He isn’t going to rock the boat. He follows the orders of his boss.
The C.E.O. has earned his spot
His corner office, limo and yacht
He holds on because he has VP ambitions to stop
No union rep is going to remain unbought.

What can he do? He follows the orders of his boss.
The chairman of the board of directors
Has his place despite those soft detractors
Who think that money sets off some ‘evil-detectors’
Poverty is just lip-service for the electors.

It isn’t his problem. He follows the orders of his boss.
The shareholders: some rich men and trading trusts
Managing mutual funds to keep them robust
Returns on investment are eyed with lust
‘Ethical funds’ are smoke, mirrors and dust.

What’s a fund manager supposed to do? He follows the orders of his boss.
Each share purchased is bought for one thing.
So that the man at the desk can grap the ring
And pull himself out of the pilings
And eat a piece of the american dream.

So who rules the world and everyone in it?
The SYSTEM rules the world like some sort of Skynet
Though its enforcement doesn’t look like the Terminator
(Unless you live in California) It looks like an adjudicator
Or politician, or teacher, or television, or ballot box.
We are controlled through the media, just look at Fox.

The system can’t change the system
And when we try our cries are heard by them
And changed into “the same, only more!”
How else did Ottawa elect Lex Luthor?

Listening to voices outside the system is a start
So we all are doing our part
It’s time we told Gord Downie to listen up
As we tell him
What the poets
Are doing


Next up is the piece inspired by an Object of Desire poem.

  1. […] poem (along with Orders) put me in 4th during the semifinals and helped me get onto the Capital Slam team my first year. In […]

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