thinking about Revolutionary Letter #19

by Diane di Prima

(for the Poor People’s Campaign)

if what you want is jobs 
for everyone, you are still the enemy, 
you have not thought thru, clearly what that means.

if what you want is housing, Industry 
(G.E. on the Navaho reservation) 
a car for everyone, garage, refrigerator, 
TV, more plumbing, scientific 
freeways, you are still 
the enemy, you have chosen 
to sacrifice the planet for a few years 
of some science fiction utopia, if what you want

still is, or can be, schools 
where all our kids are pushed into one shape, are taught 
it’s better to be “American” than black 
or Indian, or Jap, or Puerto Rican, where Dick 
and Jane become and are the dream, do you 
look like Dick’s father, don’t you think your kid 
secretly wishes you did

if what you want
is clinics where the AMA
can feed you pills to keep you weak, or sterile,
shoot germs into your kids, while Merck & Co. grows richer

if you want
free psychiatric help for everyone
so that the shrinks,
pimps for this decadence, can make
it flowers for us,

if you still want a piece 
a small piece of suburbia, green lawn 
laid down by the square foot 
color TV, whose radiant energy 
kills brain cells, whose subliminal ads 
brainwash your children, have taken over 
your dreams

degrees from universities which are nothing
more than slum landlords festering sinks of lies,
so you can go forth and lie to others
on some greeny campus

THE ENEMY, you are selling 
yourself short, remember 
you can have what you ask for, ask for