by Mark Lipman

ATTENTION, Walmart Shoppers:

in  the swollen bowels
of some dank and dimly lit
offshore sweatshop

maybe in China, or Vietnam, or Bangladesh
the lights are being turned out
in a young girl’s eyes

as she frantically stitches
her childhood away
one 12-hour shift at a time

without sunlight
or bathroom breaks
or a proper education

for pennies a day.

Itís just Good Business.

It helps the bottom line,
when there are no labor laws,
or health requirements,
or pesky regulations
to get in the way
of the profits.

Make sure you take advantage
of our 3 for 1 special today.

We’ve got Congressmen for sale on aisle six
and we do accept food stamps
but unions are strictly forbidden.

We can’t let little things,
like human rights
and national sovereignty
stand in the way of progress,
stand in the way of the corporation
being able to freely trade
your life away
for dirt.

There are cargo ships on the horizon
and dividends to be paid.

So don’t you worry about that fire,
or the factory that just collapsed
or that little girl turned to ash

that’s just the price of doing business
and we always guarantee the lowest prices
because, we love our customers.


MarkLipmanMark Lipman, founder of VAGABOND; a writer, poet, multi-media artist and activist, is the author of six books, most recently, Poetry for the Masses; and Global Economic Amnesty.  Co-founder of the Berkeley Stop the War Coalition (USA), Agir Contre la Guerre (France) and Occupy Los Angeles, he has been an outspoken critic of war and occupation since 2001.

Mark uses poetry to connect communities to the greater social issues that affect all of our lives, while building consciousness through the spoken word.  Currently, he is a member of POWER (People Organized for Westside Renewal), Occupy Venice and the Revolutionary Poets Brigade.

Photo credit: Robert Stuart Lowden

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