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TAXES: a poem from the 3:15 experiment

April 14, 2008

This poem is from the 3:15 experiment and was published in between sleeps: poems from the 3:15 Experiment 1993-2005.

Poets from all over the world wake up at 3:15 am every night in August and write!

For those of you readers who live in the US, you will know why I chose to post this…as taxes must be “posted” by Tuesday night April 15 by midnight. Wish us luck! We’re almost done with 2006, and found out we don’t have to get in 2007 by April 15 to get our rebate as long as we’re getting back money (which we should) thanks to our friend Charles and our friend Annie.

This is the version of the poem published in ARTLIFE Limited Editions April 2003; the version published in between sleeps: the 3:15 experiment 1993-2005 is exactly how I wrote it at 3:15 while this one is slightly different (I deleted a few lines and exchanged the placement of the first 2 stanzas).

Good luck, everyone getting your taxes in and getting your refunds and your rebates back! Maybe next year, we’ll see some real CHANGE, some real tax reform where corporations might actually carry their share (or more!) of the tax burden; these says, corps cover under 15% while in 1940 they paid 50%! While businesses complain that US corporate tax rates are the second highest in the developed world, when loopholes etc are factored in, it is the third lowest in the world when measured as a percentage of gross domestic product. The House of Reps passed a bill to end $18 billion in tax breaks to oil companies (like they need them when they are making obscene profits thanks to Bush’s policies!). These are mainstream facts, gathered from today’s Parade Magazine (that hot bed of Marxist journalism).


taxes are like the carrot on the plate
i never wanted to eat they get
older & older & less appetizing
just eat your carrots someone might say
it’s not that simple

i have to get them done to get the loan
to keep my house from tumbling off what
little foundation it has & landing
in the bottom of the barranca to
wash to sea it’s gonna be an el nino
winter they say & i believe them i
can feel it, taste it is time again for
rain whether i am ready or not
the sea is hungry

taxes are a cacophony of chaos
bits & pieces of paper swim
with alacrity flutter up to the ceiling
dive down & kick up the silt
i am plankton & i can’t breathe
in the churning turmoil of these taxes
i dare the cats to take a dip they do
jumping on them rolling through them
simple things annoy me i hate to see
things digitized tile, sheets, every day
objects i am irritated immensely
by the swirly taxes the multiple piles
the endless pieces of receipt they
refuse to behave to get in line be
orderly i am embarrassed by their
ganglike swarming their lack of precision
they threaten to rise up take my throat
take my house no one understands the
power they have these are people who
balance checkbooks who possibly know
how much money they have it’s not that
i even owe in fact i was to live
the month of august on my return
return to a place where the taxes live
in peace domesticated instead
i live in the land of the wild taxes
i’m trying to shoot my way out with words
these numbers just aren’t mine

visit readwritepoem for some even more political poems

catch the poetry train

11 Comments leave one →
  1. drucken permalink
    April 14, 2008 3:00 am

    Hold those tax-reform promises close to your heart. Do you think B or H will raise the taxes on the people paying for their campaigns? Do you think they won’t raise your taxes? Dream on.


    A bonus dream for you–that “universal health care” will somehow turn out not to be the monstrous catastrophe it is for Canada and England. Eager for the US to jump on the bandwagon? They wish they could get rid of it.

  2. April 14, 2008 4:04 am

    I should have posted this with a tag of “dreams” huh! maybe will add it cuz unfortunately you are so right.

    my good friend danika at open channel however is thrilled with universal health care as practiced in canada; i have some concerns but what i see is this huge catastrophe coming because so many in my generation are under insured (not to mention have no savings…)

    btw, thanks for writing and sharing your thoughts

  3. April 14, 2008 9:26 am

    I would be either blind or bankrupt if I still lived in the U.S.

    Danika’s new eyes: made in Canada.

    Eeeek! Thanks for reminding me… I was supposed to do my taxes this weekend!

  4. April 14, 2008 10:14 am

    Holey Mackeral, cool twisting poem captured the confusion like an animated movie, maybe you should get an accountant though that is not very poetical, you would probably to use prose for that,

  5. April 14, 2008 11:40 am

    congrats on your new eyes danika! how wonderful to see w/o searching for glasses in the night! and dental care too i imagine…

    thanks Paul! i hope you will join the 315 experiment this year! btw, my friend annie, a former accountant not sailboat decoupage artist, showed up at the blue saying i want to make sure you get your rebate–have you done your taxes? i’m like, uhhhhh, no. so she came over and helped with the adding machine, getting everything she could taped. i was protesting, and she’s so sweet! she said, you do so much for the world let me do this for you. ahhh, still makes me feel good.

  6. April 14, 2008 12:47 pm

    I like the line ‘taxes are a cacophany of chaos’….

  7. April 14, 2008 3:03 pm

    Taxes – they send a shiver down my spine!

  8. April 14, 2008 7:15 pm

    Interesting, the 3:15 project. You were very alert for that early hour of the morning.

    Too bad our taxes go to pay for a war we shouldn’t be fighting. What a nightmare!

  9. April 15, 2008 12:39 pm

    I must thank my stars that I live in India! Ode to Taxes should be an apt title for this.

    ignomorous ignominy

  10. April 15, 2008 3:01 pm

    hmmn i like that simple idea–ode to taxes-may change it today! thanks for the suggestion, gautami!

    mariachristina, you should try it too this august! danika at open channel started it in 1993. it is amazing the different form/type of lucidity our brains work at at 315!

  11. April 15, 2008 11:25 pm

    I really love the ending:

    ‘i live in the land of the wild taxes
    i’m trying to shoot my way out with words
    these numbers just aren’t mine’

    I feel like that any time I’m asked to do anything even remotely resembling accounting at work. (shudder)

    I’m with Danika – I live at the opposite end of Canada on the east coast, and there are too many wonderful hospital moments to tell you about for my family members that were taken care of simply because they were ill and needed care. Most especially the peaceful palliative care my dad and grandmother received in their last days. Both of them got the very best the doctors and nursing staff could give them. I can’t possibly put my gratitude into words, that money or the lack of it was not an issue – only tenderness, love and compassion.

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