There is nothing more make-believe
than wealth,
nothing more in life which aggrieves
the self
than printed, pretend bills, values
that reign
in banks, stores, campaigns, minds, the news;
a chain
with which our god Mammon enslaves
the whole
of the world, from which no god saves
the soul,
a numbers game for which folks will
kill, die,
never understanding the bill,
the lie,
for which they pay the final debt:
a life
by market value summed and set,
a tithe
unspoken, below the fine print,
a cost
as bankrupting as any spent
or lost.

There is nothing more pretend than
Twitter, Tik-Tok, Tumblr, 8chan —
just look
at social media, how people
beneath its digital steeple
to quip
at its altars—how it alters
a mind
until reality falters
thinking they vanquish the world’s wrongs
one post
at a time, singing their fight songs
to boast
while still working their dead-end jobs
rallying their share-and-glare mobs
to preen
in one-upsmanship as they strife
and flank
to earn more cred in Twitter life,
other keyboard warriors who
they fight,
though they should all be allies, too,
in plight.
While they fight over which of them’s
worse off,
the wealthy use them as victims
and scoff.

There is nothing more make-believe
than tribes,
that biased filter, sifting sieve,
and expels what’s not classified
in sort,
panning for gold, dissatisfied
per force
with those not of proper karat,
for true alloy, for true merit,
El Dorado with their paved souls,
in purpose, riddled with pot-holes,
by compromise, never quite free
the gleam of golden purity,
their bond
a matter of gestalt conceit,
run amok, no one so complete
when linked
in that Yellow Brick Road of Oz,
to a fiction of tribal laws
that bind.

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