The Gentrifier

I am the Gentrifier.
I am the Yin to White Flight’s Yang.
First I lower it until you neglect it,
Then I inflate it until you can’t afford it
And have to sell it. What is it? Who knows?
If you liked it you should have put a lien on it.
I keep the outside the same but gut the insides,
After all the façade is a charade until there’s
A line around the block for brunch at
The Commissary, where the OTB used to be.

I’ll make it up to you. Now, I won’t buy your vote, but with
Your vote you can buy a home; cars; upper-classrooms
In which there are many degrees. Rummage through
And pick one. They used to come with costumes,
But don’t worry. The only way to lose is not to play.
The only way to win is to be not asked to play.
Want to play? This game has no back and forth, just a
Charge. All in the Valley of Debt rode the loaded Escalade.
Who cares about Standards & Poor grades when
Every genius is a flunkie and every gate is barred.

Take another swig from the S.W.U.G., although
She just turned 21 and wants to be drunk
No more. Go ahead, fill her up. She’s just
A bottle poured out in tribute to broken homes.
Adam got it first, man, and now we are all atoms,
Nearly split on a spit as the fire slow roasts.
Mmmmhmmm. Ribs is good, son. Break me off one.
Meat is murder, but murder is more than just meet
For the choicest cuts. Let the rest go to rot.
The only thing left to save is saving itself.

The Fearmaker

I am the Fearmaker.
I own a Fear factory. Business is booming
These days. I have a monopoly on fear.
Fear is the only thing that grows in value
The more of it there is. I can never sell it,
Only rent it out. I just need to find new tenants
From time to time. Don’t ever ask “how much”
Because I can make it worth you while you live.
If you ask me, is it there? I’m afraid so.
And we both know it is already mine.

Fear is the daily due on life’s lease. If you
Conquer fear, it addicts you to feeling
Fear first. And like all such habits, that can get
Explosive. Unconquered Fear compounds over
Time. But never fear, for I provide salves and shelter
At a fair price. But isn’t there something you are
Forbearing? Like your loved ones? How can you be
Sure they are safe? I can, at a fair price. Now,
I do prefer down payments payable in people.
The ultimate homage is a hostage.

Fear is a loan you can never repay, which is how
I profit from many interests. I rent out the mountain
To the hover ski jumper. I lease the turtle shells
To the coiled corpuscles of the weak. I float the wars
That shock and awe every heart and mind. I offer
No money down for the things you feel are owed,
And come to collect when you least expect. Fear
Cowers and conquers in equal measure, it is clear.
If you have nothing to lose you have nothing to fear.
So what do you give the one who has everything?

The Equalizer

I am the Equalizer.
I love equations and the values that complete them.
Equations ensure the world has true meaning. Garbage
In, Garbage Out means nothing but that the Process is
Pure. The equation commands that reality submit to form.
Take the most perfect of equations, the Second Commandment:
Love for your neighbor equals love for yourself. The beauty
Lies in its constant variability. But what if an Enemy wishes
Harm? A corollary provides a balm. Constant value Neighbor
Is equal to constant value Enemy. So keep calm and carry on.

That love can exist in such divinely direct proportion, where
Love on one side increases love on the other, is a mystery
Only solved for when love decreases. Low levels of love lead to
High levels of hate, and we don’t want that. Haters are easily
Spotted and dealt with, but the true enemy is the selfish self-
Lover. I cannot know the love in a man’s heart, but his love of
Possessions provides a metric to judge. More poor must more
Be loved, more rich must more love poor. If he loves himself
Enough to buy a swanky hotel on the boardwalk, he must
Make the equation true, with four humane habitats on blue.

Teach the poor to love themselves, and the rich to love the poor.
It makes perfect sense so I expect perfection. The schools once
Drilled the poor to help themselves before God helped them.
But the rich exploited this belabor. So now I teach that God only
Loves a self-lover, and voila! I have no haters. Besides, self-love is
A skill easy to instill when the poor have nothing but time to kill.
Charity used to begin at home but I found it inefficient. Now it
Begins in the Capitol and spreads out with suckling tentacles.
Love is the currency of the giving heart, but if the heart
Is too reserved I urge conversion into dollars.