Oh, Success Is So Slow

by Eric Chaet

Oh, success is so slow—it takes nearly forever—
younger men & women attain great wealth & prominence
they’re all over TV & radio & on the covers of magazines
when all they’ve done is what someone else would have done
if only they’d got out of the way
all they do is continue the injustice
they get the lion’s share of the spoils
at the expense of whoever can’t prevent them
& then they die—
while I’m still struggling even just to survive
let alone get out of this hole I seem stuck in forever—
sometimes I get sick & don’t think I’ll pull out of it
or I go just about absolute broke on the Richter Scale
& every prospect of redemption seems to have evaporated—
I have to take heart
realizing that I’ve been in such straits before—
but surely I’m running out of time
& still, tyrannies great & small prevail
from Sumeria & Egypt right on thru the empire I’m a cell of
& the consequent suffering, including mine
the victims picking on whoever seems weakest among them
often, me!—
have I or any one of my heroes made a dent in it, ever?—
it often seems that humanity is going to live, then die—
tyrants, vassals, & victims who fly into a rage if you say a true word—
that my efforts will be in vain—
oh, success is so slow—it takes nearly forever.


Previously published in The Moon Light of Corea (Seoul, S. Korea).


pushing a rock up a hill series

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