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A Little Anti-institutional Venom
by Barry Ergang

Blighted, ciphered, not serene,
I curse devices niched, obscene,
Pimpling commerce with aching cankers
(I refer to automated bankers);
With cutesy names like MAC and George
Whose maws our plastic cards engorge
Along with our encoded souls
And in return bestow our doles.
A covenantal application
Begets your byte-sized designation;
Thus you too can join the ranks
Of congregants outside our banks.

I shout, “Someone incinerate it--
Beast with circuits integrated.
This is my own, my hard-earned pile.
I’d rather receive it from one who can smile.”
 ...Stop your whine, insert your wafer...
Now your precious funds are safer...
Punch the buttons, dial your code...
Bingo! Manna! Hit the road!
Make way for the next in need of cash...

I wish you, machine, a digital rash.

With new computers their messiahs,
Salaried tellers near-pariahs,
Guards exempt from micro-chipped posts
Where hallowed patrons clutch their Hosts,
Bankers assailed by money-lust
Take up the cry, “In Card We Trust.”

 Originally published in Laughing Lions Magazine, 1998