POETRY
Greed
Milton Ehrlich

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Not even a Cyclops can stop him from shoving
folks out of his way, cutting to the front of the line. 
A master of the proxy fight and poison pill,
his greenmail raids are sure to kill or leave enemies
quaking, immured in handcuffs of tarnished gold.

A skillful culinary artist, no sommelier can choose
a better wine, yet when dinner guests arrive
they sneer behind his back in hush-hush tones:
“He’s nothing but a fish peddler’s son, a Galitzianer
from the Bronx who can put together deals with
the zeal and lightening strikes he used snapping up
carp in the tub of their Jerome Avenue fish store.”

Hannah Arendt’s banality of evil got it right:
A son of a brutish Kapo, a swaggering bully, 
shamelessly bulldozing those who played by rules,
joining the treachery of business as usual, like Dow’s Bhopal, 
the blackened stain of Exxon’s spill, Kozlowski’s hand
in the Tyco till, Fastow, Lay and Skilling’s killing
and Bernie Ebber’s fuzzy math that left him with
King Kong’s dazed look behind iron bars, a legacy
of the indifference to the grief of others, mindlessly
addicted to always wanting more and more.


Milton P. Ehrlich, Ph.D. is an 86 year old psychologist. He is also a Korean War veteran who has published many poems in periodicals such as “Descant,” “Toronto Quarterly Review,” “Chariton Review,” “Vox Poetica,”  “Red Wheelbarrow,” “Christian Science Monitor,” “Huffington Post,” and the “New York Times.