The magic of the market comes to a national park near you (a poem)

The yuppie couple in the tent next door
Bring in their take-out pizza
Despite all the warnings against keeping food after dark
That’s good
Because if the bears come
They’ll attack their tent and not mine
Though the bears ought to get paid for making an appearance
Since this is a for-profit park
I don’t know what the government would do
If Yosemite stopped being profitable
One concessionaire already controls everything in the park
Would it be allowed to foreclose?
Maybe this is the first step in privatizing the parks
And then it’ll be made so expensive to visit
That only yuppies and the rich will be able to stay there
We’ll sneak into the park disguised as rangers
Then plant food inside the tents to draw out the bears
Putting new meaning into the concept of “eat the rich”

Too much of this will get the bears fired
No one will have civil service protection once the parks are fully privatized
Certainly not the bears
It would be a sad sight to see bears in the unemployment office
With few options
They might wind up in the military
Hopelessly out of their element in the desert
Unless this is seen as an acclimation program for the bears
Under full privatization
Parks will reach their full profit potential
All the hunting licenses that can be sold would be sold
The trees cut down
Until the parks are reduced to desert
And now the bears can come home
When their tours of duty in the desert are finished
Because they will now be acclimated for the parks

With nothing left but barren ground and a few disgruntled bears
Who are hungry too because there is nothing left to scavenge
The land will be of no use except as target practice for the military
And the bears will already be used to bombs dropping
A new way to see the nation
Bomb Yosemite! Bomb Yellowstone! Bomb Arcadia!
The psychological benefits of parks bombing will be immeasurable
If you can bomb your own parks
Bombing other countries will be even easier
Making it easier to export these ideals
More humanitarian bombing will lead to new privatized governments elsewhere
Which will sell bombing rights to their parks cheaper
Enabling the military to cancel its national parks leases
There will finally be no more profits to be made
The private parks company will sell the parks back to the government
They will again be open to all
Which will be fine by the rich
Since they won’t be interested in traveling to a wasteland
And the newly admitted will plant a tree

Happy holidays to you all. If you are in New York City on New Year’s Day and like poetry, considering coming to The Alternative New Year’s Day Spoken Word/Performance Extravaganza, taking place from 2 p.m. to midnight at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 326 East Third Street. It’s free and more than 100 poets will preform.

7 comments on “The magic of the market comes to a national park near you (a poem)

  1. Wonderful poem. Thanks. I reposted it on

  2. Vassilis says:

    It is surreal! I mean when they sell it back to the government, they will also be the government and they will be the only people alive as well. Merry Christmas, every day. 😉

  3. Grace Weaver says:

    Bombs, bears, banks – this poem has an unbearable bang for its buck and its bears!
    Thanks for your great imagination and sense of humor and of justice.

  4. Yep, those bears are gonna have issues. Great analogy!

  5. Danielle Ha says:

    Bears to become legends of Big Foots in Yosemite? Only to appear in “documentary TV” on privatized mountains for the most brazen Fun-ters?… There is no bottom to the SIMPLICITY of violence and indifference. We need to expose Abstract-Cynical language — because it is systemically bloodless and only serve idiotic Exploiters. “Grow-ups” need to teach kids. (Don’t forget it takes lots of time and energy to domesticate wild bears since they were RAISED in the wild)

  6. Thank you, everybody, for your kind responses. I’ve been away for a while, so just catching up to the beautiful comments. Happy new year!

  7. Tom Welsh says:

    Excellent poem – but you missed the chance of working in “the right to arm bears”!

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