COMPLAINT 33.5

Poem for U.S. Layoffs from Dusty Rhodes’ “Hard Times”
By Josh Shepard

   “You don’t know what hard times are, daddy!”
   -Dusty Rhodes, October 29, 1985


I know how important it was,
 the American Dream.
  I have to say the way I feel:

no respect,
 no honor amongst thieves.
  hard times around this country.

the out of work, can’t
 pay wages; can’t
  buy food.

the out of work go home.
 and a man has worked
  a job for years and they give him

hard times! that’s hard times!
 this country had hard times
  together, brother, and they know.

John Wayne’s dead
 and the Heavyweight
  belongs to these people.

the people in this country
 given this hard time blues.
  let me leave you with this:

one way to hurt is to take.
 that’s the Heavyweight.

 I been there.
  this time, I came back.

  thank god I have you!
   I love you!

     I love you!


Poem for Thoughts and Prayers from Stone Cold Steve Austin’s’ “Austin 3:16”
By Josh Shepard

   “And that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so!”
   -Stone Cold Steve Austin to Dok Hendrix, June 23, 1996


don’t just
thump your bible

& say your prayers
all cheap thunder

that King
don’t give a damn

don’t give a damn
if you’re at the bottom

Josh Shepard is a poet and artist living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. His work can be found most recently in New Plains Review and Waxwing and is forthcoming in Slipstream.

Image by Leroy Skalstad from Pixabay

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