Saturday, April 29, 2017

Crime Poetry - Fair Housing

Every Saturday this month we are running a poem about crime from Gerald So's excellent blog, The Five-Two. Today were featuring a poem called "Fair Housing" by Charles Rammelkamp. You can find one of last year's selections here.


by Charles Rammelkamp

Lynette and the kids lived
in a public housing unit,
electrical sockets hanging from exposed wires
as in some demented sci-fi film,
windows loose in their frames,
leaking cold air like sieves,
a broken stove that sparked and smoked.

But when Lynette called for repairs,
the workmen who came grabbed her breasts,
demanded she suck their dicks
if she wanted the repairs.
Cocky young guys in cheap uniforms.

She complained to the housing authority staff,
but they only promised
to "look into the matter."
Went on like that for three years. 
Finally Lynette and some other women
who’d suffered the same harassment
filed a class-action lawsuit under the Fair Housing Act,
HUD and the city housing authority forced
to shell out eight million,
fifty maintenance workers losing their jobs.

"Justice, right?" Lynette told the reporter,
without a trace of triumph.

Here is the poem being read aloud:

Here is Charles' bio:

CHARLES RAMMELKAMP edits The Potomac, an online literary journal, and is the Prose Editor for BrickHouse Books in Baltimore, Maryland, where he lives. His latest book is a poetry collection called Mata Hari: Eye of the Day, published by Apprentice House (Loyola University).

No comments:

Post a Comment