Elaine Russell

The best way to listen to Elaine's poetry is to imagine a little music box playing some sing-songy tune in the background as she performs her work in her charactaristically gentle, "nursery rhyme" voice. Then let it nail you. When asked, "Well, what have you got to say for yourself?!" her answer includes the following:

Elaine Russell is a Sagittarius with Libra rising.

She has worked as a janitor, a waitress, a file clerk, and a telephone solicitor.

An outspoken activist and advocate for justice, she has been kicked out of Rochester Americorps and the Civilian Review Board. She has been blacklisted by several employers and harassed by the local cops.

She teaches metaphysics, meditation, and alternative healing. She has published numerous articles and poems. She is a graduate of Syracuse and Cornell Universities.

Ms. Russell has been referred to as a liberal, a hippie, overqualified, insubordinate, weird, crazy, a self-styled intilectual, and a sexy little thing. In literary circles, she is known as the Diva of Deep Doggerel.

Wherever there's oil there's war
Which American people adore
Whenever there's war there are jobs
Which appeals to the big spending mobs
Wherever there's oil there's George Bush
With goons kissing his billionaire tush

For cheap oil we were willing to bomb
Somalia, Iraq, Vietnam
Plotting ways to blow people apart
New world order checks in with a blast
With dead bodies piling up fast
our news media does not reveal
What the pentagon wants to conceal

There is oil in the Balkans, of course
So lets go in and take it by force
War euphoria serves to enthrall us
'Till the truth does make monkeys of all us

Ethnic cleansing is just an excuse
To wage war for cheap oil for our use
       I rather fear
       It's going on here
In fact it's very profuse

Oh, pull yourselves up by your bootstraps
Get a job in a factory
And send your children to daycare
Nobody here rides for free

Now watch what you say to your children
Accept that your life is the pitts
Or you'll end up on Sally and Oprah
Confronted by your screwed up kids

Your car will not pass inspection
Unless you buy one of our tires
So we already ripped off your sticker
Six months before it expires

We frown upon single mothers
And think you deserve your distress
If you'd just kept your knees together
you wouldn't be in this mess

The man whom you failed as a woman
Is going to take you to court
To get custody and make you give him
Half your paycheck in child support

You say there's no food in your cupboard
I don't want to hear your excuse
I'll just call the anonymous snitch line
And report you for child abuse

Your kid looks like a delinquent
We should lock him behind prison doors
The slammer is full of the product
Of broken homes just like yours

We don't want you in our neighborhood
Your lifestyle isn't quite right
If you bring down our property values
We'll turn you in for your blight

Compassion's not on our agenda
You're still useful as someone to mock
If we didn't have you to look down at
We might see ourselves and be shocked

Your kids got their smarts from their father
Your clothing is so out of style
Your future offers no promise
And we wish you'd get rid of that smile

This collection was posted here in April 2000.

All poetry and other artistic writings are their authors and reproduced here with their permission.

Click on the envelope to go to the Mailbox.

Wayshelter E-Mail

All contents

The Wayshelter

Copyright Dates

unless otherwise noted.

Back to the Fireside
Click to return to the main page of

The Wayshelter