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Fifty Thousand

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Poem by Dee Allen

Human flesh
And live electricity.
A deadly combination,
If any exists—–

From a small
Hand-held device the size & shape
Of a supermarket price-tag dispenser,
Fifty thousand volts.
From a pair of tiny steel prongs,
Fifty thousand volts.
From one shot to the body,
Fifty thousand volts.
From five shots coming
From five different directions, going for
One frightened, cornered body,
Two hundred fifty thousand volts.
Organs fail. Love muscle stops. Body slumps over.
Did “excited delerium” cause this fatality?
Enquiring minds want to know.

Without a jury trial, without a judge’s orders,
Cops have always presided over
Ceremonies of capitol punishment.
With fifty thousand volts per shot on their side,
Executions are done much quicker.

The electric chair is long gone. Finished. Obsolete.
Meet its
Portable replacement.


Author: Street Sheet Editor

The STREET SHEET is the oldest continuously published street news paper in the United States. Organizationally, it is the public education and outreach tool of the Coalition on Homelessness. Every month, the STREET SHEET reaches 32,000 readers through over 200 homeless or low-income vendors. Our vendors are charged nothing for the papers they receive, and keep all money they earn through STREET SHEET distribution.

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