Dealer's Advantage
written by: Jak Locke

from Other Streets (December 30th 2001) (7:10)
Through the bread line by and by, impotent they wail a silent cry
Unheeded by those for whom they’ll die
For them the corporate ladder’s first rung too high
In the blue collar strait jacket where they lie
Herded like pigs in some tax bracket sty
Down to the point where the ground is the sky
And they dream it and dream it but can’t even try
Neglected by all when they dare to ask why
Ridiculed and poked for each audible sigh

Oh, a siren carries one off to rest
A prayer makes one to feel more blessed
For the blood that’s running through his chest
For the false hopes of one day being the best
Tossed in the waves below poverty’s crest
And poverty welcomes them all as his guests
Drawn to the edge by society’s test
And the failures go on to join all the rest
Holding their children close to their breast
Tryin to keep off the cold in their glorified nest
Where the rats and the cockroaches constantly infest
The crumbs in the pantry and the holes in the vests
The dregs of the bread line they are
The dregs of the bread line they are

An echo of false security pounds the ears of the secretary
Who knows not of her replaceability, how quick it will come and how easily
Ignorantly being the best she can be
Though to leave it still appeals most enticingly
Yet she eats it and breathes it in mass quantity
Living for lunch breaks most impatiently
The walls and the telephone’s are all that she’ll see
In her retirement home in her shot memory
The overtime clock like a siren run free
To pay the apartment on Avenue E which she only stays in long enough for to sleep

Oh, a paycheck keeps their mouths glued shut
As they toil and sweat and push through the rut
To fill up their pockets and fill up their gut
To accept it as gospel and never ask what
Pasted and ground far down in the glut
Alive in appearance but dead in the flood of the altars of Wall Street screaming for blood
Smashed in the ground like a cigarette butt
Strives but predestined to not make the cut
Collection of corporation bolts and nuts
Yes, the dregs of the bread line they are
Yes, the dregs of the bread line they are

In the executive board room they smoke their cigars
Arriving clean shaven in new model cars
And speak in a language of figures and charts
And glorify their status from the common so far
Every day thanking their lucky stars that they’re not the dregs that work in the tar
Laughing and drinking their drinks at the bar

Oh, the pen stroke signs as a cardinal law
The layoff sheet grows as the landscape grows raw
And the managers grin with a sneer on their jaw
Making profits from tragedies nobody saw
The ship of the trodden pitches and yaws
As the ravens above them cackle and caw
The dregs of the bread line they are
The dregs of the bread line they are

Now the man on the road travels many a mile
With bags for his blankets and his bed a trash pile
Scraping for food for a day’s survival
The dogs and the rats being his only rivals
For the space ‘neath the dumpster that he’ll stay for a while
'Fore he goes walking to beg like a four year old child
And he’s known to nobody ‘cept the news report’s file
Which the governor uses for public funding's arrival
That he spends toward his reelection campaign using guile
And the man on the road who forgot how to smile
Torn up and forgotten from society’s trials

Oh, and society mocks him and says with a sneer
Don’t be like him children, don’t even go near
And he drifts through existence and to few it is clear
That the hero of the bread line he is
That the hero of the bread line he is

earliest live performance: December 22nd 2001