Sunday, November 13, 2011

Poems About America

Here are some poems about America I wrote last night when I woke up from a dream.


The older I get,
the harder it becomes
for me to reconcile
The golden rule and
the American dream.


We did it!
We have taken over the world!
There are resorts
in the remotest regions!
Now what?

Hell is a Landfill

In the Bible,
hell is sometimes called gehenna,
which was a burning trash dump
outside Jerusalem.

The Last of the Mohicans

In a lot of American
literature by white people
like The Last of the Mohicans
by James Fenimore Cooper,

Native Americans are presented
as a race whose time has ended.
despite the fact that ther were, and are,
thousands of living Native Americans.

Their persistant, longsuffering patience,
their continued reality,
has no place
in our imaginations.

My American Heroes

With apologies
to soldiers and police,
my heroes are not
among your ranks.

Here is a brief list
of some of my American heroes:

Harriet Tubman
Woody Guthrie
Sitting Bull
Harvey Milk
Alan Lomax
John Muir
Cesar Chavez
David Foster Wallace
Jello Biafra

For my heroes,
courage was a function
of imagination.
Their strength was
not to wound but to heal,
to tell a different
side of the story.

God Did Not Send Us Here

We came here,
compelled by kings and fantasies.

But now we are here,
with muskets and strange diseases.

What the hell?
Let's conquer it.

Outside the Bars,
Fullerton, CA 2:17am



[indistinct voices punctuated by shouts]

"Fight! Fight!"

[beep of cop car]

[slam of door]

"Oh, oh shit!"

I could let it mean
almost anything.

For some reason,
I keep thinking of Rome.

Some nights I am among them.

Tonight I am laying in my bed,
in a rooftop apartment,

a privileged witness,
awoken from my dream.

Detachment and depression
have their purposes.


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