My country tis of thee
admits the Army shielded wild Barbie,
offers regrets to the French, reports the WASHINGTON POST
sometime in the 19 Eighties. Lurid tales we seek as truth. Late
blooming never the sole criteria for liberal v. conservative failure
lying wide-eyed tribute on Federal district sidewalk,
some sunbleached sign of the elephant,
Reckoncharmers sigh, chalk up another marble, another
favorable position, another power lunch then a movie, maybe
an opera composed for three. "Who needs the Americans?"
a bald-headed Indonesian policeman indulges in politics,
the American way of democracy retracts yet another remark
now sold as antique jewelry to Easter chicks. An obese femme,
garbed in African swank wearing three wristwatches on each arm
waddles with her two sophisticated poodles, one named Adverb,
the other No Way, each tugging at its chic fluorescent
(check for spelling and decimal point errors)
lime leash, no shifty stereotype here, just eyeballing
like primitive intergalactic astronauts
the obvious. Sensing a sneer I duck
into a clothier's for a fresh pair of socks,
and a swim. Mine stank of summer
syntax. War famine was next in line.
"Why apologize with regrets during a great afternoon like this?"
goofs some vital standby officer of chimera, blowing sweat
through a polished bugle, a bugle he found in a garbage bin
outside the Pentagon fringe, and lapping in the express lane
at an ice cream cone, dual unnamed flavors, the eyewitness said.
"It's not like it's the end of time!"
says another, posing with a cardboard zipper,
bound for political access,
ever the angry gay blade strapped for cash.
Name must remain anonymous and rash
during our lifetime due to a computer foulup, a crash
or a chip off the old block where we rolled drunks for rock
bottoms and banquet foam, but fate in a handbasket is cruel
inking sad where they fell prophecies the way it explains the rule
coz if'n I read my cards correctly, foul play's not even considered
an alternative lifestyle to those breeds, nor of troops,
and three squares configure scales too fussy
off the calloused side of the thumb
to blame Dick's dog. Or Tom Paine.
This is America the Beautiful Swan type!
Juggling outside chances the ugly and faint of bosom reject
this effort at grip, open cells and prickly pears, the perfect girly
woman waiting & knocking on wood for the perfect agency to invent her
peeling to reveal another strata, another compass, another grim
act of nature striking pose off nuclear physics and mortuary skim
poised to strip down the hungry Brass Madonna's wet clothes
and heap fixes of a linear paraphenaliac's basic whim,
quite sure broads the bored way straight to the center swim
upstream even less funny to that green collar'd fraternity crate
looped within those smoking porkbarrels squirming close to the edge
locked in greed-conditioned theocratic boardroom halls gull gray
pun free spinning within an enriched whiskey culled earshot
of others grinning just like them. Where am I? unbuckled
shouts the penny-wise pope, pouts this poet looking trickled
in this momentary picture of modernized rot without
a bull's eye shot at decent wage or freedom to decay?
"Show me a capitalist, and I'll show you a dollar!"
This I heard a bum in the busy street to holler.
Jazzy corporations sing of their due
far more frequently and sanctimoniously
than revealing their own larded backyards
girded with jargonistic creeds,
painting the bones of the working breeds
set free by a law whose spirit's in shards
never to open a door for the beauty of fair gain
where responsibility evasion suits up bringing bitter rain
the tears of whole industry cuts.
Escaping to alien sands
to other sites as working class soldiers
toss architectural crumbs to children
in hopes of a better day.
This is America the Ugly Duckling hype!
Felonious jungle gyms set in concrete, shrieks & blood, billions
of half-baked beans, energy levels, kilowatts raised on special G-forces
bilked to protect her shining shores from feigned foreign invasion
a trick of fate which seldom shakes the rich guard of daylight,
and wicked lines around city blocks fumbling for hot checks
and balances in nothing but heinous expenses, flesh floating a kite
chasing pale the rider stale. But the foray descends as nocturnal
homes in flight beneath shrill wraps of free lunch gain
produce nothing short of pathological overbite.
[ 1998, Washington, DC ]