‘Murica

'Murica I've walked your roads and
Stared at your stars,
I've bathed in your rivers,
I've driven your cars.
I sat by your whirlpools
And ran you through my mind -
I've tried to ignore Fox
And all that hateful jive.
'Murica I've ridden your highways,
Puzzled as you say:
If you ain't from here
Then you can't stay,
When most of you are from
Some place else -
I've pulled your history from
Library shelves -
I hid from murderous hillbillies
In your trailer parks and now I
Sit crouching in your sweetest parts 
Wearing a Groucho disguise
Whilst reading Karl Marx,
Listening to the band 
As the sun comes up on
Another fucked day.

I've washed my clothes 
In the high desert in buckets
Hand dipping down into suds
While shooting the breeze
With Ellie May Clampett.
I've sat on a hill near
Little Big Horn fields
While the lightning raged
And the storms did form 
Yet nothing wet did yield.
I've begged your pardon
Whilst worshipping
At the Garden of Eden,
Cowering in Sioux Falls
Hearing your politicians
Make yet another calculated call
To arms dealers and bigotry hauls
I collected the feathers 
Of passing birds
And sat crying on the shores
Of Cass Lake, my weeping unheard.

Your chipmunks and deer
Were my greatest friends:
I plucked a Pennsylvanian Martin
While racoons played. 
I caressed it's Adirondack spruce
As if it were my baby
I played the songs of Dylan
Young, Mitchell and Reed,
Then sullied it with McCartney.

Murica, you spat me out
Not because I was salty or sweet
Or bitter or sour:
There's not enough salt in the mines 
to sate 'Murica's savor!
You spat me out into the heart 
Of California
To sit with the poets and bums
And look for a savior
In the streets of dirt
The streets of shame
Where Chinatown melts
The fat from the duck
And the heads drop acid
Into garbage trucks;
Where the Bay sits carved
A beauty from stone
Where the wind and the fog
Cut you right to the bone.

If I close my eyes I can recover
The sense of sitting by the lighthouse
In an Oregon summer.
I can taste the sea
And smell the sand.
I can look to the rock
I can steady my hand.
I can look out to the children
I battled to save
By America's promise - 
The land of the brave!
I shed tears I earnt
On your fertile ground
And came up with pearls
And a voice carried over
The Olympic Sound - 
Crying to all those who fled
To find safety from fear,
It says:
The door is shut
We don't want you here.

I decided to stay:
I love this land
By the light of it's days
By the powder of it's sands
By the faint smell of dusk
While Coyote call
By the shrieks of Lucy
And Lauren Bacall
By the San Fernandino nights
By the Salinas haze
By the slow turning of
The pattern of the days. 
I love you by your hills
And your cruel divides
I love you by your embrace
And your intelligent designs.
By the mountains and sea
And the people that I meet
By the brutal humanity
And the rules of the street. 

"Murica might not love me
But I don't care

I look over the water
While Elliot's Mermaids
Comb angel hair.

3 Comments

    1. The Paltry Sum

      Thank you, and thank you for the recommendation for Lilith magazine. I am really enjoying reading it, there are some deeply moving and inspiring stories. My head is held up a little higher today.

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