America, an Odette (for Allen Ginsburg)

Sponsored by the Financial Times: “Capitalism, Seems To Be Working”

America, you promise me leisure
America, where are your wheat fields
America, I perceive nature behind your gray architecture
America, I am rich and handsome, blessed of kinship, yet have no friends amongst you
America, you wait in line with ten dollars
America, why don’t you speak to me; I’m not a leper
America, our eyes meet like the shutters of a camera lens
America, you don’t ask my name, you’re not interested
America, all your ports are lined by storefronts
America, even your fisheries don’t stink
America, I’ve seen you watering sidewalks; what do you expect to grow?
America, you count money beautiful, like the hawk that soars—you listen to music like an invalid
America, your inner child stacks quarters neatly on counters
America, I’m locked in your larders—everything’s canned
America, your manifesto is all graphs, no language
America, it is by your logic that pollution makes sense for it will one day create an industry for clean air
America, my dog no longer deciphers between the curb and a conifer
America, roll down your limousine windows! Be proud of who you are!
America, I’m not compelled by you; you’re simply in my way
America, you don’t invite me over to dinner; you claim not to have enough potatoes
America, when you gonna croak from a blocked artery?
America, do you think Brazil only makes tennis shoes?
America, you sold off my folk songs, I had to buy them back at an auction
America, I can buy a stock in six seconds, but cannot say I love you to my father
America, you’ve constructed telephone poles in my forests
America, your only iniquity is your ubiquity; like Spirit that way
America, you’re the Anti-Spirit! I cannot feel you…
America, you’re easy to pick on, you don’t change
America, one day you’ll be like the Great Wall of China, a colossal vestige, and we’ll charge money to exploit you!
America, who will sing at the funeral?
America, I could love you, but you’ve no sense of humor
America, get the gun out my face—

Commercial Break……sponsored by Bank of America: “Think Rich”

America, buy! Sell! No, buy! You’re so naïve…
America, it is competition that pits people against people, and ultimately against nature; this you have coined a Beatitude
America, do you understand why I let you win?
America, when it rains I can smell urine washed from your alleyways
America, your city bus is a freight train carting coal
America, would you be embarrassed if I were to have an epileptic fit?
America, you only know how to converse across counters—I’m not deciphered until I’ve ordered my wheat loaf
America, you defend your odious car alarms with odious language
America, your newspapers fan the air above remodeled kitchens
America, when did Edison’s light bulb become more fascinating than the sun?
America, your despairing mass is convinced that it’s the culture, it’s the culture….and yet you are the culture
America, no one wants to risk their minivan for something they cannot see
America, you’re not the devil; you’re smarter than he
America, I’ve not lived a day outside of your shadow; I’m 32 years old and anemic
America, your oracles tend bars on Market Street, masters at speaking without saying
America, your congregation bows down diligently before regulation postings in the park
America, your sixth sense is liability, liability, liability!
America, your prophets live in penthouses; and preach that man has “privatized the world in your image”
America, where are you hiding the pictures of Democracy fucking his black slaves?
America, you, democracy, law, and leisure, are the four sons, but not one of you is wise enough to ask a question
America, I am the fifth son and I’m not coming home for the Seder
America, beckon with words, not leashes!
America, your oral tradition is firmly in the hands of talk show hosts
America, I retract—you’re not that smart; we are simply dogs
America, I’m a monkey and I’m waiting to be returned to the jungle—

Commercial Break……sponsored by Visa: “Anything, Anytime, Everywhere”

America, you changed my name so it can be passed down more like currency
America, you seized my father’s prayer shawl at the boat; I imagine it’s buried in an unmarked grave
America, I could let everything else slide if you wouldn’t send our grandparents off to asylums to die alone
America, parents no longer tell their children to play outside; I cannot make light of this
America, I’ve heard two of your disciples speak of themselves as “skillsets”
America, I’ve watched your wives debate ottomans while reclined on rolling green pastures
America, I’ve sat chagrined while your husbands have slipped in mid-sermon—”I have achieved everything…except my dream!”
America, you have to want to change—I can’t help you
America, I’ve been talking for a while now; how much is this costing me?
America, I must descry your form! Are you idleness, greed, a collective affront to death? Do you exist in the homeless as well as the rich?
America, I’ve seen your homeless sleeping in doorways with “for lease” signs hanging above their heads
America, you are smiling now but I will outlast you!
America, you sold the nine muses to obtain Sarcasm; and your poets wonder why they are being ostracized
America, you’ve no conscience, but that’s our fault
America, I’m disrobing you of your tunic; I want to see your tiny prick!
America, your prostitutes are being passed over for the video arcade; boys are now more confident in front of screens
America, I don’t blame you, I claim you—it is my labor to make things plain
America, you’ve allowed every man the dream of Napoleon, without his ability
America, it would be better to sell the dreams of good neighbors
America, you deride this as socialism, but its truth is not logic
America, the further you expand your regions, the further you grow over the inherent truth
America, you are an explorer, a conquistador, a corporation and a boor—
The bones of the dead rise up to greet you; they sing the Negro Spiritual, they dance the
Lakota Ghost Dance, they move within the poisoned salmon streams and the ungodly wind
America, your soft underbelly produces rebellious kin…

America….this has been a public service announcement

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