Thursday, October 30, 2008

The American Way


THE AMERICAN WAY


I.

The American Way is suffocating.
somewhere in the midst of sixty hours
And motherhood.

the American Way is losing its way.
somewhere in the chaos between
the (deception of) Convenience and the (sickness of)
Child-worship.

i am breathing but I am barely living.

Hail the spoiled and
the prosti-tots.

Rotting. in their thrones. of
stilettos and lime lights.

hike the skirts. tighten the halters—
and lay them on the altar:

(lamb,

our most tender of meats)


II.

mothers.

embrace a new profession:


the independent
butcherettes. and pimpettes—

their daughters’ favorite
Smurfette.

because every girl needs a best friend. who understands. a pal

who descends

defends

the sell-off of innocence.

Slaughter it.
Bleed it.
Hang it on a hook,

for all the world to see. smudges and fingerprints
fogging up the window,

like the tongue licks
of dirty dogs
panting and pacing,

back and.
forth.

the only way we point
is back and.
forth.

III.

at presidents and welfare recipients.
at terrorists and immigrants.

we congratulate our foresight:
as we congregate—

at the burning stakes—

frothing, behind our lips.

with thick.
Oil.

running down our throats.

we. Are. the morons:

designating villains. we wash our palms,
Pilate-style.

we should be.

burning.

ourselves.


IV.

greed clothed in a veil of comfort: no one wants to be left wanting.

(the rest of the world is left needing = dying) / (sacrifice = two dollars = the rest of the world can wait + starving)

this model does not apply.
to me.
your calculations show bias.

I. am. Not. one of the rich ones:

all I own is twenty-two hundred square feet (on an acre and a half). and my garage has no heat. i can only play golf. once a week. my Hondas and Toyotas are at the end of their leases. pity me, please, it’s a pity. we can’t afford a jet ski. or that private jet—and my wife can’t shop. at. neiman marcus. nordstrom’s only for special occasions.

a dime for your brother.

but who is my brother?

do not tell me he is the one who made the clothes my sons are wearing.
do not tell me he is the one who made the shoes my daughters are wearing.
do not tell me he is the one who grew the rice I am eating.
do not tell me he is the one who picked the fruit I am swallowing.

do not tell me he is the one who died digging for the jewels my wife is dawning.

my brothers are the ones I can touch.
the ones with whom I can watch the game. play the game.

We all play the game.
the American way.

proud. And loud.
when we are winning.

proud. And sore.
now that we are losing.
the American way.


V.

to lose our way may help us to find our way.
the way.

far away.
from Here.

i am straying from this way.
pursuing that which is askew.

i will go searching for.
my brothers.
pockets heavy with dimes and tears and sweat.

i hope that.
they will take me in.

and help me to shed this American.

skin.

way.

where I will learn.
not to want.
but to need.

more than a thing.
more than to be entertained.

that we may learn to look at one another in the eyes again,

and know exactly.
Without question.

who is our brother

our flesh

our human kin.

2 comments:

funwithfaith said...

You are a very talented writer.

Melissa said...

funwithfaith...thanks for taking the time to read this poem...it's a long one! and the subject matter is not so pleasant...i hope you are well...