My friend Dee Casalaina sent me a poem I sent her in 2007, the last year of Bush presidency. I don't remember writing it, a rushed, frustrated, weird apostrophe, obviously written off the top of the dome, but I thought it was interesting that it mentions Trump. I guess even then he was a symbol of greed for me.
Trail of Tears
America, it is time for a new aesthetic,
one based on rhythm and harmony.
(A thousand poets are writing through me.
It's a bit uncomfortable. Quit needling me, Berkson!)
America, count your blessings.
Count your antique roadshow baubles,
count your heritage! America, your heritage
is the future. The past should rest in peace,
well tended the grave. We love you America,
with your Elvis and soft serve and especially
jazz, and most especially that weird folk stuff
from Harry Smith's Anthology, and also
Buddy Holly, Little Richard,
The Meters, The Ramones,
Bonnie Prince Billy, Lou Reed,
Billy Holiday, Bill Monroe,
Abercrombie and Fitch. Whoa!
And there's the glitch
that stops the flow that stops the go
of Mr. Toe. Okay, what gives America?
I mean, this morning I'm wondering
what stick is stuck in that wheel?
Greed? Greek Tragedy!
I'm just wondering if we should look around.
Hey, there's Ivan Suvanjieff.
What's ya doing, Ivan?
"Laying water pipes in India with the Dalai Lama, man.
There's a horrific water crisis happening here right now."
Let's go to India with Ivan. Sounds like a good plan.
Hey, there's the King!
Hey King George, why are so many good people dying by our hands?
He's covering up his ears.
Dear God of him, please help him the death throws hear.
Hey, there's Ed Dorn.
The old gunslinger is singing,
"Hey America, this is Poetry calling."
I'm disguising myself as prose,
America, so I may speak Frankly to you.
Let us rally a different kind of troop, a dupeless troop
who scoops up the scuds and transforms them into doves
Let us, upon a tired trope, sprinkle nothing but poesy,
pulled out of the mouths of the dying swans,
such I mean, go to the country with William,
drink from the lake, taste weed and dirt.
Hey, apostrophe, over here!
The Trump of the Stationation,
the MTV Sweet Sixteen,
recently referred to by Jason Heller
as pretty much the most pure manifestation
of evil ever, and yet we can all laugh
because it's funny, because it is funny though,
Berrigan, it's a laugh riot. No? It's really
very boring, gosh! cloying, somebody
hand me a guitar...
Where was I, America?
I was calling on you, in doggerel,
shouting to you, to come to arms,
to fall into our arms, tired and poor,
and we will nurse you back to health,
amuse you back to mirth, birth
you back to self, and then, America,
when you are well fed and well rested,
we will send you out to help.
Raise your arms!
This is an arms race.