America, 2005

Broken levees

and broken bones

a decade gone

without house

and home

there’s no place

for the heart

get high on the fumes

of political art

as jam bands learn to play

amazing grace

sweet old ladies

try hemming

superman’s cape

but it’s too late

no heroes left

around here

wonderwoman grounded

like doves with wings clipped

choking on olive pits

still waiting on old

jazz men

to sing

songs drowned out


flood waters rising


crying out for a

life raft

craft beer flows

as hipsters go

wading through toxic water

waiting for the jazz man

to play on

and on and

the water rises still

no need to water lawns

below sea level

let me level with

you and your crew

wouldn’t know

what to do

if the levees broke

in your backyard

but at least you got

daddy’s car to drive away

wait out the storm

at the summerhouse upstate

where you’ll only unlock the gate

to let the maid in

made in Mexico

maiden voyage

bon voyage

make a collage from pictures

of dead Americans

dead humans

being turned into ratings

nightly news stories



to drunk frat boys

treating sorority girls

like cheap toys

cheap beer

and whiskey

a culture cheapened to

plastic beads

forget the heart

of the city

bleeding still

blood spilling from

the fingers

of old musicians

trying to close windows

as water seeps in

keep the shades pulled down

drowned out by cries

for Saints

doors still marked

lead-based paint

count the bodies and move along

ride your bandwagon



gone before long

line up for

ashes to ashes

mourning after

Fat Tuesday

catch the fat blues lady

singing about saints

pray for grandmas

Cajun cooking

looking around the French Quarter

for a pound of grass


get high

feel god starting to cry


gotta get outta here

can I get an amen?

Get a case of Purple Haze

then catch the train

as the rains

break the calm

before the storm

college kids head back

to dorms


and dry

as it is color


who’s left

to die

who’ll be left to cry again

when the saints lose

and march away

before long

all that’s left is booze

and old jazz


trying to stay

in tune

as flood waters

force them to

the roofs of old theaters

left to rot

after the last storm

and they join the jam band

playing taps

because the waters five feet high

and rising

and the newsmen

will only show up


once the bodies are floating


passed gambling men

on riverboats

into the

oil-saturated Gulf

and the politicians

will only fly over

in helicopters

on their way home

from summer vacations

spent smoking

expensive cigars

with their gulf buddies

and the governor will say

the National Guard

couldn’t save the day

because they were sent back

to Iraq

but he assures us

that the flood waters

will recede

and the important parts

of the city

will be cleared of debris

in time for

Mardi Gras

About soitgoes1984

I was born and raised on land stolen from the Pocumtuc. I now live on a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on land that was stolen more recently, from the Hawaiians. I am addict, struggling to kick the habit of fossil fuel. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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