Category Archives: american dream

Typical American Weekend

This weekend has been a typical weekend

for the United States.

In Virginia,

a klan rally gathered around a statue

of one of their heroes,

carrying torches.

They even killed someone

and injured many.

 

A lot of Americans were at the beach

this weekend

enjoying summer

as it winds down.

Kids trying not to think

about the upcoming school year

where they will walk

through metal-detectors

into classrooms

where they will learn

nothing about history

and everything about patriotism

everything about obedience

and pledging allegiance

and nothing about critical though.

For many, this will happen while

they’re wearing their JROTC uniform,

the others will still learn these things,

and they will learn about teamwork

while on the football field

where they will get concussions.

Some of the others will run

cross-country instead

but they will all

be awe-struck

when they see the ribbons

and medals

the recruiter is wearing.

Many of them who,

at the beach

or in a pool this weekend

dread going back to school,

many of them will be

wearing real uniforms

next year

training to go fight

in many places

including Afghanistan

where, this weekend

US airstrikes killed

16 civilians

and for 16 years now

this has been happening

in Afghanistan.

 

For centuries now

men have been gathering

at rallies

around statues of their heroes

or gathering at rallies

around their heroes in the flesh

but on this typical American weekend

with American civilians

on beaches or in pools

and American kids dreading

going back to school

and Afghan civilians

under the rubble of hospitals

and schools,

this weekend

the hoods were removed

and pale faces

were illuminated

by tiki-torches

in Charlottesville

 

 

Amidst the Rubble: Ode to Mosul

What is a human life worth?

Some would say ‘priceless’

and others might agree

but there are dollar signs

and balance sheets

in mind

all the time

no matter what

they tell

your family.

One death is terrible

two are tragic

three start to free us

and four give us reason

for more war

where those numbers

will increase ten-fold

by lunch

and there is this

one-two punch

terrible and terrible

terrorizing together

dropping leaflets

telling civilians to flee

before bombs fall…

but they can see

ISIS snipers,

they can see

road blocks

and their city remains

locked

so theres nowhere

they can go

and this

we know

as we march on

with our plan

and flames are fanned

and streets long paved

with wreckage and rubble

are again in trouble

as mountains of death grow

and we throw stones,

show our muscles

and flex our flags

and your dead civilians

are worth less

than the body bags

that aren’t used

as they’re tossed

in the river,

buried in mass graves

or left to rot

amidst the rubble

blood

liberated from veins

arms

and legs

liberated from bodies

breath

liberated from lungs

thoughts

liberated from minds

thousands

liberated from life

a city

liberated

obliterated

decimated

devastated

suffocated

lost

left for dead

forgotten

amidst the rubble

 

Burning Man

The burning man runs

as winds blow

and flames grow

war games go on

and on

and on

without end

SOS

please send

teardrops and fear

candy and beer

pay taxes and cheer

and we’re left with

King Lear

we’re blind

and can’t hear

year after year

after year

we can’t see

the fire

can’t feel the shame

humanity burns

as we play our game

trying to tame dragons

as our covered wagons

head east

we bring famine

and feast

on all that remains

of your culture

 

fading

written 03 March 2017

Dreams are fading

like the smoke

from this incense

lingering just out of sight

they’re still there

when you turn out the light

but the smell fades

and its hard to remember

like senior year

second week of September

when dreams disappeared

in a cloud of smoke

and fear

and year after year

the gears rust

and there are fewer

and fewer

people you trust

theres no boom

or bust

just cobwebs

and dust

and the smell is gone

and no smoke lingers on

and it dawns on you

why you’re feeling blue

see, fear had a coup

and freedom is through

is there nothing

we can

do?

Nineteen-Seventeen

100 years of drums

pounding

rockets red-glaring

and blind men staring

100 years of red,

white,

and blue

doing what we do best

God save the queen

and fuck the rest.

 

Leave your family

leave your farm

we don’t mean you

any harm

Johnny, Johnny

with your gun

thanks to you

the good guys won

and done with fighting

evermore

this war was

to end all war

now the world is safe

for democracy

with shell-shock,

you shake

but the world is free .

 

100 years,

and the bombs still fly

now Jane joined Johnny

and together they die

and by and by

and dry your tears

where will we be bombing

in 100 years?

 

Since the war

to end all war

there have been countless more.

We still wave flags

as we cry freedom

and recruit the poor.

 

They say we shouldn’t touch

on such a sacred cow

but as farmers marched to Europe

they left rusty plows

and fallow fields of dreams

were buried in the mud

as Johnny held his gun

in trenches filled with blood

 

some of them came home

to bonuses denied

and they began to see a pattern

as Uncle Sam, again

lied.

 

Many died to end all war

but war is all we see

they still say we fight for freedom

and democracy

Falling Dreams

When I was a kid

I used to have dreams

that I was falling.

I never landed,

just kept on falling.

It was the same place,

the same dream.

I was on a farm somewhere

and there was a tractor

and there were animals,

cows and sheep

and there probably would have been goats

but I wasn’t really familiar with goats

when I was a kid

so they would never graze

through my dreams.

I would walk up to this stone wall

and look down

and it looked like the edge

of a flat earth,

it just kept…

on…

going…

down and down

but there was grass growing

and those sheep and cows grazing

and I would lean over the stone wall

and look down

and start to fall

and continue to fall

until I woke up.

I never hit the bottom.

I never saw the bottom.

I’m not entirely sure

that there even was

a bottom

because, somewhere on the way down

after passing the grazing cows, and sheep

I would wake up.

 

My grandfather

who we called ‘Poppy’

was a roofer

and it was falling

off a roof

at sixty-eight years old

that killed him.

Well, the pneumonia killed him

but the fall a month earlier

landed him in the hospital

in a medical-indused coma,

and then he got pneumonia

and thats what killed him.

I’m sure that he would have preferred 

dying from the fall.

 

I’m a farmer now

and the farm

is just a short walk away

from the edge of the earth

only, unlike in the dreams of my youth

now I can see the bottom.

A thousand or so feet

down a rocky cliff

is the pacific ocean.

There is no grass growing on the side

no cows or sheep,

but sometimes there are goats.

 

I have dreams now

where Poppy is falling

and I want to catch him

or at least break his fall

but my arms

and legs

won’t move.

I’m stuck

helplessly watching

him fall.

 

In the dreams I had as a kid,

the thing that I’m not sure about

is how I started falling in the first place.

I would be standing there at the stone wall

at the edge of the earth

and then,

all of a sudden

I’m passing sheep and cows

on my way down.

 

I wonder,

Did I

trip

or did I

               jump?

 

Avert Your Eyes

Be all you can be

in the land of the free

fight for de-moc-racy,

hold your head high

 

Theres money for school

and the uniforms cool

if you play by the rules

you’ll be just fine

 

But avert your eyes

as the bombs start to fly

and the caskets roll by

don’t you worry.

 

It won’t happen to you

if you see this thing through

for the red, white, and blue,

God’s on your side

 

They’ll throw a parade

and then you’ll have it made,

you’re just bound to get laid,

you’ll be a hero.

 

Yeah, we’re 16 years in

but I just know we will win’

They will say with a grin

as you’re signing.

 

And as you raise your hand

you still won’t understand

all the flames we have fanned,

after we lit them.

 

We pour on gasoline

to countless fires, unseen

feeding this war machine,

welcome to it…

 

When they cut off your hair

and tell you what clothes to wear

and tell you to grow a pair,

its still not too late

 

but as the stray bullets fly

and you look to the sky

cursing God for this lie,

then it’s too late.

 

Tell your mother your fine

as she drinks her box wine

and on veggie omelet you dine,

Happy Birthday.

 

You avert your eyes

as you see through the lies

and your soul slowly dies,

‘Heres some medals’…