Wednesday, July 4, 2012

poemS of the day 07.04.12

the american flag is ugly

the american flag is ugly
and so am i
sitting at this work desk
surrounded by everyone dressed
in red, white, and blue
they love to antagonize me with this shit
really think that it gets my goat
they start singing
oh beautiful
but can’t remember the words
show me search engines decked out
for the holiday
smirk at me and say
well, what do you think of that?
i tell them that it simply confirms so much
of what i already believe
i stop short of calling them
ugly americans
after all, i have to put in forty hours a week here
so i hum some woody guthrie instead
still they keep it up
don’t you like hot dogs? they ask
cold beer and good old american barbeques?
i tell them when it rains on the fourth of july
i get a happy feeling in my heart
i shut the blinds
drink chilean wine and eat indian food
watch films with subtitles colored blood red
but all they want to talk about are fireworks
the pretty colors exploding in the sky
and shattering across the landscape
killing thousands of birds
just like back in 1776
they say
equating a call for independence
with the end of the war
that ancient battle
the struggle that the french won for us
only no one here
seems to want to talk about that.

booze cruise

he was a nothing
a bit player in this place
before the new owners gave it the once over
and changed its name

he sat around with puppy dog eyes
clutching a sweating bottle of bud
looking for a conversation
he could weasel his way into

but now none of the old drunks come in here
he’s got his big boy pants on
and he’s the king of the bar
stuffing his fat ass into a prime seat
playing the star-spangled banner on the jukebox
a lackluster version of a lackluster song
sung by some nashville princess
with blonde hair and a botox face

when we sit down he swills half of his bottle
and gives us the once over
the nod of recognition
points at the chalk board behind the bar
says, are youse guys goin’ta tha booze cruise
on the fourth of july?

i don’t even know what the booze cruise is, i tell him
hoping that’ll end it

but it doesn’t

you pay eighty-bucks, he continues
get all of the free booze you want
take the boat right into the harbor
get so close to the fireworks and the other action
that you can almost see right up lady liberty’s skirt

he stops talking and smiles at us
checks to see if we’re taking it all in

then says
now tell me something more american than that?

before he waddles off of his stool
to play god bless america on the juke

turning back to wink at us
i look at this true blue slob and think

you, buddy,
nothing is more american than you.



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