After Allen Ginsberg


America I’m calling you out of your four poster bed.
Peel back the curtain:
The weasels are closing in, red and white hats.
America in middle school Bush was president and I listened to Satanic music.
I thought nothing can ruffle me. Now nine more mornings until my late twenties.
America I’m scared about November ninth.                                                                                             I read the news every day knowing I shouldn’t. It calls to me from my pocket while I ride the train.
America don’t pull me over you work for me. I’m not going to put down my hands
until you drive off.

America answer me this: you became America after a few hundred years of white gods and treaties, so does religious freedom include freedom from religion?                                               ‘Cause when we were kids we were worried about the devil and now we’re afraid of priests. I’m afraid of McDonald’s or rather I’m afraid of all-day-McGriddles, or rather I’m afraid of my own appetite.
And shouldn’t you, too?
America fast rental cars in school zones. America premium underwear, discount tires.

America climb through my window tomorrow morning to let me know
you exist.


My cats this morning hadn’t heard the news – they carried
on like normal people which I guess is what we should all be doing
be normal people like cats eat our breakfasts and cuddle up next to each other.

America you scared off half of my class.  We can’t sleep
and we can’t sleep in.
On my newsfeed, someone said
I’m going to bed, we all have work to do in the morning. A fellow
teacher wouldn’t leave his class until no one felt
hopeless I wonder how long he will be there someone
should send taco bowls.

America how could you?  Are you America? Asking for a friend.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         On mountaintops older gods are awake, blowing their horns.
America I’m scanning to make sure the floor is still there.


America you say you love me but your tongue is like sandpaper.
What kind of love should we have? Couch sleeping love screaming love?
Siblingly I don’t have to like you love? Candleburning I’m sorry love?
We’re told we don’t read enough but I’m buried alive in my newsfeed.

America what if the world sees you as the crazy uncle locked in the attic and we can’t have love? no never mind it’s the Russians again and the Chinese and them Mexicans, them bad Mexicans.

America let me be I want to remember my dreams.


America, about that spot on your hairline. I’m not sure, starts with a D.
Well First Nations are a might cross, said they stood
outside for months waiting for you to pick up the phone. Something about the water.
Something about you not getting the messages
until white people crowded the airport in Bismarck, until two thousand great-great-grandchildren of the soldiers who herded their greater grandparents away said

I was in the Gulf and spent the last twenty-odd years buried in my head
what’s that a hose sure Statey come rinse me off.

America I posted a video about your leaky black veins, my own caption too, carbon dioxide, tenth grade earth science.  Did you see it?
A friend of mine did, one of the ones with the hats. He sent me a photo
suggesting I protest by turning my heat off for the winter.

America you’re due for surgery next month we’re not sure how deep
it’ll go – some tanning, a wig, partial lobotomy
so a few of us  we’ll be your mirror, no we insist, your external hard drive.
Gonna be lots of pain and better we thought
to write flashcards than autopsies.

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