I was reading through an old journal and I found this poem that I wrote for an assignment in American Studies, junior year of high school. The assignment was to adapt the style of one of the pieces of literature we read that year (in this case, Ginsberg’s America), and include references to historical things we studied that year.

Whenever I reread it, I remember how much I like it.

America when will you be free?
When will the screams of your hippies and flappers and feminists be heard?
When will your Vietnam be justified?
America, I’m sick of your cookie-cutter houses and your cookie cutter women
Your dirty streets, your broken dreams
I’m sick of you owning the house I live in.
America can you hear me?
You have jaded me with your Paris Hiltons, your cheap neon lights…
Even bruises are a dime a dozen now, pal.
From the start America you tried to push people down.
Have things your own way, your own religion.
The melting pot thinks it’s pure, ha!
Even belief systems are elitist here.
I am too new to remember your Civil War.
I hear stories of brother against brother and I hear“Oh, how lucky we are that it is over!”
But America, it isn’t!
You vs. Me vs. God and Money.
You couldn’t buy democracy in Vietnam.
America I’ll shout at your graffiti-masked walls
America with your blue collars and your white collars and your no collars on street corners…
Your street corners filled with “individual thinkers” who sold their soul for a buck fifty and a pack of cigarettes
And you America hurry past and avert your eyes
When will you open your eyes?
The gap is growing.
Get those bastard pigs out of the government
Make a change, man, change the world!
400,000 lovers stoned in a field wailing their desperate need for a new world
To you America I will never be more than a few dollars on tax day or a suspected criminal.
To you America everything is black and white and your non-discriminatory policy is clear like gin.
Asian or Hispanic or Indian or upper-middle-class
And you change the standards to manipulate the statistics.
Don’t ask don’t tell.
And I can bitch all I want
It is un-American to be content with what I’ve got
And England wasn’t good enough.
The king wasn’t noble enough.
High taxes and high stakes
So the American thing to do about it is fight.
And world war oneYour ego trip
Big guns big men fight big war
I can hardly think in the state that I am in.
Drunk and stoned and stone cold.
Feelin’ good America, the only way you’ll let me.
And I’ll wake up tomorrow with my instant coffee
And my bloodshot eyes.Thoreau can keep his Walden Pond.
Why live in the woods when it’s a jungle in the cities?
Why live without a toilet when the one I’ve got’s broken anyways?
And I can fight for survival in my own apartment and on the sidewalks of this cold sharp city.
I wanna rise like you America
On cheap plastic wings (made in China)
Off to cast my ever-present shadow over India, Japan, Russia, Pakistan
And they will gaze up at my foreign policy
While I circle around them, mocking…
And now I can write about writing about how I can
I submit my criticism to the masses and call it art.
And really most of them can’t tell the difference anyway.

so yeah…

(tonight was fun.)


~ by kiranapoleon on June 3, 2006.

One Response to “America”

  1. Ooo I remember that asignment Jacki and I had her dad recite it and Spare made fun of us for using a cassette tape. I like that poem

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