see the homeless posted at every major crossroad
standing at the ready like soldiers but really they’re just vets.
see their cardboard signs in shivering hand standing in the neon light of another sign.
see the signs. so many signs. all the signs trying so hard to sing you to shipwreck.
see the american assembly line of incarceration. the rows of concrete buildings.
stacked side-by-side. industrial and sturdy on the outside but cancer within.
see the conjugal visit of capitalism and democracy.
see the mcwhopper junior baconator cheeseburger combo.
see the mccigarettes in their red little cradle.
see the forty-eight ounces. ice cold. ninety-nine cents.
delivered from the window in a brown paper bag in exchange for your cash.
see the legal drug deal in the lobby of the restaurant.
see the illegal drug deal in the parking lot.
see the rows and rows of second mortgage cars
transnational representations of delusional personalities.
see the signs. great american tarot cards. see what they say about you.
see what you need. see why you’re unhappy. see until it hurts to see.
see all of the things that you never knew that you wanted so badly.
see the black market big box store. see that sugar is cheaper than dirt.
see the impossible cost of a roof. see the white picket fence. see the shutters.
see the green grass front yard. see the sprinkler system.
see the community-approved paint and primer color glowing from the house.
see the blue front door. the great gold knocker. see the red wheelbarrow.
see the inside of the house. it’s empty.
see the beautiful communities with world-class schools, parks, autumns.
see the people who live in their graveyards. see the garbage mountains.
see the garbage hail storms. the garbage rain clouds raining down garbage.
see the hurricane waters rise an inch each day. sinking the titanic.
sinking first the third class. sinking second the second class.
see the first class polish the brass.
see the giant ball of yarn. see the giant rocking chair in the field.
see the giant orange bottle of horse pills. see the bill.
see the cost of the medication. but hey. it’s cheaper than therapy.
see the beautiful people. the manufactured celebrity. the scripted reality.
see the radiating crimson head of the news vociferously squawking.
see the bright light show. the warm blanket of electronica.
the giant chloroform rag. the sweet victory of football.
see peyton manning sell you insurance. see the rage of fandom.
see the super bowl if you get a chance. for the commercials.
see the black plague of poor management wash over us all.
see the rose that grows from the concrete. see the incredible way
that somewhere lost in a fossil fuel fog, an outdated identity,
a father figure who refuses to listen to his beautiful daughters.
somewhere in the hallways of the church inside the bank,
there is still a green light that glows.

there is still a radiant child born in the bomb shelter of brooklyn
who will die hanging his crown on the nail of the wild wall.


The Star-Spangled Banner (Remix)

o does that star-spangled banner yet wave?
the land of the free? the home of the brave?
we watched the red glare o’er the land of the free
the bombs unbursting in air at the gleaming’s last twilight
the rockets gave proof, the bombs gave proof
broad bombs bright rockets, stars through the perilous
the perilous flight, the dawn’s early light
can you see o’er the rockets and the ramparts we watched
we watched we watched we watched the stars
stripes and stars, rockets and bombs, free and brave
can you see? so proudly we hailed at the dawn
so proudly we hailed at the twilight



i tried calling
you didn’t pick up

where have you gone to, America?
i can’t find you under my bed or in my closet with the other monsters
you seem to be everywhere all at once like you’re imitating God, but maybe you’re just photocopying yourself until the ink turns to white like your flag on the moon
where have you gone to America?
when I go down on you, you never return the favor

where have you gone to, America?
your model homes are empty
your desks in your schools are empty
your teachers are just praying for tenure
where have you gone to, America?
are you in Central Park with those cast to the corners?
are you in Brooklyn with the rappers who reside in check out counter headphones?

the Dodgers are in Los Angeles now
the Lakers are in Los Angeles now
how come she always gets whatever she wants?
where have you gone to, America?
your youngest daughter still needs you

where have you gone to, America?
your unwrapped gifts are stacking up under the Xmas tree
your churches have walls to expand for the holiday rush

where have you gone to, America?
you left the groceries out on the table
you left your poor friends out on your San Francisco doorstep
you left your children at school with a gun
and you want to blame the trigger for the finger that pulled it

you want the television to babysit us
while you go out drinking with strange men

i tried leaving you this message, America
but your mailbox was full








two buildings
side by side
the world’s largest pause symbol
in september of two thousand one
america froze midstep
in coffee shops people were forced to take a minute
to look into the eyes of friendly strangers
the nation took a mental day
muted the tv

and watched the sound of chaos colliding with structure
we remembered
this land is our land
this land is your land
but the world’s largest pause symbol
made us take a second to realize
we do not own the skies

i wonder what the last thing the twin said to her brother was before she watched him burn to the ground zero

frozen in time
new york city
rippling to the pacific coast highway
the gulf of mexico
through radio, through television
through fragile phone calls
our two american arms
reaching up towards god
shattered like a piggy bank
the world’s largest pause symbol
like a drop of blood reminding us
we are human
we are all united most of all
that in a blink of an eye
we can disappear
we all are walking around on a powder keg
smoking cigarettes
bombs    strapped to our hearts

i wish the duality of this tragedy
would wash away the space between us all
i wish that people would notice
two divided buildings, together they fall
ashes to ashes, dust to dust
left wing, right wing
one plane crashing into three dimensions

“my head is on fire
my knees feel weak
i am dizzy, disoriented
butterflies running around in my stomach
my very foundation is shaking
won’t someone break my fall?”

this has been a test of your emergency broadcast system
we now return you to your regularly scheduled program