POEMS ABOUT AMERICA

ginsberg uncle sam

Happy Fourth, Everyone.

I am stuffed to the brim with hamburgers and hotdogs and carne asada tacos and yeah. I’m a big fan of Independence Day. America and I definitely have a love/hate relationship, but honestly, I don’t think I could ask for a better muse. Over the course of the last few years, I’ve probably written a couple dozen poems about America, many of which are featured on this blog:

A BREAKUP LETTER TO AMERICA is the one on the blog that got the most views. Definitely falls more on the end of my struggles with America then any other poem I’ve written on the subject. It’s also the only poem I’ve ever said ‘nigger’ in:

Do you realize, America,
that you called Joe Frazier
a nigger when he wasn’t in the ring
and a God
when he had your flag on his shoulders?

I don’t feel super comfortable using such a hateful word but it was the only way to be honest to the subject matter. I felt it had to be said. This poem is definitely one of my favorites.

BLOOD ON THE AMERICAN HIGHWAY was honestly me just playing around with American iconography. When I threw it out there, I thought it was trash and a year later I read it again and found that I really liked the poem. Plus, it’s just so much fun writing a poem called “Blood on the American Highway.”

A GIRL NAMED AMERICA I’m really not sure where it came from. I think, key word ‘think’, that it kind of came out of seeing the creepy beauty pageants in the movie Little Miss Sunshine and just how very American in a sense it seemed to shove a child on stage and make them perform for a crowd of adoring and viciously aggressive onlookers. The title I think came from A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash. I just love that. A something named something.

AN AMERICAN PORTRAIT came to me after spending some time in Southern California at an old friend’s parent’s house. They had this wonderful house and nice patch of land. The house was blue and they had chickens in the yard. It reminded me of The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams. I also was fairly into Edward Hopper’s art around that time so I was enamored of the idea of trying to paint with words.

MAYBE AMERICA I wrote in a doctor’s office while I waited to see the doctor. Haha. On my way over I really did see the first line in real life:

maybe america is one of those guys on suburban street corners in a lady liberty costume waving a sign about taxes and loans who makes minimum wage and has music in his ears to help pass the time

and it just came from there. Just pondering different scenarios. One of the more fun poems I’ve ever written, just trying to sample the culture, which never fills satisfying, especially in a country as big as ours.

Tonight I stumbled on a great poem on WordPress on the site “Bitchtopia” by a poet named Kiarra. The poem was kind of a continuance of Allen Ginsberg’s poem America. My favorite line from Kiarra’s poem is:

America
had vodka for dinner that night.
America keeps her vibrator in her backpack for emergencies
in which she will need to resuscitate herself.
America’s favorite book is whatever is the cheapest and
America misses her stop. 

Check out Kiarra’s poem and the rest of Bitchtopia, which seems to be a badass site, HERE.

Tomorrow night, I’ll be posting an old poem of mine, one of my favorite America poems that I’ve written, entitled AMERICAN HONEY. Which was the first poem I ever wrote about America and probably my favorite.

Otherwise, folks. Thanks for just always supporting me. It’s been 3 great years on this blog and a few months ago I thought poetry and I had parted ways, but turns out it’s that emotionally abusive ex-girlfriend I can’t say no to, and I’m that delusion boy romantic who answers when she calls at 2 in the morning.

MERICA!

Love,
Brice

 

Author: brice maiurro

Denver poet. Author of Stupid Flowers, out now through Punch Drunk Press.

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