AMERICAN HONEY

and it pours down my throat
like jesus molasses
pioneers heading west
towards the belly of the beat
east meets west
but i’m slipping

american honey
how do you dance the way you do?
the way you slide down that fireman’s pole
sound the alarm
calling all cars
this country
is a corvette
making the jump to warp speed
where we’re going
we don’t need roads

american honey
stay the night with me
in a jim morrison dream
we can fight the nightmare hangover
in the musky morning

let’s dance to destruction
a line dance
in a three-dimensional world
a house of cards in space
and american honey
your sweat is so sweet
and you are the last girl we will ever
stay the night with
wake your indian ancestors in their graves
with ghosts songs
and the bump of raves

american honey
your curves mimic colfax avenue
san francisco hills
in a red white and blue bikini
that kills

american honey
dollars hanging on you like a christmas tree
white men flock to you like a drug
the hypnotic way you swing your hips
around the washington monument
as lincoln watches
hard as a rock
dance for me
decay dance
rain dance
acid rain
pounds pounds pounds on the grave
of syd barrett
and the dark side of the moon
is our final frontierland
tomorrowland
fantasyland
adventureland
we always want what we can’t have
american honey
you never give me your money
i only give you my funny papers
and you never let me kiss you on the mouth
never let me touch you
when i tell you i love you
you never hear me beneath the sound
of manhattan traffic

american honey
you burn the back of my throat
like cigarettes
like lung cancer
like crosses in the bible belt
setting free a million white ghosts
in their pointed little hats
and glancing down you say
“everything’s bigger in texas”

american honey
sometimes i want you to be a slow dance
in oklahoma
last call dance whiskey in hand
as you whisper in my ear
that you want to make love
but you’re always snorting coca-cola
in your dressing room
under the bright fluorescent lights
of the hollywood sign
you’re always putting makeup
on the four-headed hydra
of south dakota
applying red #40 lipstick

you dance like television commercials
and big blockbuster movies
american honey
you always sneak out in the middle of the night
it’s always hide and seek with you
never spin the bottle
i find you in crack-cocaine alleyways of brooklyn
and tucked in the spaces between the green scrolling
billboards of wall street
but i could never find your soul

buried with hoffa
and the american dream

oh where oh where can she be?
oh my darling
you were lost and gone forever
dreadful sorry

american honey
you tell me you feel like ratso
as alcoholic sweat pours down your face
on a bus to florida
and i tell you everything is gonna be alright
your eyes are doing ringling brothers backflips
and you’re eating yourself alive
like cannibalistic polar bears
your toenails are chipped like the shoulders
of politicians
hidden under shoulder pads
like american sports teams
and i wish i could have seen you dance one more time
but you’re dying on me
your knees shake like east coast earthquakes
that we all feel the tremors of
don’t you go dying on me, american honey
i’m in love with your blue eyes like frank sinatra
and your red hair like lucille ball
your white skin and the way your house always
smells like your grandmother’s cooking

american honey
twenty-one gun salute for you
america’s sweet heart
beating no more
i think about you sometimes
in the white of night
when the clouds creep over the grand canyon
like an american flag over an empty grave

hooker with a heart of gold
frankenstein’s monster with betty davis eyes
and we created you
and all of edison’s electricity
couldn’t bring you back to life
all of carnegie’s steel
and all of ford’s men
and we still
couldn’t put you back together
again

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “OH I GOT A DEMON”

Author: brice maiurro

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

12 thoughts on “AMERICAN HONEY”

  1. This poem will one day be considered an American classic. I am literally still shaking from the effect of reading it just now. Pure genius. I bow to your greatness.

    1. Thanks. 😀 I wrote it after watching Midnight Cowboy and seeing some terrible ads for American Honey whiskey with girls in daisy dukes and red flannel shirts dancing around poles. It was a fun one to write.

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