Great poem about America

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Matabele, Sep 7, 2005.

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  1. Matabele

    By:MatabeleSep 7, 2005
    Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2004
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    us people are just poems
    we're 90% metaphor
    with a leanness of meaning
    approaching hyper-distillation
    and once upon a time
    we were moonshine
    rushing down the throat of a giraffe
    yes, rushing down the long hallway
    despite what the p.a. announcement says
    yes, rushing down the long stairs
    with the whiskey of eternity
    fermented and distilled
    to eighteen minutes
    burning down our throats
    down the hall
    down the stairs
    in a building so tall
    that it will always be there
    yes, it's part of a pair
    there on the bow of noah's ark
    the most prestigious couple
    just kickin back parked
    against a perfectly blue sky
    on a morning beatific
    in its indian summer breeze
    on the day that america
    fell to its knees
    after strutting around for a century
    without saying thank you
    or please

    and the shock was subsonic
    and the smoke was deafening
    between the setup and the punch line
    cuz we were all on time for work that day
    we all boarded that plane for to fly
    and then while the fires were raging
    we all climbed up on the windowsill
    and then we all held hands
    and jumped into the sky

    and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
    and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed
    and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar
    looked more like war than anything i've seen so far
    so far
    so far
    so fierce and ingenious
    a poetic specter so far gone
    that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling
    over 'oh my god' and 'this is unbelievable' and on and on

    and i'll tell you what, while we're at it
    you can keep the pentagon
    keep the propaganda
    keep each and every tv
    that's been trying to convince me
    to participate
    in some prep school punk's plan to perpetuate retribution
    perpetuate retribution
    even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution
    is still hanging in the air

    and there's ash on our shoes
    and there's ash in our hair
    and there's a fine silt on every mantle
    from hell's kitchen to brooklyn
    and the streets are full of stories
    sudden twists and near misses
    and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters
    with tales of narrowly averted disasters
    and the whiskey is flowin
    like never before
    as all over the country
    folks just shake their heads
    and pour

    so here's a toast to all the folks who live in palestine

    el salvador

    here's a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation
    under the stone cold gaze of mt. rushmore

    here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors
    who daily provide women with a choice
    who stand down a threat the size of oklahoma city
    just to listen to a young woman's voice

    here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now
    awaiting the executioner's guillotine
    who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads
    to find peace in the form of a dream

    cuz take away our playstations
    and we are a third world nation
    under the thumb of some blue blood royal son
    who stole the oval office and that phony election
    i mean
    it don't take a weatherman
    to look around and see the weather
    jeb said he'd deliver florida, folks
    and boy did he ever

    and we hold these truths to be self evident:
    #1 george w. bush is not president
    #2 america is not a true democracy
    #3 the media is not fooling me

    cuz i am a poem heeding hyper-distillation
    i've got no room for a lie so verbose
    i'm looking out over my whole human family
    and i'm raising my glass in a toast

    here's to our last drink of fossil fuels
    let us vow to get off of this sauce
    shoo away the swarms of commuter planes
    and find that train ticket we lost
    cuz once upon a time the line followed the river
    and peeked into all the backyards
    and the laundry was waving
    the graffiti was teasing us
    from brick walls and bridges
    we were rolling over ridges
    through valleys
    under stars
    i dream of touring like duke ellington
    in my own railroad car
    i dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches
    in a grand station aglow with grace
    and then standing out on the platform
    and feeling the air on my face

    give back the night its distant whistle
    give the darkness back its soul
    give the big oil companies the finger finally
    and relearn how to rock-n-roll
    yes, the lessons are all around us and a change is waiting there
    so it's time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets
    and clear the air
    get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand
    of someone else's desert
    put it back in its pants
    and quit the hypocritical chants of
    freedom forever

    cuz when one lone phone rang
    in two thousand and one
    at ten after nine
    on nine one one
    which is the number we all called
    when that lone phone rang right off the wall
    right off our desk and down the long hall
    down the long stairs
    in a building so tall
    that the whole world turned
    just to watch it fall

    and while we're at it
    remember the first time around?
    the bomb?
    the ryder truck?
    the parking garage?
    the princess that didn't even feel the pea?
    remember joking around in our apartment on avenue D?

    can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their design
    following a fantastical reversal of the new york skyline?!

    it was a joke, of course
    it was a joke
    at the time
    and that was just a few years ago
    so let the record show
    that the FBI was all over that case
    that the plot was obvious and in everybody's face
    and scoping that scene
    the CIA
    or is it KGB?
    committing countless crimes against humanity
    with this kind of eventuality
    as its excuse
    for abuse after expensive abuse
    and it didn't have a clue
    look, another window to see through
    way up here
    on the 104th floor
    another key
    another door
    10% literal
    90% metaphor
    3000 some poems disguised as people
    on an almost too perfect day
    should be more than pawns
    in some asshole's passion play
    so now it's your job
    and it's my job
    to make it that way
    to make sure they didn't die in vain
    baby listen
    hear the train?
  2. ManlyBacker

    By:ManlyBackerSep 7, 2005
    Winging it
    Staff Member

    Jul 15, 2004
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    Pretty amazing. I am going to be crass and say I could almost sense an eminem beat, but it is of course Ani. She lost me in sections there but a whole lot to like.
  3. Matabele

    By:MatabeleSep 7, 2005
    Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2004
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    Yeah, I should have creditted that. Ani DiFranco.

    There's a live version of it on her "So much shouting, so much laughter" album.
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