GOD BLESS AMERICA
We're lying on a bed of roses
In these United States.
From homeless to the lifted noses,
From birth to pearly gates,
Everyone here has got it made
Compared to those who've daily prayed
For food, clean water, day of peace--
Free of raids by secret police.
Something warmer than the dark
Hiding places from the shark
That's looking for a little taste.
We look for light before we waste
Our lives and all that we hold dear--
Hiding out in caves of fear.
You have something that'll make me
Start loving you again.
I know it's in you and you'll take me
Where you used to when
Your eyes would see in me, a man
Who's more than your retirement plan.
I know you love me, but the spark
Went out, us wandering in the dark.
Work can drive you crazy, really--
It doesn't matter what you do;
Even making downright silly
Money, someone's bossing you--
From customers up to the man
In charge, who watches every move,
Squeezing from you what he can.
And you've always had to prove
You're well worth the every penny
Spent on you in all your jobs;
And if you're lucky, any benny
He might give you as he robs
You, making money on your time--
A place in time will call a crime.
Calls from slight acquaintances
Emerging from the past
Unnerve me like appliances
Going haywire, going fast--
Wondering why, and wondering what
It's going to cost my skinny butt.
GOD BLESS US
Serve your country? Serve the people.
Burn the flags that fly this world.
Beneath the temples, domes and steeple
Hopes are raised with flags unfurled,
Leading us to scrape and serve
The dollar--behind the learning curve
That leads to what we want and need.
The power sucks and people bleed.
FROM RED AND SAMMY
Mama, we sure love you,
From your toes to your sweet breath.
Love you for the things you do
For us--we love you half to death.
At the window, at dog park,
It's for you that we both bark.
WHO'S ASKING WHY?
Young family owns the house next door--
Three kids, oldest must be four.
He leaves for work each day at six--
Works construction, laying bricks.
Parents and in-laws helped them buy
A little slice of their dream-pie.
Might even help with getting by.
Why's it so hard? We don't ask why.
Might blame each other for the tears
And happiness that disappears.
OPEN SHOP RULES
Got no union at my work,
Where they fire on a whim;
No protection when a jerk
Is bossing me, my chances slim
That I'll survive if there's a notion
I don't show enough devotion
To my work and company--
I'm out the door and up a tree.
I have a friend who won't observe
Mother's Day, as it is now--
Co-opted by raw corporate nerve
From its creator, Julia Howe.
He won't know her from Genghis Khan,
But knows that Mother's Day's a con.
He often brings her gifts to say,
Every day is mother's day.
You don't miss much you can't hear--
Most of it is chatter.
One thing you know is always clear,
Most of it won't matter
When it comes to making change--
What's said, that will, you'll move in range.
WHAT THE MEEK INHERIT
A day will come to choose a side--
Sides seeking out the ones who hide--
And cutting down the ones who juggle
Issues now that it's a struggle
Of life and death--and no joy ride,
Nor sailing with the charted tide--
No peace of mind that you can smuggle
In for highs--no way to snuggle
Up with Honey. A day will come
That sides have you beneath their thumb.
I didn't know the man, but knew
His widow who had loved him well--
Was a cop, helped people through
Tough times turning into hell.
Don't grieve for him but grieve for her--
He's a hero, her life's unsure.
He controlled her and he'd ration
Out the love she got from him;
She had passion for him. Passion,
To him, was tear her limb from limb
If she got love she needed from
Another man. She wasn't dumb--
She knew that. But came a day
That she would do it anyway.
It killed the boredom, that's for sure,
But her bliss was stalked by fear.
Sure I'll be hearing more from her--
And worry what I'm going to hear.
He was raised chest-thumping man--
She's jumping from the frying pan.
OPIATES OF THE PEOPLE
You found God. I found the bottle.
Neither one do us much good
When the tonic makes us throttle
A feel for the neighborhood.
Sectarian splits unsettle when
No one ever has enough;
Booze will do it half again,
When the times are getting tough.
Booze or God--you're hearing voices
Letting them decide your choices.
Frankie's jumped, hit over the head--
They dropped him cold, kicked in his ribs.
He came to on a hospital bed.
Cops ask who, and Frankie fibs,
Says he doesn't recall a thing.
Perps face justice Frank'll bring.
THE RICH A WITNESS;
Revenge is justice for the poor,
ANOTHER VICTIM IF YOU'RE POOR
Not like justice for the rich;
For poor, to even up the score,
Can't do it if they ever snitch.
Who'll protect them if they do?
Snitch? The life they once had's through.
Gang warfare, see, is over pride,
Or women, or maybe disrespect;
And those who never choose a side,
Have no one who can protect
Them if, by accident, offend
A friend of someone else's friend.
They don't call it civil war,
From here in these United States;
Civil war's too heavy for
Describing foreign dire straits
Because they know it might suggest
That it's worth fighting when oppressed.
Aren't we more efficient now,
When it comes to making goods,
Than we were before? So how
Is it that we're in the woods
When it comes to having all
We need? And not have to crawl?
Love is like the dreams that come
To sweeten up your sleep--
Haven't had many, but I've had some
That I could never keep.
They slowly slipped away as dawn
Intruded and sweet dreams were gone.
Any government's greatest threat
Is the global Internet.
The lies they tell, the secrets kept,
Is something people can't accept
When they learn the truth from bits
That travel wires and never quits.
UNLESS YOU'RE ON TOP
At the risk of sounding sappy,
Or sounding like a total nut--
One thing sure to make you happy,
Is to stop and figure what
Class you're from, and learn to love
Those from it, not those above.
Thinking grand thoughts--buzzed, whatever--
Grand thoughts regarding number one,
Of course. Think how wise and clever
You have been and when the sun
Comes up, everybody's going to know.
Might even be on the morning show.
Blame your parents; blame the drugs;
Blame your lover who's a shit;
Blame a race. All minor thugs
Compared to what's the cause of it--
A system sets us up to slave.
Nothing's fair and people cave.
A slave at home, a slave at work--
Not much to make one go berserk.
CONFESSIONS OF A MAN
You call me up and let me know
You're going out for drinks with Jo;
I got plenty I can do--
Don't think that I'll be missing you.
Turns out, now, that there's a guy.
I'm last to know--seeing that I
Lose it when I lose control
Of my woman--cunt-filthy-hole.
Love is like the song you hear
You can't get out of your head.
It's someone who has got your ear,
Your eyes, your heart--they've led
You to feelings that you thought
You'd never have, and now you're caught.
Country Western honky-tonk
Is more than just the flag
And broken hearts; or the lame, Honk
If you love Jesus; or to brag
About your rig; about how tough,
Or tender, cowboys are.
Outlaw country sings of stuff
That no doubt is bound to jar
Some sense into the sheltered head--
Outlaw country sees it all.
Listen to what the songs have said
From Convoy back to Cattle Call;
Johnny Paycheck, Nine to Five--
Outlaw country skips the jive.
Women walk by and I see flags
Go up that I salute and pledge
My love. And while my conscience nags,
Tongue hanging out, step to the edge
To see them all from dizzy heights--
My fantasies take off on flights.
COURT APPOINTED ATTORNEY
Land in jail, no money to pay
A lawyer who could get me off.
Looks like prison, but let me say
I'm innocent. The judge'll scoff,
I know he will--but he'll provide
Pretender defenders for my side.
I'd hoped you'd fall in love with me
As hard as I had done for you.
I wasn't right, you set me free--
Played no games like players do.
Grateful for it, I could have been
Waiting forever for "if" and "when".
For those who've never been in battle:
Soldiers or civilians who
Come under fire are sure to rattle
And do what they would never do.
Blame them, sure. But blame the wars
Returning us back to all fours.
A QUESTION FOR THE RINPOCHE
Some Buddhists sometimes say you can't
Change the world but you can change
Yourself so you don't have to rant
About conditions and exchange
Some angry words 'cause you're on fire--
All suffering, yes, comes from desire.
By that do they include desire
To hire someone in exchange
For bread to live on, but can fire
At will, and place an ad and change
Them for another? Afraid I can't
Resolve that pain. And that's my rant.
La Jolla's fraternal twin towers
(Coast 939 and the pearl Seville,
Wherein dwell the super powers
Of business and the corporate will)
Block the sun and village view--
Demolition long overdue.
DONALD DUCK IN LA-LA LAND
"It strikes me as passing strange,"
The rummy spoke at his bottle
And anyone else in hearing range,
"That some out there won't let me throttle
The enemy I clearly see.
Let me at the son-of-a-bitch
Who threatens my security
The liberty at getting rich."
FOR OUR FOUNDING FATHERS
Consider our founding fathers,
Living in this day and age.
What bothered them, you think bothers
Us and throws us in a rage?
Where's the aristocracy
Who never have to work or toil?
Where's the sick hypocrisy
That God has made them royal
Just being born--a given right
To set the rules and own the wealth
And send the soldiers in to fight
To protect their privileged health?
Founding fathers, these days, would shit
To see them get away with it.
Alienation sets the stage
We cross, and no one says hello.
Afraid? Maybe full of rage?
No one wants to get to know
Another from the human race
Unless they see a pretty face?
Possibilities or mistakes?
You're thinking as you look at her.
The situation simply shakes
Your confidence and you demur
When chances stare you in the face
With looks and smiles you can't embrace.
BUSH AND AL-ZARQAWI
One more terrorist down, you say--
Meanwhile, spawning three.
You promise there will come a day
The world will soon be free
Of terrorism if we give
Up our cash so we can live
Free of any opposition
To the ruling class rendition
About how people should behave
When working as a hired slave.
I don't think so. The war is on
Until the ruling class is gone.
A SONNET FOR THE ROMANS
Coliseum horror shows--
Each more gruesome than before:
Gladiators trading blows;
Chariot races; ships at war;
Lions ripping folks apart--
Shows to keep attention on
Something but the deadly fart
The ruling class, from break of dawn,
Perfumes the air with--ugly acts
The horror show, they thought, distracts
The people from the shit they've done--
They had diversion down, all right.
So, who's playing next on Monday Night?
Life's little complications
Dwarf the days of love and ease
With unwilling obligations,
Debts, and heartaches, and heaven's tease
That you and yours will someday get
To the promised land, you bet,
That is, as long as you believe
The stories bullshit artists weave.
Mind your own business, old Hank would say,
Then you won't be minding mine.
Not needing you to show the way--
Matter of fact I'm doing fine
Without you saying what I should
Be doing, yeah, for my own good.
Possessions of the human kind,
When lost, will drive the owner mad.
You can see them lose their mind,
Not up to losing what they had--
Wage-slave, lover, cook, house cleaner--
The loser, every day, gets meaner.
If I could give myself to you,
You'd know I loved you and how much--
Give up my body and let you do
What you want--long as you touch
Me, hold me, soothe the pain
For letting love go down the drain.
Love is hard to give, sometimes,
Every day in every way.
Duh. Hear it in the silly rhymes
On the iPods every day.
We've loaded too much on our minds--
It isn't only love that blinds.
I met an angel a while back.
No angel, I, not on your life--
Dreaming how she'd be in the sack,
Knowing she's a loving wife
Of a good man, I suppose.
And there I go again, to muse
Of chances that my angel knows
Of sadness, lets her man abuse
Her badly, she has no choice
But to take it--good book clichés
Say to obey and still her voice--
She's there to lighten up his days.
I'm a mangy, no-good cur,
To dream that I might rescue her.
Get personal, pour out your soul,
The poet said to me.
Give up yourself, forget control,
Then write your poetry.
You've nothing else to write about,
Head in the sand, don't hear the shout,
The cry, the scream of tortured men
Who're giving up a name again.
THE ROASTED DUCK
I got too drunk to go out drinking
Down at the Roasted Duck.
When you called, I was just too stinking
Drunk to drive my truck;
Been drinking my woman off of my mind--
With her and then my job combined,
Evenings I'd rather be flying blind
Than let the whole day suck.
I go to work and feel the blues,
Nursing an ache in my head.
After my shift there's a thing called booze
To raise me from the dead.
My woman left me in a terrible fix,
Never been able to figure out chicks,
Can't understand how their mind ticks--
I'm sleeping in an empty bed.
Come back baby, I know I can change,
I'll give up whisky and stick to beer,
I'll trade my guns for a driving range--
Even be nice to your friend who's queer.
I'll do anything, now, for you--
You ask for one, I'll buy you two;
Do what you tell me to do--
All I want is you back here.
ATHIESTS IN FOXHOLES
There're no foxholes any more,
But still we have a goddamn war.
And if you're praying in a fight,
You can kiss your ass goodnight.
You're distracted, thinking God
Can save you, you forget the squad
Who need you focused only on
The mission 'til the danger's gone.
How safe is it? How short are skirts
Walking front of any man?
Length of the skirt, I think converts
To reverse attention span--
Shorter the skirt, longer the stare,
No problem if the animal knows
That women might not really care
As long as that's far as it goes.
How safe is it? You show the boobs?
Not something you'd do in Iran,
About as safe as smoking dubes
In front of the narcotics Man.
How safe is showing skin these days?
These days I think caution pays.
Don't thank god, just thank yourself
For paying close attention;
No leprechaun or spirit elf
Had fixed the situation.
It was you though not alone--
Still you did it on your own.
God, I'm glad my dad is dead
To not go through another day
Of seeing offspring scratch their head
To figure out another way
To honor him. Who set this up?
The whole thing, I think's simply sad--
Cool, another coffee cup
For the planet's greatest dad;
Or a t-shirt with the same
Sentiments printed on the front;
Another card that's so damn lame
He forced a smile with a grunt.
Father's Day, presented by
The sales force, another lie.
JEALOUSY & STUBBORN DOUBT
We have our days,
Both good and bad,
Our little ways--
It's sometimes sad
The times that we
Forget the love--
And think of "me",
And lose it, shove
The love behind
Because we find
Our jealous minds
Can seldom see a sure way out
When love gets in the way of doubt.
HARD DRUGS AND OTHER DANGEROUS LOVERS
They'll kill if you don't respect them,
And mock you as they do it;
Screw you when you least expect them--
Lucky when you manage through it.
They'll drive you crazy, steal your breath--
While they're loving you to death.
The substance sweetens up my days,
It puts a smile on my face,
Gazing through a comely haze,
I catch up to the dreams I chase.
Folks tell me I'm going to waste,
I ask them if they want a taste.
A FATHER'S ADVICE
When I was young and started drinking,
My father gave me some advice.
He said, to keep from getting stinking
Drunk with friends and pay the price--
Every other round, drink water.
It works, though I don't always do it--
Like a sheep, get led to slaughter,
Dumb shit, slurring my way through it.
He also said, drinking with friends,
Another rule you'll have to keep:
When you stop, the party ends
With your sorry ass asleep.
Today, can you imagine dads
On such a subject, have the nads?
The future, daily, disappears--
Drowning in the suffering, while
There's a future flood of tears
Dammed behind walls of denial.
We carry on, not knowing what
Those tears can do to kick our butt.
Two things plumbers need to know,
I've heard builders say,
Shit stinks and it has to flow
Downhill all the way.
Never at a loss for words,
Builders call it herding turds.
There're plumbers at the water gate,
Management checking if you're late.
Shell of the man he used to be,
Or shell of a man he always was--
Empty soul with absentee
Thoughts while deafened by the buzz
That's tethered to a cotton thread
And helicopters through his head.
I hung the picture that you hate--
You say it makes you look too fat.
Me, I think the picture's great,
Don't want to hear any more of that.
It caught your beauty, reveals your soul,
Your smile and sense of control.
After typing tons of trite
Phrases and lines that don't ring clear,
The monkey typed enough to write
A verse as good as Will Shakespeare.
The problem is, is where's that verse?
Who wants to dig through all the shit?
Clichés, lame rhymes, and even worse--
There's neither time nor need for it.
If you want Shakespeare, Shakespeare's there,
The silly monkey's everywhere.
Taking the scatter gun approach,
They spread it out there far and wide;
Hoping one of their missives broach
Defenses on the other side.
Pointing shotguns to the sky,
They barely aim, they have no eye.
So-called recreation drugs
Can give two kinds of special hugs:
One comes with the Judas kiss;
The other shares a kind of bliss.
One's for real, the other is not--
Goes, no matter how much you bought.
6 O'CLOCK NEWS
The wall of a cave where shadows play,
Cast from light and forms outside,
Tell but what grey shadows say--
No depth, no reason, they don't provide
The meaning of what is going on,
Or how much of it is true,
Or how much is based upon
One instance, or misleading clue.
It's entertainment, call it news,
Then step outside for clearer views.
The Universe, I think, is God,
And we are but a lonely part
Who're worshipping a kingly fraud,
Standing in for soul and heart.
Learning fast and learning well
Eludes me to this day.
Make more mistakes than care to tell,
Why, I couldn't say,
Unless, because of my insistence
To take the path of least resistance.
Our house? Beau coup security--
Two little-dog alarm.
They've proved that it's a surety
No one will do us harm
Without a warning soon before
Someone gets up to our door.
Problem is, one of their charms--
They give too many false alarms.
SONNET TO SECURITY
What are they trying to prove right now?
The threat is there, it's big?
Cost of security? Holy cow.
Security for the capitalist pig.
Rhetoric. Sorry. But who's it for?
Security worship. Who's afraid?
Only those who have no gates.
And every day they have to wade
Through crowds and there they tempt the fates
To earn some cash to pay their rent,
Buy food and water, some gas to go
Back and forth to work. What's spent
Doesn't pay the bills, they know.
Deeper in debt. Now, there's a bill
To pay for sent from Capitol Hill.
My mind, these days, is on Iraq--
One mistake that's going to end
Up with a major heart attack
When we learn we've got no friend
In the world, 'cept those we've bought.
And what we gave them wasn't squat.
Karma won't let this thing pass,
It's going to up and kick our ass.
Too bad because the people here
Are good as people everywhere.
But there're those above who steer
Us to back what's hardly fair--
We're mushrooms they keep in the dark,
Fed shit--picked as an easy mark.