‘I hear America singing’
— D. Campion
1. TALK SHOW HOST
I’ve been pissed ever since the President’s announcement—
so let’s get it on, let’s go to war!
I’m tired of the same old betrayals, I want betrayals I can believe in!
I’m sick of outsiders ruining my country, we need a Real Leader!
Electrocute the deviants once and for all, give them decent Christian burials,
let the jolt in the chair jump-start our faltering economy,
and our will.
Vaporize the enemy, send cluster bombs up his foreign ass.
And since nits make lice, turn his women and kids into cream of wheat.
They have it coming, and war will help us feel good about ourselves again.
Stand up and put your hand on your heart, show respect for the flag,
our boys are passing by! Our girls are passing by!
Our Supreme Court Justices are passing by!
Our Chamber of Commerce officials are passing by!
Our McDonald’s cancer hospice helpers are passing by!
Our recycling kindergartners are passing by collecting metal for the war effort!
Our tough prosecuting attorneys are passing by!
Our Homeland Security neighborhood group leaders are passing by!
Our chaplains are passing by blessing the troops!
Stand up and receive your complimentary lottery ticket!
Stand up, hand on heart, flash some teeth,
assume the posture, wave to the troops!
Lock arms and sway while we sing “We Are the World”
with a chorus of patriotic celebrities!
And now the drum roll and what you’ve been waiting for:
a Leader to lift the sword and cut the Gordian knot.
After all, there’s no gain without pain, no pain without gain.
There’s no love without fear, no peace without the Stick,
or the Leader with the Will to wield the Stick.
Give us the Good-Old-Days Frontier Stick
that made this country great,
the cotton-pickin’, chain-gang
Get Tough Stick that will make us great again.
Flog us with it, too, we need it—and we want it.
2. THE FREE MARKET DELIVERS THE BODY TO THE PATRIARCHY
Dick calling from his car phone:
Come on, Dow Chemical, listen to consumer demand.
Let’s have more of those big synthetic breasts! This is
a free country, for chrissakes;
if women are too squeamish to wear them,
put them on me.
I’ll enter my own wet tee-shirt contest, wrap them in terry-cloth towels like snow-covered mountains I’ll ski
down into Aspen, where I’ll meet myself in a bar and
fuck myself silly.
Big steamer trunks I’ll pack to take myself on a cruise
where nobody knows me except you two little darlings,
two cupcakes, baby harp seals I’ll club and drag home
to make a Happy Meal.
Don’t disappoint me, Dow Chemical, give me those
silicon sliders, serve them up at the Super Bowl.
I’ll bury myself in a Jell-O waterbed of flesh,
insert my money card into the slot again and again to
set the milk and honey flowing.
3. BUY AMERICAN
Dirk, calling from Troy:
I hate Japan, let them go back where they came from!
Let them build their golf courses somewhere else!
Keep them off ours!
It’s not my fault fate jammed them there on that sliver of rock,
they’ve got to be stopped—they’re grinding the forests that I want to grind,
they’re everywhere carving what I want to carve!
I can see them working around the clock, sleeping on their desks.
planning to eat us with chopsticks ground from trees that we should have cut.
I hate them Japans, giggling on their tour bus, fondling electronic toys,
taking pictures of our hula girls a stone’s throw from Pearl Harbor.
We don’t need their money.
We used the Bomb and we can use it again.
Is nothing sacred?
4. INTERLUDE: SERIAL MURDERER
I’m strangling you because I’m bored.
I’m strangling you because I have a chemical imbalance.
I’m strangling you because I’m a victim myself.
I’m strangling you because there’s no love in the world.
I’m strangling you because government programs are ineffective.
I’m strangling you because you remind me of someone.
I’m strangling you because I want to get caught.
I’m strangling you because it’s your karma.
I’m strangling you because you trust too much in strangers.
I’m strangling you because your horoscope and mine interface.
I’m strangling you because I’m upholding a tradition dating back to the Sumerians.
I’m strangling you because barometric pressure dropped suddenly.
I’m strangling you because it’s the only way to get you to be still.
I’m strangling you because I’m a genetic time bomb.
I’m strangling you because I saw it on TV.
I’m strangling you because I want to be on TV.
I’m strangling you because the voices told me to
I’m strangling you because my father killed my mother while she was sucking my cock.
I’m strangling you because it’s an election year.
I’m strangling you because you happened to be in the right place at the right time.
I’m strangling you because you happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I’m strangling you because I’m a sucker for fads.
I’m strangling you because you really wanted me to.
I’m strangling you because I’ll never be President.
I’m strangling you because murder is the only comfort in a joyless world.
I’m strangling you because I need more adventure in my life.
I’m strangling you because otherwise you’d strangle me.
I’m strangling you because you’re so pretty and so pure.)
I’m strangling you because you’re so ugly and so corrupt.
I’m strangling you because I want to democratize the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
I’m strangling you because death is cute.
5. THE FLAG
Mark calling from a cellular phone:
I want to see that flag flying!
I want to see it flying the way it did over the free-fire zones!
I want to see it flying the way it did over the model villages!
I want that flag branded on the arm of every criminal and rebel!
I want that flag flying over the polar ice, the moon, the planets!
I want that flag flying over every factory, school, stadium, barracks, prison!
I want that flag flying over countries I’ll never see and would never want to see!
I want that flag on the TV screen at daybreak and day’s end like Venus and Mars in twilight skies!
I want that flag painted on satellites that will fail and crash to the earth ten thousand years after we are extinct!
I want to smash the imprint of that flag into your ugly, questioning face!
That’s my flag flying there in front of the house trailer!
That’s my flag flying over the country club!
That’s my flag flying in front of the police station!
That’s my flag there by the guardhouse!
That’s my flag stickered to the bumper of the car built by loyal workers in my country!
I’d gladly whip love for that flag into you the way it was whipped into me.
That’s what it means to be brought up right.
That’s what it really means to be loved—spare the rod and spoil the child.
You’ll be grateful to us when we’re done—hold out your arm.