You shoot at yourself, America


Fifth Estate # 56, June 19-July 1, 1968

The color of the Statue of Liberty
Grows ever more deathly pale
As, loving freedom with bullets
You shoot at yourself, America.

You can kill yourself this way!
It is dangerous to go out
Into this hellish world,
But it is still more dangerous
To hide in the bushes

There is a smell on earth of a universal
It is frightful to live
And this fright is shameful

Who is going to believe hypocritical fairy tales,
When, behind a facade of noble ideas
The price of revolver lubricant rises
And the price of human life falls?

Murder attend funerals dressed in mourning,
And later become stockholders,
And, once again,
Ears of grain filled with bullets
Wave in the fields of Texas.

The eyes of murderers peer out alike from under hats and caps
The steps of murderers are heard at all doorways
And a second for the Kennedys falls…
America, save your children!

Just like your
Bill of Rights
You promised to the conscience of the world,
But, at the brink of bottomless shame,
The children of other countries turn gray.
And their huts.
Bombed in the night.
Burn in your fire,
You are shooting not at King,
But at your own conscience.

You are bombing Vietpam,
And with this your own honor.

When a nation is going dangerously insane,
It cannot be cured of its troubles
By hastily prescribed

Perhaps the only help is shame,
History cannot be cleansed in a laundry
There are no such washing machines
Blood can never be washed away!
O, where is it hiding, the shame of a nation,
As if it were a runaway Negro?
The slaves are within the slaves.
There are many unfettered murderers.
They carry out their mob justice,
And Raskolnikov wanders through America
With a bloody ax.

Hey, Old Abe
What are people doing,
Understanding vilely only one truth,
That the greatness of a tree
Can be assessed only after it is felled

Lincoln basks in his marble chair,

They are shooting at him again!
What beasts.

The stars
In your flag,
Are like bullet holes.

Arise from the dead,
Bullet-pierced Statue of Liberty
Murdered so many times,
And speak out like a woman and mother
And curse the freedom to kill.

But without wiping the splashes
of blood from your forehead
You, Statue of Liberty, have raised up
Your green, drowned woman’s face,
Appealing to the heavens against being trodden under foot.