I Am America and Rhythmic Rant

“I Am America” is a revision of “Rhythmic Rant” based on Jayne Cortez’s poem “I am New York City”.

I Am America

i am america
with my soggy-thin bible paper brain
my rotting teeth my
ashtray of lottery tickets and bubblegum
stuck to converse, nike, air force ones
fighting war overseas
finger pointing at supposed haters of freedom
my freedom to expose my legs

look at my tan lines fading

i am america in need of more
artificial sun, hair color, flavoring
i conquer nature by cutting it down
and forgetting that I once was part of it my birthplace
my pesticide sprayed waves of grain
my bare topped mined purple mountain majesty
these are my riches between my thighs of
sparkling ocean and off-shore drilling
i answer to no one

i am america
of the brand names and gas guzzlers
give me my melting pot of flesh
my marquee of false nipples
my storefront of ED drugs
in my nose of carbon emissions
in my worldblind eyes
in my ear of reality tv bitch fights

i eat twinkies and diet coke
i am america
never change never sleep never budge
my shoes are made in china
corpses grow where my hand reaches
look i shine with cells phones with diamonds
my nickname is so sue-me

take my face of botox and rogain
my star spangled banner of whoppers
take my beer can high ways
my congested cities and sinuses
and approach me through seaports
approach me through border fences
approach me through my spare tire
my blackened lungs my
nicotine craved pleas approach me
through my online profile
half fiction half documentary
massage me with your analgesic sweat
salute hot blacktops and concrete
of my synthetic plastic skin
face up knees down piss
into the clammy insincerity of our handshake

i am america
my faith based friend
my indulgent comrade
legal immigrants
break laws with me

Rhythmic Rant

Here is an order of stupidity and mediocrity
with a heap indulgences on the side
chicken wings and salty fries
thick bacon upon turkey upon ham upon beef
fast cars and diamond rings that are slowly
but spontaneously (which doesn’t mean immediately,
scientifically speaking) turning into graphite
and were mined by minors
in a country many probably can’t place on a map
but who cares about that?
As long as we’ve got our purified water
shipped over salty oceans, miles and gallons
of oil, pulled up from countries in another part
of the world map, where the names aren’t familiar
to anyone. And nobody cares what they’re called
as long as our cars still drive fast
and we don’t have to pay that much for the speed
that rush, to get everywhere, and to taste
what you think is healthy and high-class
yet purity doesn’t mean it’s good for you
pious bishops in Brazil say it’s okay to kill
a 9-year-old girl raped by her step father
just so the twin fetuses can come to term
because “every life is precious”
and distilled water would wipe
out your electrolytes
but that’s okay because we’ve got Gatorade
to fill you up on those busy days
when you sit on your ass and watch reality TV
maybe check a few emails, Facebook, Twitter
and type up some reports
report on numbers and figures that stopped meaning
anything, and you can’t figure out if they should
since you’ve forgotten anything you ever learned
in statistics at least, and probably history
and biology as well. Evolution’s just a theory
as are atoms and gravity
who needs them anyway? Science won’t save you
never mind medicine and agriculture
advancement that feeds our hungry mouths
and cleans our water so the tap is safe
creating plastics, vaccinations, building houses
and the polyester blend in your
designer threads, synthetics for your Nike treads
sewn by children who won’t get the chance
to ever learn about everything you forget.

Creative Commons License
This work by Sarah Holmes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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