Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Poem of the Day: I Hear America Gurgling
I Hear America Gurgling
(after Walt Whitman)
I hear America gurgling, choking on cheap Mexican beer,
The auto workers, each machine that replaced the men grinding all
The Home Depot guy renting out circular saws, measured by the hour,
The night watchman downloading videos on his phone, watching the tiny screen as
the building huddles in its sleep,
The ticket taker at the theater telling people that their movie is the fifth screen on the right,
restrooms on the left
The girl at the shoe store at the mall brings out the fifth pair from the back for the woman
with the fungus under her toenails.
The cop in the car, the black boy out after curfew, the accountant at home with her bored husband
and angry children,
The undocumented mother having just given birth, not knowing if she’s going ever to be able to
get the piece of paper that proves her child exists.
Tall blond girls getting smashed at a kegger, and the lecherous jackals ready to tear off those blouses
and thonged shorts.
Each gurgling and spewing and spitting the foul taste of the acid in the air or the lead in their water.
These days belong to the day, and the nights belong to the strange, and
the future belongs to those with the power to buy it.
America no longer sings any strong melodious song.
The songs that America sings is only some backbeat from ratchet speakers,
and words no one remembers.