God Damn America by Michael Channing
God Damn America

by Michael Channing

there are no more Thoreaus, no Emersons, no Whitmans
we've reduced poetry to lullabies, to greeting cards
and everyone wants to know where the newest pretty boy
spokesmodel buys his shoes
we revere pretty faces, big breasts, and vacant eyes
to poets we give our backs, we give poverty, we kill them
with indifference, but have you heard who brad pit is fucking now
god damn america
god damn america
no one has time to write poetry, no time to ponder the sky
and little sky left to see
we waste our days turning the wheels of the american machinery
threading wires from house to house, and when every room
has electric light we waste the night on tv

no one wants to read poetry, no one wants to see deeper
than his own skin
we want only our immediate needs met, our mouths filled
give us bread, give us meat, our souls we feed gossip
we eat scandal like opium, and our children grow withered
god damn america
god damn america
we think god likes us best, we bought his favor
with the mechanical sunday turn of a prayer wheel
we killed enough people to earn his respect
and we fully believe he supports our systematic destruction
of everything he created
i believe if god touches us at all, it will be with the back of his hand
Thoreau wrote, "in wildness is the preservation of the world"
there is no wildness in this land of cubicles and electric grids
we serve machines, our bodies become automata
we strap ourselves to engines that use us
this is hell
and we've damned ourselves

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Chokes and Warbles
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Chokes and Warbles, a collection of essays and poems by Michael Channing