New Poem: Manifested

It’s not that I am ashamed to be an American, I am just not particularly proud. Why be proud of something that was an accident of birth? Why be proud of an idea that no one can define? We’re proud though, oh so very proud, and that is one hell of a long way down.


I remember when
self-love was stretched
like silly putty
into self parody

It was January twentieth
Nineteen and Eighty-One
and the General Electric salesman
got up on the stage

He sold us promises
of forgiveness
for the unforgivable sin
of national humility

He stoked our courage
and our passion
in the face of the aging
and toothless bear

He painted a picture
of an America
that never was
and could be again

We wrapped ourselves
in a flag that would not burn
and anointed ourselves
in the oils of nationalism

We cried hallelujah
as his chorus sang hymns
full of fire and brimstone
casting down the demons of compassion

We were free now
to consume our selves
into oblivion
and pin medallions on our chests
for being dutiful gluttons

Why feel guilty
when you can feel mighty

Why feel caring
when you can feel clever

Why see beyond your borders
when Manifest Destiny
has manifested at last


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