Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Texan Bards and Cosmopolitan Reviewers

I wrote the following poem a little over a year ago while I was in Austin for the Austin International Poetry Festival. I was in the car on the way to a poetry reading, and decided to break my silence on politics after hearing on the previous day a poem written describing one man's jubilation over the deaths in the Pentagon during the 9/11 attacks. The audience gave the poet a standing ovation. So for my part, I decided to insult an entire room of so-called poets, many of whom were at the previous day's reading celebrating the terrorists' successes. I gave no preface for my poem and just started with the title. I don't think they listened past that point; the bastards in the audience didn't even have the sense to boo me. My friend Nii Parkes had a good laugh; he understood my intentions. The audience full of vacant stares and even more vacant thoughts thoroughly disappointed me when I got a standing ovation.

I got the title for this post from Lord Byron; read and enjoy.

An Ode to Stupid Americans

Americans are stupid,
But not the ones you think.
The Stupid American isn't familiar
With barbed wire and trenches,
The beaches of Anzio,
Or even the Sunken Road and Pittsburgh Landing.

Americans are stupid on suffering.
We don't like to bleed,
Especially here.
We consider it so inappropriate
That even your great granddaddy
Didn't fight here.

Americans are unsafe elsewhere
Because we defend America elsewhere.
No American wants to be dead
Outside his own house,
But much of the world
Would love nothing better than
An American notch on every AK-47.

Stupid Americans are the ingrates:
Those who don't know danger,
Are unwilling to bleed,
And hate those that bleed for them.
They remain blissfully, willingly
Ignorant of elsewhere.

1 comment:

Thomas Jackson said...

Ahh, the joys of old links tick me off. Here's a better link for information on Byron's poem: