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Thread: Patriotics, by David Baker

  1. #1

    Default Patriotics, by David Baker

    Yesterday a little girl got slapped to death by her daddy,
    out of work, alcoholic, and estranged two towns down river.
    America, it's hard to get your attention politely.
    America, the beautiful night is about to blow up

    and the cop who brought the man down with a shot to the chops
    is shaking hands, dribbling chaw across his sweaty shirt,
    and pointing cars across the courthouse grass to park.
    It's the Big One one more time, July the 4th,

    our country's perfect holiday, so direct a metaphor for war,
    we shoot off bombs, launch rockets from Drano cans,
    spray the streets and neighbors' yards with the machine-gun crack
    of fireworks, with rebel yells and beer. In short, we celebrate.

    It's hard to believe. But so help the soul of Thomas Paine,
    the entire county must be here--the acned faces of neglect,
    the halter-tops and ties, the bellies, badges, beehives,
    jacked-up cowboy boots, yes, the back-up singers of democracy

    all gathered to brighten in unambiguous delight
    when we attack the calm and pointless sky. With terrifying vigor
    the whistle-stop across the river will lob its smaller arsenal
    halfway back again. Some may be moved to tears.

    We'll clean up fast, drive home slow, and tomorrow
    get back to work, those of us with jobs, convicting the others
    in the back rooms of our courts and malls--yet what
    will be left of that one poor child, veteran of no war

    but her family's own? The comfort of a welfare plot,
    a stalk of wilting prayers? Our fathers' dreams come true as
    nightmare.
    So the first bomb blasts and echoes through the streets and shrubs:
    red, white, and blue sparks shower down, a plague

    of patriotic bugs. Our thousand eyeballs burn aglow like punks.
    America, I'd swear I don't believe in you, but here I am,
    and here you are, and here we stand again, agape.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Patriotics, by David Baker

    Here we are one week from our perfect holiday. Perhaps this is a social commentary rather than solely a national one. I don?t know if I agree with all the underlying tones and points but as a response to growing crime and violence and apathy it does give us a perspective to think about.

  3. #3
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: Patriotics, by David Baker

    ". . . and the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air . . ."

    Is this how we want the world to see us?
    Atrophy: what you get when you win atournament.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Patriotics, by David Baker

    My post above was meant to address the issue of violence as part of our national identity (as the poem does). A while back, there was a suggestion to make "America the Beautiful" our national anthem. I think that was a good idea.
    Atrophy: what you get when you win atournament.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Patriotics, by David Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by Spider View Post
    ". . . and the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air . . ."

    Is this how we want the world to see us?

    That part of the song is talking about the British rockets and the British bombs attacking one of our forts. I see nothing wrong with the rest of the world seeing us as a country that will take you best shot and still be there standing up for ourselves when its all over. Yes, that is how I want the world to see us.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Patriotics, by David Baker

    Quote Originally Posted by 8224 View Post
    That part of the song is talking about the British rockets and the British bombs attacking one of our forts. I see nothing wrong with the rest of the world seeing us as a country that will take you best shot and still be there standing up for ourselves when its all over. Yes, that is how I want the world to see us.
    Absolutely.

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