Star-Spangled Virus (A Poem About America)

Star-Spangled Virus (A Poem About America) June 1, 2020

America, when will you stop
Punching yourself in the face?
Are we really going to do
Fight Club now?

Will the racists really get
Away with scapegoating,
Sabotage, and posing
As their enemies in order

To discredit them?
Why is all this a surprise?
We built a nation around
Two idols — a red white

And blue war banner
And Caesar’s coin that
Declares in God we trust.
Which God? The generic

One who has no tradition
Other than Enlightenment
Reason, who secretly looks
More like Zeus than

Jesus? We pillaged and
Mongrelized and pretended
Like we had the one pure
Faith though Ra and Osiris

And Marduk and Mars
All remain in our pantheon.
How can anyone claim
That any church in this

Country worships a teenage
Lamb who was slaughtered
By white cops when we raise
Our war banner in every

Sanctuary — the word that’s
Supposed to mean a place
Of peace; we want the
God of war that we sing to

At every ballgame; we don’t
Worship a bleeding, suffocating
Man on a cross except when
He serves as the whiteout

That lets us keep bombing
Nations into democracy
And getting our hand stamped
For Disneyland in the sky.

Do we trust anything other
Than money and bombs?
How can we love our
Neighbors when we can’t

Even clean our houses
Since we curate fake
Lives onto screens;
We would rather create

Avatars in virtual reality
Than share vegetables
With our neighbors;
And now we have an

Excuse to be more
Alone because science
Is always right. Even
Though the indigenous

Know the whole earth
Is sick because
We have raped the land,
We still think science

Is the only answer so
We whip ourselves into
Hysteria with our charts
And graphs that explain

Everything with confidence
Like every child of Lucifer
Drunk on the fruit of knowledge
That has become an entire

Empire of correctness that
Slashed and burned rain
Forests in order to create
Little white pills that will

Solve everything; how can
We survive a pandemic when
We have forgotten how
To breath and how to

Dance and how to build
Fires and how to talk
To spirits and how to hit
Drums and how to ask

Our ancestors for guidance.
Until we rip out the weed rugs
Of our social stability and
Build prayer labyrinths with

Flowers that attract the right
Kinds of insects, until we stop
Buying food in plastic, we
Will continue to live out the

Neurosis that is suffocating
Our entire planet but
Pachamama will work out
The knots in her body one

Way or another; if we are
Not aligned with her beauty,
Then we will be cast into
The fire and made into

Compost for the new earth
She is creating right now;
Many will die because of
The arrogance of centuries

Of conquistadors who
Blasphemed Jesus’ cross
Perfectly, wielding it as
A sword saying convert or die.

Until the ancient languages
Are restored, until new
Traditions are discovered,
We will keep asphyxiating

Ourselves into the rage,
Fear, and isolation that
Is our virus. And yet the
Father says behold I am

Doing a new thing; we’ll
Call it the year of the
Grandmother; if all
The white men firing tear

Gas into grieving crowds
Would put down their badges
And sit at the feet of the elders
Whose land we stole,

Then we would receive
The wisdom we need and
Perhaps the virus would
Evaporate like the assumption

That people who are alienated
From their ancestors can live
By reason alone, which is the fruit
The serpent handed us to eat.


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