why oh wow

upon reading Thanksgiving poetry on the 24th of July


Why oh why oh why why why
Not have Thanksgiving Day in July?

Or August or June or in January?
In every month, we can gather and carry

all we can sew, all we can reap,
all we can eat, all we can keep

and throw in Christmas and Easter Day, too,
every 25th or when the moon is new.

Confining our joys to just one month oh why
not just combine Thanksgiving with the 4th of July?

When bunnies and Santa arrive, why not say
"We can celebrate everything every damn day!"

Halloween’s at four, and New Year’s at five
and at seven we’ll drink to just being alive.

All day every day, start the weaning right now
'til the importance of any lacks all meaning. Just wow. 



If they throw rocks, be
thankful they lack boulders.

Don’t just run away. And don’t fret
the rock-dust on your shoulder.

When somebody somewhere
gets away with unjust harm,

shake but don’t just shake
the rock-dust from your arm.

If a family doesn’t like you,
don’t worry. Just pipe down.

It’s on them. Shake the 
rock-dust from your frown.

In Washington, London, Gaza—
wherever they cast the vote—

emote, but take heed and know
when to not rock the dusty boat.

Whenever you go, wherever it is, 
whoever awaits where you meet,

Let the rocks fall as rocks may, then
shake off the dust from your feet.

The Falconer

afterThe Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre,
the people remaining watched the war
to end all wars lead to a more
defining war; and since, the roads to war—
the roads that once converged—have diverged
across the hemispheres, little wars
made big; Cold, Falklands, Vietnam, Iraq.

If we could only say any of it were
anything new, that a golden city
truly awaited. The fairest, most
magnificent, wealth equally distributed
to all that were free to work or worship
or just exist sort of city—if and
only if. The boys in Guantanamo
and Abu Ghraib are finding their way,
spreading out, diverging with their message. 

It’s sort of whistling in the wind, but
the falcon cannot hear the falconer.

Nothing is Original


Nothing is original. At the turn of another century toots from horns and the rat-a-tat-tat of a snare merged in New Orleans. Just brass and drum. The word jazz wasn’t even original.

Nothing is original. President Kennedy promised a man on the moon. Plastics and tin foil did the job, a million innovative copies glued together, ideas glued with human glue. A fulfilled promise is nothing new.

Communism is despotism tweaked, a godlike government coddling babies by force. Despotism is the block bully stealing bikes. Capitalism is the opium dealer just released from a Chinese prison. A band of toughs enforces his “diplomacy.”

Computers are televisions built from more human glue, typewriters and toys and radios and nowadays, weapons and air conditioners and satellites.

An air conditioner is a virgin with a fan and a block of ice.

Electricity is lightning in a box. Lighting is visible on other planets, seen through instruments that imitate our own eyes.

Beyond the lightning planets are more planets, and beyond them, more suns and lights and nothing is original.

The Americans


On the fourth day of July of each year the Americans gather in the late morning on the edge of Brooklyn in a dilapidated amusement park.

The frankfurter ritual begins. Nitrate-packed cylindrical meat tubes on potato rolls no ketchup no mustard no relish no onion little taste dipped in cups of water to lessen the bread’s volume imbibed by the dozen by a dozen or so men and women alike not eating but filling their stomach containers with rubbish praying they aren’t the first to pop to lose focus to overflow until one of them a non-American or an American with an amusing alias is the only one left the only one still eating the final freak an exceptional excessive the Sun King of the Summer a 4th of July champion.

The rest are impressed. They celebrate independance.



A storm of personal emotion, like a named hurricane spinning up the coast, divining what and where to destroy on the 4th of July, about to unleash its terror.

A storm of personal emotion, like the orthodontists convention trapped with little paper umbrellas at the hotel breakfast bar on a 4th of July about to unleash its terror.

A storm of personal emotion, like the weathermen on-call realizing they never secured their boats—whether or not they disappoint won’t change much on a 4th of July about to unleash its terror.

A storm of personal emotion, like those of us remaining on the 5th, never sure about what shouldn’t be taken for granted, never to recall the name Arthur on future 4ths of July.

(image: Francisco  de Goya y Lucientes, Saturn Devouring one of his Sons mural transferred to canvas,  (146 x 83 cm), Prado Museum, Madrid)