Poetry and Rants by DC McKenzie

Just Us

4 June 2k11

~*~

This poem is dedicated with Love,

with gratitude, and my utmost respect to

Gil Scott-Heron

1 April 1949 ~ 27 May 2011

~*~

Just Us

I. the Idioglossia Concordance

Welcome to America,
the nation who put the ‘us’ in Justice.
America: be loyal or be vanished.
Now that you are in our country
learn to speak the language:

We have named it Freedom
yet it feels like oppression.
We think we hold the reigns
but in truth we have been shackled with chains.
A yoke of responsibility, of shame
for countless atrocities committed in our name.

We say Reservation:
yet it really means domination,
and may be read as ‘refugee camp’.

Christopher Columbus began the brutal language lesson
when he came to the New World, which was really an Old World.

Soon Settlers taught the First People new words, such as
redskin-Independence-firewater-OnlyJesusSaves-tuberculosis-genocide
and Liberty, which ironically rhymes with poverty.

What was defined as a Republic, a Democracy,
in practice reeks of hypocrisy, waving a bloody flag over
The Home of the Brave
The Land of the Free
—unless your name happens to contain ‘Ali’.

Paying the dues of the poor and the weak
Paying the dues of the Wannabe Free
It is a white voice of doom in the inner city night
blaring flashred from cop cars;
it is no accident that we paint them black and white—

To Protect and Serve,
police use words like commUnity.
Yet, after the butchering and rape,
Judges use words like copImmunity.

Therefore,
I do not pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America,
or to the market brand for which it now stands.

One nation, under corporate domination.
With Liberty and Justice for some people,
and indefinite detention, extraordinary rendition
at an immigration and interrogation prison,
a humiliation and assimilation prison,
for other people. Amen.

II. the Bonehouse Accord

We each have but one chance
to do our part, our share in healing
the world and her children.
What will you do?

Better still, ask yourself:
what am I willing to give?
what am I prepared to lose?

What would you give if your life were not enough?
What if first you had to give up your home,
your family, and all of your stuff.
What would you give?

Do not wait until you are lying in the bonehouse
rotting and rattling before you ask,
Could I have done more?

Still, this feels useless—
for you have heard all of this shit before.
Maybe we will wave some signs, or send a check
to assuage (guilt) the wretched misery of
some poor kid halfway around the planet.

Maybe some of us will get off of our asses
and spend the rest of our lives,
every last drop of our spirits,
striving to ease the suffering
which is skulking all around us—
gnashing its teeth to jackboot thunder as
one human, every four seconds, dies of hunger.

Famine squats in the belly of the world.
While we inject air into sugar and lard,
shrink wrap it beneath stinking plastic
and sell it as food on tv, crammed between
commercials of starving refugees.

Yet we cannot seem to understand
why our children are obese.
We cannot understand why
they are turning to automatic weapons
as an answer to public education.

There are some places where
people are stoned to death merely attempting to vote.
Here millions just sit watching the tube
and getting drunk or stoned.
In the end, barely a fraction
of our fractious population actually votes.

Rooted upon the couch, we are
stunned by the absurd and
paralyzed by the gross:

Scientists are creating ethical obscenities—
growing the teeth of pigs in a lab rat’s belly;
whilst I can buy fourteen different types
of seedless raspberry jelly.

Why then will we not grow enough food
to feed the millions of hungry people
in this land of milk and honey?
Is it because we agree when the tv shows us
an asshole in a suit saying,
“Show Me The Money”?

Brandishing a Visagold-plated guarantee
that our lives shall be secure and livable,
our government has decreed that corporate crime
is forgivable. So also to insure that our citizens
from the Evildoers are defended,
some, or all, of our inalienable
human rights must necessarily be suspended.

Welcome then, to America,
the nation who put the ‘us’ in Justice.
America: be loyal or be vanished.
Now that you are in our country,
learn to speak the language.

 

 

 

 

DC McKenzie

 

 

 

—end transmission—

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One response

  1. Powerful words Dawn. “Famine squats in the belly of the world…/crammed between
    commercials of starving refugees.” When I was young, I used to get stomachaches watching commercials and had to mute the volume. I found them disturbing. Perhaps I was an odd child (well, there may be no arguing that), but maybe there was something to it. I do not know about others, but I feel trapped sometimes in this country watching things that go against what I believe in…feeling like there is nothing you can do to conquer this ‘machine.’ Your words spoken with such clarity, honesty, and grit are inspiring.

    June at 2:18 pm

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