A Response to Allen Ginsberg’s “America”

America, I trusted you with my life and you stole my innocence.

America, no dollars or credit card cents, October 28, 2000.

I can’t stand my own memories.

America, when will you end your genocides?

Go fuck yourself with your right to bear arms.

My uterus has been poisoned since your doctors put their hands in me.

It’s hard to write a poem when disillusioned by words.

America, when will you be a democracy?

When will you count every vote?

Your casualties watch bitterly from the rubble of your wars.

When will you stop feeding your selfish face?

America, why do you have so many Black men on death row?

America, stop exporting torture implements.

I’m so disgusted by your lies, here is a splash of my vomit.

Your Hollywood has made beauty the most important thing.  Watch me slash my pretty face to ribbons and write this poem with the blood.

America, I used to think you were more perfect than any other world.

But now, your gun-controlled streets are too much for me.

You killed Wendy, made her a saint.

A gun could settle this argument.

Abra was in limbo, but she gave birth to the baby that rescued her.

Are you being childish or is this some sort of demonic revenge?

I’m curving my way to the point.

I’m obsessed with never reaching it.

America, stop pushing drugs.

America, the World Trade Centers are falling.

I haven’t watched your news in months.

America, I sympathize with the world’s Indigenous Peoples.

America, I have bled once a month since I was eleven, I should not be abused into feeling sorry I am woman.

I used to smoke marijuana every chance I got.

I would sit in rooms, crying for days, watching crocodiles can-can in Greek bowls.

When I went to Hollywood I would get drunk and weep.

My mind is made up: I’m getting rid of Republicans.

You should have seen me reading the SCUM Manifesto.

My therapist is paid to think I am right.

The Lord’s Prayer is the new logo for Nike.  It comes in all colors.

And still, Ginsberg, I follow in your mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.

America, admit that you spill blood wherever you go.

America, I am looking at your lies.

Your emotional life is run by Starbucks now that the village idiot is president.

You are obsessed with killing, your movies show us clearly.

I have to turn them off every week.

The news is not supposed to give me nightmares if I catch a glance.

But now you have given me my own memories of violence to replay.

They contain a woman with a gun who shoots my friend in the head.  I have her blood hot on my hands.  A corporation made money from that gun, a profit from her death,  people are dying and America sits complacently, content watching television.

Because of my color, I can never be America.

If I were America, I would get in shape.  Get the fuck on with it.

Asia arises from my right side.

I am a monster without a survivor’s chance.

Ginsburg considered his national resources.

I don’t believe in nations.

And my resources are limited by a profound fear and simmering hatred.

Nations are dishonor, the men in suits who sit, calm, chalking up the profits and ignoring the death toll, collateral damage in the crossfire, you teach your boys how to use their penis like a weapon, you teach your children how to kill, cut out the tongues of Indigenous People who speak their own language, steal, plunder, pillage, your reign is evil.

Be ashamed for altering Nature, earth into the grey concrete of an overdeveloped ego manifestation, erasing the past and history of the world into a list of your conquests and colonized bodies.

Why can’t I abolish the systematic rape of women worldwide?

My ambition remains to be the President despite the fact that I am a colored woman and a pagan.

America, your silly moods make me retch blood and bits of my lungs.

i will continue like ani my stanzas uncapitalized and biting like her songs more so they can all be asexual.

America, it would cost me $500 for silicone implants, $700 for saline implants.  Female mutilation is alive and well on your streets, and I have the privilege to pay for it.

America, free Leonard Peltier.

America, damn you for not allowing me the right to choose.

America, I am Lorena Bobbitt.

America, when I was seven my mother worked for unicef to help children and we lived             in thailand or maybe pakistan before then we were in africa and sri lanka             afterwards india i used to eat the spiciest food and i watched your hollywood             from asia africa wishing to live in america the land of the free white people                where everything you could dream of is available at a price i used to wish that i             could be one of those white people in the movies i am not i never will be                    how dare you teach me to hate myself.

America, when will you admit you are at war with your own people?

America, it must be those damn Arabs and heathen Muslims.

Them Arabs and Muslims and Arab Muslim women.

Or women who want to eat men’s testicles so rape her before she does, teach her early what it means to be men and powerful and wield your penis a missile ready to launch and destroy her fertile land, plant it with your seed against her will.

She, Evil Woman, who wants to take over the White House with them lesbian feminazis.  A good fucking to put her in her submissive place while she screams NO NO NO NO.

Her womb is your property, access controlled. Fuck her, leave her, make it illegal to have an abortion.

He who is America will teach her how to be an obedient woman.

His science will erase all of his ties to her nature so he can pretend he never had a mother.

America, you don’t give a shit about being serious otherwise you never would have told the world there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

America, years after Ginsberg, this is still the impression I get from watching the television set.

America, are you the joke?

America, who do I have to fuck to get a job?

America, I will have nothing to do with your Army, your illusory patriotism, I will not mark my hands with more of your blood, I am washing myself clean of your five hundred years of genocide, I take up arms with the descendants of Crazy Horse and together we shout Hoka Hey! It is a good day to die.

America,  I am putting my tattooed shoulder to the prayer wheel.

©2010 Sezin Koehler

Read Allen Ginsberg’s original poem.


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