Friday, April 30, 2010

Got Milk?

There's a sequence in the film "Life and Debt", explaining how American dairy exports are so heavily subsidized by the government, that American farmers would still turn a profit even if they gave their milk away free. You see hundred-count pallets of fifty pound sacks of powdered U.S. milk forklifted off cargo ships in Jamaica; dried udder-spurt immune to the tropical heat.

Black waiters in flawless white blazers, white as antebellum cotton, bear glass pitchers of this primordial mammalian babydrink to the linened tables of international tourist hotels only too happy to serve globalized cornflakes for breakfast. These are luxury multinational conglomerate hotels with gun-turrets, where armed guards survey whitewashed stone fences crowned by double helices of razorwire.

But in rural areas where bare feet trod dirt roads to bring five gallon buckets of fresh squeeze to a local distributor, where, unsubsidized, they can't afford to sell their backbreak for less than free, thousands of gallons of calfsuck constipate the shiny holding tanks, stainless steel breasts of local industry: the market so tied up the owners sluice the spigot to flood the concrete floor and unpaved streets with latex sheets of bovine goodness. Streams of milk gorge what passes for gutters, which with the scant exceptions of catlap and doglick, speed to curdlestench rot.

I imagine this scene magnified; land drenched by thunderheads of milkstorm. Billionshot enfilades of tropical milkdrop tit-pelt downpour. Churnsplash of Nestle-less Quick; bubblefoam arroyo-surge, frilled into cancan petticoat ruff where jetskinned tumblesurfers choke-drown-ride a Klan-colored cataract, dragooned into a transcontinental milkshake by a double-edged and lobby-bribed freetrade agreement.

For-profit-export-dumped, the milk is more lethal than free; the process resembling the torture of men force-fed water with their penises tied off; at once glutted and stopped, unbearably pained from the inside by an urgency they can by no means relieve.

From atop a Bretton-Woods fiat-money Matterhorn, the newly christened Level-Playing-Field, the torturers broadcast whirlwinds of bombast about the dint of hard work and personal responsibility, about getting ahead on your merits.

Systematically, and with epic condescension, any suggestion that merit should not be inherited is blown out by a privately owned and nuclear powered windtunnel whose name has been copyrighted and trademarked. It is called, The Free Press.

In this Panglossian Free Press, only the best get ahead, and all is for the best. Worry is superfluous, criticism insane. It will not be heard, it will be blown out. If need be, with your brain.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The History of Futurism

This is a standardized test
in the history of futurism
the vortex of vorticism
the Rubik's cube of cubism
the Boccionian continuity of unique forms in space
traces of a nude descending a staircase,
some Duchamps disingenue disarmed
by the porcelain art found
in a urinal. This is the story of the glacial pace
of educational reform, a summer snowstorm
above the clearcut
treeline, making an a-bee-cee-dee-line
in the number 2 graphite of the promised land.

How did P.T. Barnum do it?
How did he turn the schools into
the domain of trained seals
and dancing elephants, a chartreuse
box kite of groupthink
plutogoguery? How did he induce
this permanent state of slovenly
dishabille, simultaneously banal,
and surreal, free to think or feel
nothing beyond a curriculum
a light-second wide
and deep as a carpenter ant.
Where some Turkey born on Mt. Ararat
effervesces fulsomely about the infanta
flooding the world with Velasquez
and the rest of the conquerors, so there's no time
left for Juan de Pareja, or Sojourner
Truth, so there's no room
to consider inconvenient genocides.

Sometime. Sometime.
Sometime before you die there will be
a chance for you to boycott,
this gunshot, shotgun shackled demockracy,
boycott the snoring scar of feather-tar
platitude, boycott the Avagadro's number
of lies you were made
to memorize, before being apportioned
some small opportunity
to criticize.

Even surprise, after all may await
the first sign of winter
plumage, even surprise may not cease
from breastfeeding until it's well
into its teens, and the rote necessity demeans
creativity, the rote necessity teems with the deplorable
snoring passivity of Boer wars, and more wars,
and star wars, what's-in-the-store-wars
crocheting espionage with cactus needles
skirting the de-facto evil
of doing what you gotta do
saying what you gotta say
being what you gotta be
to get through.

By contrast
money is a McNeil River grizzly bear
with a mouthful of fishtailing,
not-much-longer-to-be-living salmon,
money has the Woodrow Wilson luxury
of playing Jesus Christ in some World War I
hall of mirrors Versailles.
Money has the option of buying the biggest
gun, reaping what it Clemenceau's.
Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes
you're the grizzly, but most of the time
you're the wiggle-tailed fish
no matter, no matter, no matter how much
you wish things were
otherwise, the all-too-well funded facts
abet your indecision and downward mobility
abet your studied imbecility
abet your drill pressed well oiled school ruled
facility of keeping the bunions of defeat
up against your own jugular.

You would have to quiz Einstein about the possibility
of living without Schwarzwalder kirschtorte, without
bittersweet chocolate, cherries, and whipped-cream schlagg,
about living without the fourth dimension
and what Picasso enclosed in those guitars and rose
colored gypsies, how he enclosed Gypsy
Rose Gaza Strippers, why he drank
espresso from fourth dimensional kiosks.
Ask not, ask not, ask not
what your Picasso can do for you, ask
not the smell of Venetian canals in summer.
We are just piazza pigeons cooled
by the fountain-mist of genius, we are
the fiddle-headed smoke curls
of recently snuffed votive candles. Suffocated
anacondas issued life jackets
of barbed wire. Oh Picasso,
I need Dramamine. Oh Einstein,
I need you to mention the Geneva conventions in
Guantanamo Bay. Need you to mention this
in the land where dissent is heard
only if it is ordained and brought to you
after a word from our Sponsor,
who art on Wall Street. Hallowed be thy
chain store curriculum, thy chain gang
brainwashing curriculum come
in the name of educational reform.
Give us this day our daily Oedipus
and his tragic flaw. Oedipus and his
tragic flaw, the man
who lives above the law,
the man who lives above the law
the man who lives above the law
is a motherfucking murderer.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Quotation Marks of War

My dirge is for mothers
to re-member the toddlers
not there,
the smiles that once flashed
from young faces,
replaced by blood dried
in fine hair.
No quote will undo their
nor the lucre of conquest
no words will rekindle their
such words are for quoting
the wind.

The dust and the ashes
will sizzle,
on the miles in the library
the guns and the fetuses
the moon and the concrete will
and jewelry once fashioned from
offshore by the islands
will laugh as it weeps
at the silence,
made of teardrops for quoting
the wind.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Corporations on Welfare


They may be talkin' free trade,
but the corporate raiders,
been shakin' down the welfare state.
Promisin' jobs just to feather their nests,
panhandlin' for a tax rebate,
and the pinstripe desperadoes,
want the workin' man to stick 'em up high,
despite their eight figure incomes and
their million dollar bonus,
say that profits should be subsidized.

Corporations on welfare,
tellin' me we gotta compete.
Corporations on welfare,
advertisin' corporate deceit.
Well if you want a free burger you're a lazy bum,
but a tax deferred billion's just cute,
only thing that matters down at Gucci gulch
is how to get yourself a share of the loot.

You can try to complain
bout their corporate reign,
but they keep tellin' you to let em eat cake.
Things'll be fine long as profits keep climbin',
no need to reevaluate,
and the limousine bronco busters,
want their diamonds on the workin' man's dime,
pay their big name attorney's just to buy the name Justice
as a trademark for corporate crime.

Corporations on welfare,
tellin’ me we gotta compete.
Corporations on welfare,
but my taxes subsidize their deceit.
When it comes time for dyin'
it's everybody's country,
other times it's just what you own.
Sometimes I wonder when the land I was born in
was sold out for a corporate loan.
Sometimes I wonder when the land I was born in
was sold out for a corporate loan.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Wake the ... Heck up Cleveland, You're Living in Denial


Disembodied severed heads,
everywhere I go I see,
disembodied severed heads,
while I buy my groceries,
disembodied severed heads,
even walking down the street,
disembodied severed heads,
when I'm watching my TV,
disembodied severed heads,
when I'm driving in my car,
disembodied severed heads,
lying on blankets in the park.
Disembodied severed heads,
T-shirts worn on fat man's chest,
disembodied severed heads,
babies suck'n on mama's breast,
disembodied severed heads,
on-the-hats of selfmade millionaires,
disembodied severed heads,
on-the-bus they ride with poor man's fare.
Disembodied severed heads,
they smile at me with big white teeth,
disembodied severed heads,
they smile at me with bulging eyes,
disembodied severed heads,
they smile at me like men set free,
disembodied severed heads,
when killed by broken treaty lies.
Disembodied severed heads,
we paint their skin fire-injun red,
disembodied severed heads,
makes no difference now their dead.
Disembodied severed heads,
Sambo Wahoo that's OK,
disembodied severed heads,
if he can turn the double play.
Disembodied severed heads,
we broadcast red faced golliwogs,
disembodied severed heads,
killed like they were rabid dogs.
Disembodied severed heads,
in broad daylight try to hide,
disembodied severed heads,
the facts that cannot be denied,
disembodied severed heads,
the founding fathers' genocide,
disembodied severed heads,
we treat like it's our city's pride.
Disembodied severed heads,
while Wahoo plays our city's shame,
disembodied severed heads,
is amplified with every game.
Disembodied severed heads,
disembodied severed heads,
disembodied severed heads.