Tuesday, January 24, 2012

America! America!

painting by sherpard fairey

America! America!!

At 04:00am, PST, it became official.
I turned on CNN and it was announced in bold print:

Praise God,
praise Jesus,
praise the intellect and good instincts of the people,
the same people who have suffered for eight years
under the auspices of the Great Oil Party.

Obama did it right,
Hurrah, hurrah!!
He put his battalion of barristers
out there watching
the polling places like hawks,
ready for a scrap,
ready to prosecute,
and the GOP goons, the redneck sombitches,
the fascist skinhead super-patriots,
the good old boys, the demagogues, the bullies
all kept their greasy hands in their pockets;
no hanging chads,
no cops keeping the black voters from the polls,
no screwed up polling machines,
no Jeb Bush to rig the situation, to put in the fix,
no excuses, just
the righteous election of
the first black President of the United States!

we are the winners,
we can once again feel that swelling in our chest
as we announce we are Americans,
and we are proud this morning,
pride putting a strut in our step,
pride that has been pushed down and back
like heartburn
for much too long;
the rescue, the resurrection of the emotion
we all felt in elementary school saluting the flag,
cheering for JFK, protesting the war in Viet Nam,
hating LBJ, hating Richard Nixon,
tolerating Ronald Reagan,
reaching out to Jimmy Carter,
watching the Lion in the Desert,
rise up from the dust and ignorance,
and stab so many of us
squarely in the heart.

Obama at his rally late last night said,
“America, this campaign was not hatched
in the halls of Washington.
This campaign was created because
you demanded it,
and now I assure you,
this is your victory,
and you will once more be proud
of a government of the people, for the people,
and by the people
that shall not perish from the earth!”

Thanks for sharing, Barack,
our hero, our eloquent leader,
the first of many to come we hope,
thank you Jesus,
you are the Sidney Poitier of politics,
the Jackie Robinson of the White House;
the first, the first, the first man to step up
with solid compassion,
with truth in both fists,
with clear eyes,
with a good heart,
and now you have a firm grip on the helm,
and you will need it,
for there are dark days yet to come
as you struggle to bring America
back from the brink,
out of the quagmire of stupidity and greed.

You have wrested control
out of the hands of zealots,
of the Illuminata, the skull and bones boys,
the rich assholes who have tipped the balance
directly into their deep and treacherous pockets.

Never has this been done so cleanly,
so completely.
You rubbed their noses in their own feces.
You let the people create more money
for your campaign than the politicos
could ever have dreamed about,
you have stopped Sarah Palin
from being a heartbeat away from the power
she did not deserve, nor should
have had under any circumstances.

Now the work begins.
We must form a ring around your family,
around you, millions deep, with each of us
more than willing to take a bullet for you,
that bullet
the John Birchers are already polishing.
We must protect you so that you can protect us,
divine reciprocity, democracy in action.

I wept as I drove through the chill of this morning,
pounding my fist on the dash of my pick up,
pumping the air, screaming Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,
goddamn rights, oh yeah.
Now is the time.
The time is now.
America, America,
you will rise again,
yesterday we spoke with one voice,
and it was so strong, so bellicose, so clear
that the words were heard
in every corner of the globe;
the oil barons have been stopped,
the Depression has been abated,
the new Crusades will find a peaceful solution,
and being an American means
being color blind.

Glenn A. Buttkus

November 5, 2008

Listed as #86 over on dVerse Poets-Open Link Night 28

Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


Anonymous said...

The spirit of that day is no longer present, long long gone,

but nevertheless,

America! America! magnificently captures the spirit and energy and momentum and euphoria of pretty much the entire 2006-2008 Democratic primary season and the national election and inauguration day.

A few edits to replace the ad hominens and America! America! would have been a tremendously effective and inspirational inaugural poem, this coming from someone who loved and still loves Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural poem and often defended her poem from naysayers.

America America is a bit shocking to read, what many of us felt in 2008 is so long gone, so very long gone and categorically irretrievable.

Brian Miller said...

nice glenn...you capture much of the energy of that moment...sadly we see now how the oil barons kept their fingers in the pie and made the last several years a profeesional wrestling scene with all the drama and bs we have had to put up with...i voted for him...i had hope..

Natasha Head said...

I don't know if this means anything coming from one who only knows your country through blogging poets and CNN, but I see a very great man who had a plan...THEN realized his hands were tied. The country may have supported him, but his own government didn't. I think he was no doubt treated to one of the rudest wakeup calls ever...when he realized who really gets to run the country. I know I'm hopping he can find his feet again...I too had high hopes.

Ginny Brannan said...

Your words ring of the hope so many of us felt when Obama won the campaign, the promise that hung in the air. Bush--the one that screwed us out of a balanced budget, who shot the job market all to hell while bailing out big banks who were so quick to foreclose on those workers being laid off after years of working the same job--Bush was gone, and Obama held the promise. But it's hard to fight the strong-arm Senators and Congressmen who follow the money, the lobbyists and special interests. And it's hard to fight those who are so quick to forget Bush and lay all the budget problems onto Obama's back. (Ashamed to say, I have in-laws who quickly jumped on that bandwagon). Now we have campaigners with no budget restrictions, taking handouts from anyone and everyone. Where this will go is anyone's guess. Just hope those like me who still have hope, who still believe, get out and get their voices heard. It shouldn't be the big budget special interests that run the country, but rather we, the people... (Sorry for the ramble, politics gets my dander up!!) Thanks for sharing this wonderful reflection on such a hopeful day.

Charles Miller said...

Thank you for a flashback of those euphoric days. We thought it was going to be hard, but you what a backlash there's been. Still harder work to be done.

Claudia said...

i only can say it from an outside point of view...it was like a revolution when he became president and we too thought he will bring big changes, i can't really judge it but feel the frustration from many americans..thanks for sharing a bit of your political heartbeat here glenn

Sheila said...

a great rallying cry and poignant reflection of the sad state of our country's affairs