Hungover on American Pie

On the eve of independence day,
that old rag tune jangles the 4th of July
Bellies lacquered in liquor and Bud
America and highways and sun bathing
girls in bikinis

A cat skitters across a floor.
A shadow falls in a puddle about a body in slow motion.
A candle unlit begs for the kiss of a hot little flame.
A floor creaks and a fan whirls lazy by the ceiling.

Trust in the Unexpected

555

Trust in the Unexpected—
By this—was William Kidd
Persuaded of the Buried Gold—
As One had testified—

Through this—the old Philosopher—
His Talismanic Stone
Discernéd—still withholden
To effort undivine—

'Twas this—allured Columbus—
When Genoa—withdrew
Before an Apparition
Baptized America—

The Same—afflicted Thomas—
When Deity assured
'Twas better—the perceiving not—
Provided it believed—


True America's Message

OUR manlier spirits hear and will obey
The Word YOU waft Australia o’er the sea—
‘Be true, be brave, be merciful, be free!’
Not you, who, braggart, sent this wan array
Of hell-ships vomiting their Will-to-Slay, 5
These armoured Hates and pallid Envies we,
’Mid rattled mobs and flags hysteric, see
Tarnish the chaste horizon of our Bay:

But YOU we hear, our Comrades of the Cause,
Who face hyæna Mammon in his den: 10
And YOU, who dared your seas of blood to spill


To Walt Whitman In America

Send but a song oversea for us,
Heart of their hearts who are free,
Heart of their singer, to be for us
More than our singing can be;
Ours, in the tempest at error,
With no light but the twilight of terror;
Send us a song oversea!

Sweet-smelling of pine-leaves and grasses,
And blown as a tree through and through
With the winds of the keen mountain-passes,
And tender as sun-smitten dew;
Sharp-tongued as the winter that shakes
The wastes of your limitless lakes,


To the United States of America

Brothers in blood! They who this wrong began
To wreck our commonwealth, will rue the day
When first they challenged freeman to the fray,
And with the Briton dared the American.
Now are we pledged to win the Rights of man:
Labour and Justice now shall have their way,
And in a League of Peace -- God grant we may --
Transform the earth, not patch up the old plan.

Sure is our hope since he who led your nation
Spake for mankind, and ye arose in awe
Of that high call to work the world's salvation;


To the Rt. Hon. William, Earl of Dartmouth

Hail, happy day, when, smiling like the morn,
Fair Freedom rose New-England to adorn:
The northern clime beneath her genial ray,
Dartmouth, congratulates thy blissful sway:
Elate with hope her race no longer mourns,
Each soul expands, each grateful bosom burns,
While in thine hand with pleasure we behold
The silken reins, and Freedom's charms unfold.
Long lost to realms beneath the northern skies

She shines supreme, while hated faction dies:
Soon as appear'd the Goddess long desir'd,


To The Right Honourable William, Earl Of Dartmouth, His Majesty's Principal Secretary Of The State For North-America

HAIL, happy day, when, smiling like the morn,
Fair Freedom rose New-England to adorn:
The northern clime beneath her genial ray,
Dartmouth, congratulates thy blissful sway:
Elate with hope her race no longer mourns,
Each soul expands, each grateful bosom burns,
While in thine hand with pleasure we behold
The silken reins, and Freedom's charms unfold.
Long lost to realms beneath the northern skies
She shines supreme, while hated faction dies:
Soon as appear'd the Goddess long desir'd,


To the Oracle at Delphi

Great Oracle, why are you staring at me,
do I baffle you, do I make you despair?
I, Americus, the American,
wrought from the dark in my mother long ago,
from the dark of ancient Europa--
Why are you staring at me now
in the dusk of our civilization--
Why are you staring at me
as if I were America itself
the new Empire
vaster than any in ancient days
with its electronic highways
carrying its corporate monoculture
around the world
And English the Latin of our days--


Yes

According to Culture Shock:
A Guide to Customs and Etiquette
of Filipinos, when my husband says yes,
he could also mean one of the following:
a.) I don't know.
b.) If you say so.
c.) If it will please you.
d.) I hope I have said yes unenthusiastically enough
for you to realize I mean no.
You can imagine the confusion
surrounding our movie dates, the laundry,
who will take out the garbage
and when. I remind him
I'm an American, that all has yeses sound alike to me.


What He Thought

We were supposed to do a job in Italy
and, full of our feeling for
ourselves (our sense of being
Poets from America) we went
from Rome to Fano, met
the Mayor, mulled a couple
matters over. The Italian literati seemed
bewildered by the language of America: they asked us
what does "flat drink" mean? and the mysterious
"cheap date" (no explanation lessened
this one's mystery). Among Italian writers we

could recognize our counterparts: the academic,
the apologist, the arrogant, the amorous,


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