America the Dysfunctional

It’s said this is a most Christian nation
but acting Roman is our supplication
idol worshiping money’s lurid gloss
while justice is bang nailed to the cross
why isn’t wrong wrong as well as right right?
it’s the crux of humanity’s never-ending fight

Chorus:

O beautiful for brownish skies
for modified waves of grain
for clear cut mountain majesty
above the parched and barren plain
America, America,
god what they have done to thee
and crown thy populace via dominionhood
from sea to rising sea

Manifest destiny always holding sway
exceptionalism the sole American way
timeless fables telling that familiar story
all preaching the emancipation glory
free to buy the milk and cereal we want
while freedom’s blueprint sheds its font

Chorus

Those welcoming tragedy for opportunity
dollar sign profits but all they can see
accrual by vanquishing the dispossessed
experimenting on humans, more or less
if a god shed some sort of grace on thee
was it for the despoilers to be all they can be?

Chorus

The most distinguished jurists in all our land
simply bought-and-paid-for with open hands
granting corporations full human rights
extinguishing Lady Liberty’s historic lights
advancing predation for the monied class
leaving hell to pay for all the lower castes

Chorus

Interpretation

Side One: infiltrating the mindset, such as it is, of the evangelical/Tea Party political movement

While waiting out faithfully for Jesus to return
we’re conveniently ignoring his being foreign born
because we know dark and dirty ain’t going set us free
the preachers have promised us that could never be

Now our Lord doesn’t believe in government taxes
but some swear of his emailing and sending faxes
we know he righteously did heal and then tout
“I’m a miracle worker, all because I lack doubt”

That crap about his rolling with harlots and whores
it’s a campaign of hate by poseurs and bores
from those Beezlebub purveyors of the 666 code
come Judgment Day they’ll burn and explode

Crowds will swarm the bonfire, making it most large
reveling in the special appearance by Madame DeFarge
but for heaven’s sake ’cause there’s no good reason
Lord, please make it a-f-t-e-r the football season

Flip Side: A stream of consciousness

The Fox folks at their extra best idiot savantin’
while the radio fatboy spouts pure Oxycontin
they’re all parading around like virgin whores
who long ago played the quit card in keeping score

Yes, the drawing and quartering of commonsense
a perimeter of ignorance led by the willfully dense
declining sharpening tools for their dullest of minds
continuing to belly up to the buffet where haters dine

As war is now a status quo component of modern life
with huckster marketers waving the profitable flag of strife
as bodies appear double-stacked in the old tombstone corral
more enemies are created to boost our slipsliding morale

Now some are saying corporations are just like people
and they can’t wait for the Sunday sermon prequel
causing the hounds of whoredom to eagerly bay anew
as our religious speakeasies divest of the Golden Rule

The dirty little secret not taught in our purest of schools
challenging conventional wisdom – no that wouldn’t do
it’s ‘apostate heretics’ fighting to change the ties that binded
but was it Gailleo or the Church oh so woefully blinded?

Late Brother MLK brimming full of sacrifice and desire
sparking the kindling, setting off the holiest of fires
yes the powerful must eventually stand solitary nude
despite the rush to clothe them by the apologetic lewd

yessiree, of thee I do sing of the need for a USA spring

O Say Can You See It’s All About Me, Me, Me

It’s not a complicated business this taxpayer trough
all this money-making there for the, er,  my taking
from the get-go, I counterfeit an inside flush
rigging the system enough to make a dead man blush

I’m a rainmaker, just pissing all over yours and you
a money whore galore, hey that’s just how I roll
A gentleman farmer, growing a bumper cash crop
I’m at the top, ain’t gonna drop, with no plans to stop

Chorus:

I fix matters to fail fortuitously fruitful
betting on despair is just part of the plan
of looting coffers and shedding all blame
putting Willie Sutton to professional shame

Impunity, immunity, it’s about the I’s and no U’s
whatever I desire is going to be mine, mine, mine
go big and go large and go deep and go long
I can’t go wrong ’cause there are no words to that song

You call me the rapaciously evil devil of the vault
label me a dollar bill Caligula or a close derivative
I live so fine for simply making figures align
I’m a financial whiz, there’s no her or his, just mine

Chorus

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning

With all  due credit to Christopher Hedges and his beacon of honesty.

I was sent off to war
to settle a petty score
’cause the pols said
we want those bastards dead

They were once our friends
but that all now depends
on doing our private bidding
or else — no f-ing kidding

Shipped over to the sand
then marching overland
trying not to misstep
a basic danger we must accept

Some look forward to the kill
taking human life as a thrill
but it’s different you see
when you’re sitting in D.C.

Splattered with guts and blood
whether of an enemy or close bud
changes you deep inside
a pain some can’t abide

The desert she bleaches you
hallowed through and through
I just wanted to do some good
like most everyone would

After three lengthy tours
I’m not the same anymore
I did my best with pride
but it’s in a shell I now reside

Jen’s settled for what she’s got
the kids scared what war has wrought
tears and terror map out me
I’m tryin’ like hell so none can see

Now I don’t dare explore
what’s left of my brittle core
the mirror says it’s me there
shutdown in my lonesome lair

So blare the trumpet solitary
and invoke the patriot fairy
my most ominous of fears
is that “Taps” I’ll never hear

I was being all that I was
charging forward just because
now my soul is never more
in case the Pentagon is keeping score

Yes, I’m still somewhat alive
maybe cursed to have survived
but I gave my life too
for it’s not the me I once knew

When Too Much Is Not Enough

At the top o’ the heap by rigging the rules
keeping the money flowing to their favorite tools
discarding the bereft like yesterday’s trash
after fleecing ’em out of home and cash

It’s full out patriotism to the almighty dollar
but never ever is heard any blue blood holler
from the wallets of our kith and kin
the elite steal from early and often

CHORUS:

They can win or lose on whatever path they choose
but triumph or fail, they will prevail
’cause they’re calling the dance at the predator’s ball

The rich and powerful sup at the trough
of course, they deserve it — cough, cough
junk bonds and derivatives crosses of the alter
financiers as deities, surely none will falter

It’s a no product, nothing built, sleight of hand
just vast paper castles built on quicksand
with the tap of a key, so easy to perform
no muss, no fuss, just economic porn

CHORUS

Profit on the guaranteed demise of others
sacrifice for the low level sisters and brothers
but just when is enough and at what cost?
and to what degree of our paradise lost?

What about he who finishes first, shall be last?
it’s fundamental scripture — the die is cast
but in a country worshiping grandiose greed
Caesar and mammon are the twin masters’ creeds

CLOSING

Yes, they package and trades things invisible
insulated from the fickle ol’ bear and bull
insured from calamity by the full faith and credit
of those hoi polloi who will never ever get it
they’re simply too big to fail or take down
they’re America’s terrorists, they own your town
salute and subjugate to the new holy crown

Johnny Spillane

Got to have at least one olde Irish ditty in the repertoire.

Johnny Spillane be my name
I’m neither of fortune or fame
but with my able hardy back
I climbed out of the potato sack
and made a family and a living

Life was bleak in County Cork
me the twelfth arrival of the stork
my family had neither land
nor any opportunity at hand
so I shipped off to Ameri-cay

Having no papers or money
oh, that land of milk and honey
she was mighty, mighty harsh
it being ‘no dogs and no Irish’
so I did what I had to do

Getting off that bottom rung
was no sweet sung song
the dollars and coins were sweated
as I obeyed and marionetted
biding my time all the while

Then I caught me a lucky break
an offer from a Mallow rake
to supply the needed muscle
enforcing his wayward hustle
and my pocket began to fill

Now, I sit behind a desk
others working at my behest
a society respected man
who started with nary a plan
blessed, if there be a God

My past, I keep it well hidden
when I was doing others’ bidding
for no one would ever believe
what I did so I could achieve
and drag myself out of the gutter

Now I’m acting like Cromwell’s Brits
it gives my elderly parents fits
scorning the powerless once like me
though they’re not any threat as I see
all they want is their dreams to be

Birth to death

Yes, he successfully conquered water
turned vintner with a spicy zinfandel
the masses at the miracle collective
believed the finish kept their deaths at bay

He a Mecca born and bred commando
the purveyor of the peaceful sword
his preaching saved huddled masses
while infidels brutalized his words

Yes, from stony Jerusalem to sandy Mecca
the spectrum of deeds belied their beliefs
safe harbor for true followers dimming
perverse sanctuary for killers and thieves

The seeking of the everlasting life policy
call it upscaling the forever vacation
just say the magic words in the correct ear
for just-in-time personal gentrification

But all remains ashes to ashes, dust to dust
passports unstamped for angels-on-high camp
life is truth and lies, pleasure with pain
amidst lonely flickers of humanity’s righteous lamp

Let’s call our end what it is — an endless rest
from a life lived both holy and hell
identity and actions fully legible and owned
at the very last tolling of the bell

Justice Never

The rules they apply to me and you
but not to them ’cause we’re the fools
behave to get ahead is what we’re told
make sure to always tear along the fold

Steal millions and lo, get levied maybe a buck
the c/b ratio carrying unrighteous truck
hear the judge’s guilty, head to Club Fed
work that tan and plan your next Code Red

Lady Justice blinded by a failure to see
black-robed parsers anointing inequality
which rung you can afford on justice’s ladder
delivers your life’s fate — sad or sadder

Citizens United reeking of unholy blasphemy
our corporate overlords now with human qualities
joining Dred Scott and Korematsu in judicial ping pong
when the going gets tough — rights are wronged

The moral of this story is perfectly clear
the powerful are protected, the rest in fear
afflict the afflicted, comfort the comfortable
the Founding Fathers are void and null