Testing … testing

We are tested many times everyday. 24/7/365 (366 in certain years).

Likely not in the manner of Job, Abraham or Donald Trump’s many wives but every test is indeed a challenge.

It arrives early: Do we rise from bed or succumb to the beckoning siren of more supine time?

If I say chose the latter and later detailed to my wife and later my boss that I simply selected the more spiritual option of the moment and didn’t make it to work, would that be honest but doubling down on malformed decisions? Politically incorrect in a proletariat/bourgeoisie paradigm or blasted stupid in lieu of having 20 years remaining on the mortgage?

Plus that later I ascended to a celestial establishment and rubbed elbows with various heavenly beings, partook of religious libations, heard angels crooning — quite the holistic religious experience — and then — my, my — it was 5:00 p.m.

Consider my options: dragging myself from horizontal slumbering, getting semi-presentable utilizing the never fail no smell-no foul clothing test, contributing to global warming by plying along the roadway for seemingly forever in our 10-year-old mini-van, cutting off a white-haired, older lady in order to nab the last parking spot (receiving a gnarled middle finger in response), plopping myself down at my desk and attaching the ball and chain for yet another uninspired eight hours.

This versus brushing up against the divine?

It is often said God works in mysterious ways. Who am I to argue?

— inspired by a poetry writing class prompt about tests

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

Interpretation

Side One: infiltrating the mindset, 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

narcissimI’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

I fix matters fortuitously fruitful
betting on despair is just part of the plan
looting coffers and avoiding all blame
Barons of robbery know no 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

When Too Much Is Not Enough

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

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

CHORUS:

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

The rich and powerful sup at the trough
they’re brilliant, 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 the ordinary folk 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

A Marx Upon Both Your Houses

The money beast is a mighty lure
alter of capitalist piety pure
it smudges the canvas, blurs the lens
ravages the sacred, eschewing amends
the allure of apples proffered by slithering serpents
becomes sanctity bartered, simple dollars and cents
the dismissal of history, the disposal of heirlooms
fueled by cavalier edict from circumspect-less boardrooms
the moneychanger temples draped in white wings of worship
boasting Trojan Horse services dispensing human catnip
the cohesive threads of community unraveling towards nil
bigger, faster, greater–an appetite never filled
blinded to the blunder in a black widow’s embrace
the mighty engine roars on making all places any place