6/13/20: The American Book of the Dead #poetry #revolution #socialjustice

6/13/20: The American Book of the Dead #poetry #revolution #socialjustice

I have only one life to give for my country

And what is my country exactly?

It’s not the people

I’m not dying for my brothers and sisters

It’s not ideals

My country is not freedom

or equality

or democracy

or opportunity

There is no American dream

Capital can’t dream

The Capitol in Washington, D. C. is a shrine to capital

Our scripture is not the Bible

or the Constitution

or the mythology of Washington and Lincoln and the other great men

Our scripture is the story of the worship of the golden calf

Money is the root of all things American

All money is interest

Made from the investment of human life

America sings, “How do I kill you? Let me count the ways?”

I leave you unprotected when you are born

deprived of doctors and teachers and food and housing

I don’t care for you when you need to be educated

I give you unprepared teachers

unheated buildings

no internet connections

Vulnerability to mass school shootings

Gangs in your hallways

checked by right wing enforcers from the police department

guns on their hips

guns everywhere

I tell your teachers to carry guns

Guns make lots of capital

If you die in this dangerous atmosphere

that the human child is not equipped to deal with

you are hero that has given your life for your country

You can also vape or smoke or take street drugs

You can serve by giving your life to addiction too

or you can join a street gang and kill to sell street drugs

you are heroes

you create public and private profit in the criminal justice system

and really lucrative prisons

Thank you for our service

Your boldness favors capital’s fortune

If you survive your first two opportunities to be a human sacrifice

as a small and then school-age child

You can still be of great use

You can go to college and acquire enormous debt

which you will then spend your life in servitude to

sentenced to paying it off

You must work for capital’s desires

It doesn’t matter whether they match yours or not

or whether they match your values

which they never will if you don’t believe in killing people

and if you are out of work

America will never take care of you

It will give you a little bit of unemployment money

but never enough

America wants to encourage you to get back to work

but never provides enough jobs

So if you are unlucky

and don’t get one of the jobs available

you can die

of poor nutrition

or poor health care

Oh yeah — America won’t take care of you if you are sick

If you don’t work

you don’t eat

or get medication

You will be shamed and hounded

capital demands that you serve it

Mocks you when you do

whatever you do for capital its never enough

You are supposed to be scared

all of the time

You live your life in fear

the stress shortens your life

If you go into the military

you will die

or lose your limbs

or go insane with post-traumatic stress

lied to with lullabies about honor and duty

ignored and left on your own if you come back broken

given an American flag for your coffin if you don’t come back

Your flag draped corpse is great public relations

You waste your life in front of a box that fills you with propaganda

Capital infects you with delusion

When plagues come

Capital lies about their severity

and tells you death is OK

Capital tells you that slavery was an aberration — and not so bad

The genocide of the Native Americans was an aberration — and not so bad

The murderous exploitation of many waves of American immigrants was an aberration — and not so bad

Capital tells you more — the African and Native Americans and the immigrants were the villains

They can’t govern themselves

They have to be controlled

Many of you stupidly agree

You don’t understand that capital is talking about you

You can’t govern yourself

You have to be controlled

For generations

The American Book of the Dead had  book jackets

which covered itself up

with titles like

The Shining City on the Hill

The Great Hope of Mankind

The Leader of the Free World

But open the book

and you get a thousand pages of one word

capitalcapitalcapitalcapitalcapitalcapitalcapitalcapital

But every once in a while

Capital gets bold

It gets sick of rationalizing itself

and straining to find false moral arguments

and it tells you

out loud

TIME TO DIE

CAPITAL IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT

YOU’RE OLD IN A NURSING HOME

WHO GIVES A SHIT IF YOU DIE

YOU’RE BLACK AND BROWN

GET IN THAT FACTORY AND WORK

WE WON’T WASTE MONEY ON YOUR PROTECTION

SUPPLY AND DEMAND ASSHOLES

THERE ARE PLENTY OF YOU

HEY MIDDLE CLASS WHITE PEOPLE

GET INTO THE DEATH LOTTERY

GET TO WORK

GO TO THE AMUSEMENT PARK

SOME OF YOU WILL HAVE TO DIE

To be an American is to give your life for your country

a country that sees you as an asset

Your country will praise you if that praise helps create capital

Your country will shame you if that shame helps create capital

To live with self-reliance

determining your own destiny

serving your own values

placing humanity — your humanity and the humanity of others

is a dangerous and radical act

But to serve your country

is just dying for capital.

I don’t think that the protests are going to stop

I think a long and enduring revolution has begun

Our masters made one mistake

their propaganda is really good

The Declaration of Independence

The Constitution

The Rule of Law

True Religious Teaching

Talk of freedom

and goodness

It was all that they gave us

the hope of that type of life

we want it for real this time

We want to write a new ending

to the American Book of the Dead.

Copyright 2020 Richard Thomas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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