Tuesday, April 14, 2009

nighttime poetry impulse

Finding the title for the last post led me automatically to this poem and reminded me how much I like it.


after Allen Ginsberg, 1988

by Demetria Martinez

America our marriage is coming apart
I've done everything right got my degree
Now you tell me my English won't do
America I'm not good enough for you?
Better my Spanglish than your smooth talk America
No I won't sleep with you not now not ever
Ah come on America all I wanted was a little
adobe house in Atrisco a porch swing
two ninos some democracy
Now I read in the Albuquerque Journal you left me
for a younger woman
Bought drugs for guns guns for drugs
Destroyed Managua in order to save it
Spied on communist Maryknoll nuns in Cleveland
America your face is on wanted posters in post offices
And I'm on sleeping pills again America
Last night I dreamed the Pentagon was a great
Ouija board spelling out REPENT REPENT
In half sleep I reached for you love but got
only a scent of amber waves of grain
I got up for a hit of caffeine the Book of Psalms
And whoosh I saw the promised land
You don't need citizenship papers there it's colored
and smells of refried beans
Remember remember who you are America
Purple mountains majesty above fruited plains
worked by mejicanos
America call off your dogs
America give me a green card though I don't qualify
America forgive me if I gag your memory
at La Paloma bar on South Broadway
America I'm twenty-seven and tired thanks to you
And thanks to you I found God on a stoop on Arno Street
America you claim crime's fierce in the neighborhood
I tell you it's nothing next to your crimes
The wars we fund start at the package liquor store
and end twice a year at confession
America I don't want progress I want redemption
Cut the shit we could be lovers again don't hang up
America I'm your dark side embrace me and be saved
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps I know you can
America I'm not all bitter I'm a registered Republican
At parties when friends ask America who? I introduce
you explain you've had a difficult upbringing
But I can't cover up for you America get that straight
Honey it's not too late it's not too late
America the ball's in your court now

1 comment:

emilee said...

This poem is lovely. I've linked it to my blog to aid in the discussion! Thanks for posting it!! :)