Democracy Takes Hold in America
We’re an endless, ravenous, thundering herd,
driven through the impaled heartland,
trampling our way up the corporate ladder
to constitutional misogyny
and corn cribs for our powdered youth.
Crammed into feedlots,
shoveling down silos of corn syrup,
rotting in place and swarmed by flies,
we gorge ourselves till we collapse
in a dung heap of ointment and canker sores.
Twitching and writhing, dreaming
of opposable thumbs and fly swatters,
we long to stampede under the stars,
to roam the range, feel the roaring wind,
the rush of pounding hooves again…
Every other autumn, half of us succumb,
jump up from Monday Night Football,
foam at the mouth, and drive off the nearest cliff,
piling our used cars into a twisted consensus,
a tribute to rush hour.
Mercifully, our lockstep pyre
of gasoline, metal, and meat
ignites and explodes on the Tuesday
after the first Monday of November,
Year of the Cocker Spaniel,
or, barring that, Year of the Donkey.
The Great Recession
Driven by the age-old attitude
toward gold and slaving,
two-stroke engines wind
workers off to trapdoors,
gears slipping in aging
wheezes of canned exuberance.
Wax figures compute
their annual contribution,
cough up extra crab shells,
and return to the paper,
enthralled by fusillades
of economic gas.
Moved by threats only she can hear,
Lady Liberty winds her watch,
checks the tomb for movement,
and merges with the catacombs
in cool, protracted relapse,
her microwave repeater out of ammo.
Life, the anno dump,
peaks at the runback,
scours the extra point,
and tears down the stadium,
leaving just the goalposts,
beer stands, and hat check,
John Pursch lives in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Breadcrumb Scabs, Calliope Nerve, Camel Saloon, Clockwise Cat, Counterexample Poetics, Four and Twenty, and vox poetica. You can follow his work at John Pursch.