Terror and Confusion

Reading Thompson’s campaign trail memoir
it’s an odd thing
I know the ending
America sucks a turkey egg
hatches a second term
for the power hungry wolfman
but the world of ‘71
about half of which I spent in the womb
is like an alternate reality
riddled with murder and rape
long mushroom clouds casting shadows
over the sunshiniest of days
assassins stalk the land
college campuses boil over hard
into violent clashes with police
homosexuals live shamed lives
the war on drugs knows no mercy
it’s a grim drama of decay
thefts, muggings, vandals
derelict property
urban blight and white flight
fear and loathing, indeed
this oppressive atmosphere
of life in the states
is presented to me subjectively
filtered only by language’s limitation
delivering a harsh one-sided critique
with what I and time
must mostly be forced to agree
because what’s the other side?
segregation now and forever
laughable
even if our current president
didn’t happen to be
born of a biracial couple
what’s the other side?
anti-sodomy laws
criminalizing abortion
hair-straightening and skin whiteners
marriage inequality
isolation and nativism
the wounds of ‘72
the year of my bloody birth
did not begin to show
the faintest signs of healing
for 20 more years
set backs still occur
as we sit around waiting
for the old bigots to get along with dying
it takes so long
death never seems to finish up the job
the hate is never fully culled
it remains there
in the midst of the herd
bright red and mad
screaming and daring
for all and any predator
to pounce in
take advantage
win an election
in a billowing smoke screen
of terror and confusion

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