by Eleanor Goldfield

I don’t wanna leave on a low note – and I don’t wanna pretend that you can give hope a vote

coz it’s deeper than that.

So as you head out or stay in to celebrate or not celebrate this day –

whether you, like me, think we’d be better off without this capitalized shrink wrapped “land of the free” –

consider this.

This is not a happy birthday –

no THIS day is a hollowed pride in a longstanding genocide

This nationalist high – made to conquer, divide –

glittering smoke screens that just barely hide –

the fact – that:

America is not great.

And it never was.

for all, wasn’t meant to be – for all –

but for some.

So why should you, why should I,

put our hands over hearts –

and pledge allegiance to the legions still breaking the broken, old wounds aren’t closing –

why saddle your soul with the empire’s ode?

We’re owed –


And we owe –


We owe more to the early graves –

that were dug by our capitalist crusades –

we owe more to the fighters and builders –

who’ve been whitewashed from history –

we owe more to the kids coming up –

growing in smoke-filled air and poisoned soil –

we owe our toil –

to more than a flimsy facade – of freedom.

And we likewise – are owed more –

than a nation named, a constitution framed –

without us.

Yes, the idea of America is not great either.

And wait, just please pause

coz pontificating platitudes just feed agro attitudes –

the theorizing keeps us from realizing –

that we –

can do better –

than a crusty old constitution,

a resolution of, for and by – white, land owning men –

6 percent -of the population back then –

and still today, it remains –

a pedestaled holy grail –

that we fail to see past

to the future of what we could be –

beyond the American dream.

Coz inside these walls of an empire dying, we can keep rising –

we can aim higher than just getting by and

we can steal hope –

from a hangman’s white rope –

we can build dignity in the halls of a capitalist divinity, we –

can move past –

the blame game and masturbatory shame –

The nihilistic, masochistic fuck it all –

no, FEEL with me.

Wrap your shame in red, white and blue –

set it on fire so the feel-good warm pyre –

can bring us together to fight –

and to build.

Let’s make a sparkler out of our guilt

and burn it like rites of passage –

yes let’s now move past this –

we children of the empire are marked by our past

and the last thing we need –

is a solemn silence for all of those deeds…

a flag waving passive,

devoid of the passion –

of fighting – for liberation….

Liberates oneself.

Yeah, I WANT to be free –

and my will to freedom is tied right to yours –

bleeds over borders,

cue the requiem chorus –

for the empire’s creed.

It’s the only independence you should raise a glass to –

smashing the system in your mind,

and be free.

Free to be –


A child of empire

that won’t sit on the sidelines but stands on the front lines –

with hope – and dignity.

A human humility –

a resolute – if not shaky – stability.

The solidarity –

beyond a fake unity.

Not for america –

but for people

and planet.

Happy independence day.