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” –
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 –
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….
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
Happy independence day.