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About "The America Poem"


During Iraq War II, a number of poets living in Boulder, Colorado, thought it might be an interesting exercise in social discourse and poetic possibility to invite everyone they could contact to submit one line on the model of Allen Ginsberg's "America.” Hundreds responded—from National Book Award winners to third graders at Coal Creek Elementary in Louisville, Colorado. No voice was excluded. Here (hopefully) the pedantic and the ridiculous, anger and dialogue, can coexist.



The America Poem


America, you're turning your uranium cities into bullets

America, sing me another tune

America, there's no such thing

America, ferme ta bouche Bush

America, where did all my sweat go?

America, you're turning me off

America, it's time for charity

America, wait for me at this STOPlight

America, no where else to be


America, you have a runny nose, bad insurance coverage,
        and corpses in every river

America, this isn't a fucking Coca-Cola war

America, when will you stop getting ripped off by breakfast cereal,
        when you know it's so expensive

America, I've made love in all your languages, no other

America, there are tribes of bears stepping on your tiny suns

America, fuck tomorrow's contractors, I'm hungry now

America, it's not you, it's me, really

America, damn your clocks, your ratios, screw your fast food

America, the pilgrim-hat signs on the Mass Pike

America, you are grounded, you are go-to-your-bed-without-your-


America, I'd leave you but my soup's cold

America, who hired a French savant to construct the green eyes of the
        Statue of Liberty?

America, are you for Real?

America, the Indonesians don't care for your unhappy bibles

America, we know you're proud of your high-heeled maryjanes

America, I'm turning you off

America, I am your free wheel

America, is this a movie or something?

America, look at yourself

America, Ronald Reagan never lied like this

America, my mouth's full of gob stoppers but I can't chew

America, are you expecting me to be afraid of a cropduster?

America, take it from me, you oughta bathe

America, your name on a grain of rice

America, goddamnit, your cat's on my lawn again

America, laugh! we're killing us

America, as I was saying, parsnips

America, we are north, what about south?

America, transmogrify!

America, it's time for your colors to be neon

America, I can't throw or spell and I don't care neither do you we're a little bit
        creepy America, you are Svetlana that Puerto Rican gal with 13 children

America, thanks for the kick-ass boots


America, let your hair grow out

America, I've driven across you without falling asleep

America, reality television bores me, I'd rather watch my friends go mad

America, the parachute drop into Basra was by British who know
        what they are doing, they are so understated

America, get drunk and undress yourself

America, my anus is red white and blue

America, I could rape you in an unsafe place

America, somersaults... somersaults

America, I'm shedding your exoskeleton, I sadly remember wanting to be
        an auto-bot, now I don't think they're funny


America, silly little twat

America, why aren't we millionaires? It's sinister

America, I did not notice

America, it's been months since the last oval orgasm

America, I'm in love and he's hideous

America, you smelly piece of shit

America, this is funny: there are mice on the moon

America, I wear my dyke pride across my breasts, not t-shirts

America, go home and sleep on your skyline and purple mountain majesty

America, how does your tv know what to say and how to blaspheme
        the weather of man? I will sell you America

America, they still under-report

America, puke on my balls

America, white-washed again


America, land of the free and home of “Fuck You!”

America, please don't touch me there.
        No means No.

America, your eggs are all in one basket

America, you are a nymphomaniac flight attendant in the cockpit!

America, the hypocrite of what we stand for

America, what were you before cancerous
atriotism & rerun twilight zone McCarthyism?

America, what about the children? Who will
ake care of their mothers and fathers when they fall?


America, you spend your “defense” budget on antonyms

America, are you a democracy?

Amercia, you are Joan Collins and Danielle Steele having a martini with
        The Corrections

America, you are cubical nightmare livelihood we'll defend so fervently

America, you are pantyhose on oil pumps

America, you are tumbleweed whistling past fire hydrants

America, dropped from the ass of a pigeon

America, your mother's summer dress is a disney theme in my head

America, your tabernacle choir is turning my dreams dark
        it's ravishing my ear

America, what happened to your open arms and purple mountains majesty?

America, I can't seem to find you in the dictionary.


America, I'm tired of all your shit.
        You lecherous husband, stop leering at other women.

America, nothing's funnier than poop, but.

America, you don't even have poop left.

America merica erica rica, no, muy pobre en el alma.

America, you left the oven on.

America, band-aids don't work for that.


America, why don't you call home any more?

America, please give me back my sandals.

America, where did you hide the moon?

America, silicon hairy-toed panic beware of the Bomb!

America, take your sex toys and fetishes to the streets.

America, litter your roadsides with flower petals, gummy bears, and
        torn-out pages of Emerson.

America, fuck off.


America, where are your superheroes?

America, what the fuck?

        You wall-eyed whore.

America, Grandma needs more fiber.

America, I think Grandpa died last night.

Amerika, ich weiss nicht -- wenn Du jung warst, hab' ich gedacht... aber.

America, I have indigestion. What did I eat today?


America, no more French fries.

America, will you choke on freedom fries then?

America of the Poopy Hemisphere.

America, what happened to diversity?

America - that's a Republic, right?

America, on a par with Canadian dollars.

America, I never told you your nickname; “Ameri -poop.”


America, why do you forget that you're South and North?

si, Arrerica, tu tienes Brasil, Venezuela, Bolivia, y Tierra del Fuego.

America, America, have you seen yourself in the mirror lately?

America, sit down, shut up, and for god's sakes have a beer.

America, blah.

Anerica, go lick a fat man' s balls.

America, kiss many little toes every morning for good health.


America - sounds pretty - first name of an Italian hustler.

America, where are your literary programs, soup kitchens and truth?

America, spell yourself backwards and call yourself a new country.

America, go home.

America, it's amazing what Bush understands.

America, I don't think I want to understand you.


A bloody

M ess

E scaped from a

R ich

I  nitiative. I would

C ry if I had

A tear left.


America, hard truths become more painful the longer they go untold...

America, I am wanting you to stand still for a minute, no one can hold you
        and look you in the eyes.

America, you have been my home for 400 years; I think that makes me a native. America, shoot me in the heart with rubber bullets why don't you?

America, hear us all as we cry with you.

America, stop making faces at me.

America, when can I pay my taxes without regret?

America, your comfort
        in the long shadow of the primordial collective unconscious
        will be our undoing.

America, your ugly prejudice and hate cause me to cry, while your diversity
        and potential for compassion cause me unsurpassing joy.

America - with 75% less history!

        Like a bully who picks fights for attention, its time for America to grow up.

America, you have a beautiful name and you are beautiful and exotic!
        You are North and South America.
        The United States is of you; it is not all you are, America.
        We forget this. Our television and our gigantic appetite and
        Coca-Cola makes us forgetful. America, you are much bigger than US!

America, shut up and sit down, please—you're infantile boosterism
        smothers us all. In the smoking rubble of what used to be a city, a
        hyenawearing a top hat hisses, “War
and Corpses, Last Hope of the Rich.”

America, like a stealthy lover who leaves wordlessly in the night, your
        promises lies, your caresses betrayed, your soul violated.

America, there are more plastic flamingos in the U.S. than real ones.

America my love, you are one sick artichoke.

America, your cologne is making me nauseous

America, I stand in line for this

America, you are the poem waiting to happen.

America, the sublime and the ridiculous
ou lose your magic when you pullout your guns.

America, the blood flows gasoline absorbed by thin soil skin


America the beautiful is a tone deaf castrato singing on key

America, even your squirrels have their hands in my pockets.

America, shock my ears with your monotonous groan.

America, melting pot of the world, is there room to
dd more to the mix, or has the amalgam solidified?

America, will you stop perpetuating the myth of the liberal press?


America, who are you for what you do?

America, why is killing a solution?

America, you mean liberty and wealth

America, you're a beautiful place

America, how do you do?

America, you're the best place in the world

America, why don't you evolve? Why don't we develop?

America, I support you in this war

America, I love you

America, stop the war

America, the greatest country in the world

America, a beautiful place

America, stop the war


America, I thought you were great

America, a united nation split apart

America, you are my home

America, why are you in a war?

America, when will we stop being judged by our looks?

America, where are you when I need you?

America, why do you brag about your power?

America, what's with the bombs dropping on Baghdad?

America, make the war end

America, the coolest place in the world

America, the land of the free

America, why do we work for the rest of the world?

America, thank you for giving us the freedoms we have

America, why do you go out to fight after only one try to handle the
        problem peacefully?

America, we are fading


America, why do you let people like Bush be president?

America, why do your people suppress freedom of speech?

America, why are you making people take risks?

America, why are you so dirty?

America, stop the people from looting and polluting

America, stop being a hypocrite and telling other people to stop making
        chemical w
eapons when you have some

America, when will you stop the war?

America, when will I see you?


America, your centerfold is wrinkled, wet and sticky

America, there is afghani applesauce in your syringe

America, you are not a country

          you are a continent

America, me first

America, did I ever, really, know ya?

          did I ever, really, ever, really?


America needs a cock punch

America, I am laughing in your general direction

America, my name is Jeff and I crack books and eat fireworks for breakfast

America, where's the beef?

          Has it all turned green?

America, you're low on fluid...check your rotors

America, approach the mirror with a ruthless eye and an honest heart

America, your wings are clipped...it's gonna be a short flight

America, why are you running in high heels?

America, you're a pin-up popstar on a

          crumbling cardboard shack in Afghanistan

America, land of carnage, I exit thee

America, please supersize it

America, there's more to share than truth or dare

America, the land of the free, so don't think you

          can walk all over me

America, listen without eating so much red meat

America, all broken glass and feather, blood and honey; home

America, you ride on the back of the world

America, your beards are feeble and your sunsets are too explicit

America, a country that has bled and lived to tell the tale

America, you are taped to unreality

America, what's behind your plastic surface

America, we are not enemies

America, the cords of memory will swell when touched by the
        better angels of our nature

America, the world is watching

America, you are flourishing, but you're far from god

America, where belonging can sometimes prevent you from learning

America, like a big obstacle, all you have to do is choose the right path,
        take the bumps, and live through the bruises

America, look around

America, things are sadly falling into corruption

America, ask for an eternal fix

America, why do u like Britney Spears?

America, with no child left behind

America, vandag, donderdag is een schitterende dag

America, puff tuff!

America, land of the free people who can't smoke in restaurants

America, too much!

America, wo woo wo woooo grrr

America, let me breathe the booze in your pants

America, turn off the television

America, find your life in the streets

America, please, regime change 2004

America, never surrender the love in your heart

America, open 24 hours

America, gain the world and lose your own soul

America, let's sit on the couch and watch tv

America, freedom bound

America, wake up from your denial of your unsustainable course

America, always milking everyone's riches in consumer anxiety

America, that guy's crazy as fuck

America, my son died for America, thank god

America, stop the hatred

America, let's be of one mind

America, buy your food from someone you can look in the eye

America, why won't the dinosaurs come back

America, we're out of gas

America, dressed for the pregnant, needy, and dying

America, the road is full of puddles

America, where one can get milk, fritos, cheese, and twinkies for
        an afternoon snack

America, nobody wants to know

America, good luck with your bad luck

America, filled with reward and confusion

America, someday in the summertime, we'll play in the water fountain

America, it feels good

America, promise me that I will wake up smiling

America, stop talking to me

America, like yellow on a tree: it's there but they don't see, the
        passing eyes do not arise to see the yellow on the tree

America, how can I thrive

America, Discombobulated Displaced Diaspora

America, it's just a matter of time before this will be my number one hit single

America, try not to die for it

America, I wish I could write a poem where the buffalo roam

America, the teat of freedom is crusting over

America, no more war

America, next and last stop