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Exquisite Corpse - A Journal of Letters and Life
Two Poems
by Paul McDonald
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Compassionistic Conservatism

(to be read aloud accompanied by an African-American choir made up of disallowed voters from Florida humming the "Yellow Shrub of Texas" while an inmate is being strapped down for a lethal injection)

You know,
When I was your age
We went to school twelve hours a day
Seven days a week
And then came home
To work for eighteen hours
Before we went back to school
We didn't sleep
Sleep was for sissies
We didn't get off for summer
There was no such thing as summer
Or any of those other candyass holidays
We worked whenever we could
I sold cigarettes door to door
I sang the National Anthem at dogfights
I scrubbed uranium for Union Carbide
As part of their kindergarten internship program
We didn't have
Freeze-dried microwave rutabagas
Made out of synthetic asparagus back then
If we wanted something to eat
We had to kill it first
Back then everybody had a gun
My mama had a gun
My daddy had a gun
Every God-fearing taxidermist and
Amway Distributor for ninety miles
Had a gun
The first words I ever learned how to say
Were "from my cold, dead hands"
The first thing I ever put in my mouth
Wasn't my mommy's tit
It was the cold, shiny barrel
Of a Smith & Wesson
My daddy put in the crib
To keep me company
Back then we knew right from wrong
And how to thin the herd
Every one of us
Attended the First Church
Of the Holy Sidewinder Diamondback
To make damn sure we got it right
Or we got it overwith
Ever since Jimmy Carter
This country's been going down
What with bottled water, tie-dyed skateboards
And designer tattoos
You kids today...
Your idea of fashion
Is wearing pants as big as elephant legs
With your heads shaved
Your face full of rivets
And your underwear pulled up to your chest
Your idea of a wild time
Is to snort whipped cream and jack off
While you watch
The WWF Smackdown
You haven't even had a decent war
You call that Persian Gulf thing a War?
For Christ's sake,
It only lasted a week
You should have had
Vietnam to grow up with
Like I did
Then you'd learn some real values

The Death of All We Hold Sacred
I love you Jerry Springer
If it weren't for you
I would never know
How easy it is
To lead people
To ugliness
Instead of beauty
Here in the giant
Multimedia trailerpark
Of transgendered lesbians
Coupled with closet Nazi Dwarfs
Telling their spouses
They've had crabs for over three years,
We endure your mammoth
Sociological slice
of the American Night
While Ireland breaks their peace accords
India explodes a nuclear bomb
The President gets a blowjob
That costs taxpayers 50 million dollars
We grow lazy
We grow bored
We grow stagnant
You give us what REALLY matters
Watching all these shit-for-brains
And foot fetishists
Duke it out
As security slowly lumbers their way
Out front
To win the ratings war
I'm SICK of Oprah, Sally and Rosie...
Cater to my bestial nature
Help me embrace my shadow
Nurture my inner doggie-style militia/republican
I NEED you, Jerry Springer!
When I watch your show
I realize why
I've chosen to not be in a relationship
Why I hate surprise encounters
Why the thought of family gatherings
Makes me break out in hives
Jerry Springer
You walk forty-seven miles on barbed wire
You wear a cobra snake for a necktie
I love you, man!
You're as American
As White Castles and colon cancer
Your picture should be on
A box of corn flakes
You should be singing
The national anthem
At the World Wide Federation Church
Of the Monster Truck and Demolition Derby
I'll carry your too hot video
Next to my heart
Wherever I go
And know
There will always people
Whose lives suck
More than mine

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