Anthematic Variations


Oh say can you see

By the town’s flaming light

Crumpled water buffalo

Cart overturned

And in the ditch

Women and children

Dink and gook

Body counted

Half a jaw

Obliterated nose and eyes

Leaded apertures of varying size?


My country tis of thee

And thy new morality

Sweet land of defoliants

The steaming jungle

And the screaming host

Turned to smoke

Rising in the orient air

By westerlies eastward borne

O’er Pacific fair

To the Halls of Montezuma

And all points north

Smogging up Doric columns

Pediments and architraves

Where wise men sad with power

It says here

Sit and plan

Who next to save.


Mine eyes have seen their glory.


Butcher let me have

A twenty-five pound roast

Tender succulent and young

Three years is just about right

My Lai my lady fair

Does Oriental cooking rare

And the President with all his suite

Will stop for lunch we’ll give them meat.


Now none of your practical jokes young man

Don’t you include balls freshly grilled

On the electric toaster a breast

Or hand in supplication

Do you think we’re a

Bunch of dirty Nazis here

Making lampshades out of human flesh?


America America

God shed his grace on thee

And if the seas still really shine

Is it water or oily slime?


God of our fathers

For Pilgrim feet

Lest we forget