Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One Shot: American dreams

take a hose to my verse
just to beat some sense
out of it or into
Guantanamo
Geronimo
look out below

sh(can you hear)it

rolls down hill ya know
except the money of course
part time teachers paid full
beating a dead horse, worse

[sing] we don't need no education...

not like raises for our
politicians, how else can
they afford those cool private
school tuitions, uniform patches
on breast pockets, dressed with
crests of kings---

perhaps they should just lower
the graduation age of working
class children to get them
producing the revenue streams
they need to fuel their American
dreams---

[sing] we don't need no education...

euthanize the waining days,
can programs to cull the weak
and unable, run up prices to
contain the rabble, just gotta be
smart enough to place your 'X'
pull the lever, keep the man
in power---

[sing] No! We don't need no education...

to fuel these...

American Dreams.

It's that time once again, when everyone gets all poetic and parties the night away...One Shot Wednesday...write a poem, come join us. It all begins at 5 pm EST.

144 comments:

Matty said...

Great Brian. This is a good start for fixing things.

Everyday Goddess said...

wow - excellent voice in this. wow.

Bonnie said...

Brilliant Brian. Why does no one ask: "WHOSE American Dreams?"?

budh.aaah said...

What an ending!

ladyfi said...

A powerful lament for what is important...

Rhymetime(aka Pat) said...

You want to fix this thing? Maybe you should try and sing?
Then inspire that american dream, maybe it's to make a new ice cream.
But whose is correct, because most people just stand erect.
Looking for the same old crap, giving it a bad rap.
Keep your mind out of the gutter, as I sit here and putter.
Which I'm sure isn't hard for you, as you broke up the word one uses when going to the loo.
Really how could you break up shit,
are you trying to make me have a fit?

Neva Flores said...

points penned well here. Well done.

Raven said...

Brian, have I told you lately how much you rock? Just in case I haven't, you totally ROCK! This is a fantastic piece, and so very true! I swear to Goddess if the gas prices go up anymore I'm gonna start taking hostages.

Raven said...

Brian, have I told you lately how much you rock? Just in case I haven't, you totally ROCK! This is a fantastic piece, and so very true! I swear to Goddess if the gas prices go up anymore I'm gonna start taking hostages.

kkrige said...

full of political fire this morning, are we? You can make a difference, but what do we really need?

Daniel said...

You sound a tad cynical. If you had a nickel for every time the republicans and democrats agreed, well, you might have enough change to buy a cup o' joe. That should brighten your mood. Oh wait, may not.

Magpie said...

You know if you're wanting people to find fault with your work, you need to do something wrong. What an insight this one has. Ouch, it really is sadly true. All we need to hear now is, "Let them eat cake."

william said...

a controversial subject mate, but nevertheless, well told ;)

David Allen Waters said...

we change things one voice at a time my friend...bravo :)

Margaret said...

!! A poem I hate to love because it is so true!

Myrna R. said...

I wish the politicians could read this stinging critique. But I think it speaks to all of us too. Let's all raise our voices and perhaps good changes will come.

PattiKen said...

You rock, Floyd. I'm so with you on this. How the powers-that-be can be so short-sighted is beyond me. (But you know how I feel about this. I ranted in my One Shot offering The Sucking Black Hole of Ignorance last August.)

TechnoBabe said...

Indeed, what is being proposed sounds like they want child labor so their dear corporations don't have to send their work out of the country and use children in other countries. How handy to have children here and no minimum wage.

Sue said...

The American dream is losing some of its luster, that's for sure. Sad situation, and I wish I knew the answers.

"/

Teri said...

How true all of this is Brian...sadly! I love that line "s(can you hear)it". Isn't it wonderful how one line can say so many things simultaneously? You are great with that stuff! Bravo. My SIL is a teacher who has received his pink slip...again this year! What good is tenure when they just keep taking it away from you?? Didn't it used to mean something to have it?

tracy said...

Absolutely brilliant, Brian. You're my Pied Piper, buddy.

Captain Dumbass said...

"How can you have your pudding if you don't eat your meat?"

signed...bkm said...

How true all this, that is why it is so important parents educate children as much as they can themselves because kids are not going to get it any public school anymore...educate, educate...and I am not even a teacher....bkm

happygirl said...

Love the thing you do with words. the sentiment... no answer for you there.

Cinner said...

I agree seems the peoples dreams are different than the ones in power. wonderful Brian. hows your foot.

Titanium said...

If ever there was a touchstone for the disparity between the people wielding the power and those laboring without reward, this is it.

Powerful voice, Brian.

Brian Miller said...

@cinner...getting better every day...may have got a bit stir crazy yesterday...lol

Austin said...

Luke 20: 24“Show me a denarius Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Are you trying to stir the pot?? Nice write bro, I especially liked the "sh" part! Laughed good on that one!

AmyLK said...

Lots of disillusionment with the politicians and their budgets. Very nicely put!

Mama Zen said...

Brilliant, Brian. Brilliant.

Louise said...

Brilliant poem ~ that sings/laments the American dream...much the same way here in the Uk really..rich politicians with their expenses..I'll stop before getting angry!! Nice one!

Claudia said...

the American dream - something legendary for us Europeans, glimpsing across the pond seems to get cracks..but the European dream as well..public schools which had high quality a few years back becoming more and more weak - not enough teacher - helpless teacher - not enough money for education in general - and I think if we don't manage to educate our children, our future is dull....great write brian ..found myself humming this song today while grocery shopping..smiles...

Mom said...

Enjoyed this one. Those in politics so out of tune with the majority of us every day American citizens. Wish I thought there was something we could do to make a difference. The older I get the more cynical I become. See that your foot is feeling some better:) Sorry I missed your call.

Dulce said...

awww... it's a contradictory world, this is... in the times of the song we complained about strict(or rather abusing) education... now we complain about it not being good enough, well-paid enough or too good, or...

The pendulum is taking the direction back to where it must, filled with all that a crisis has.. and we'll keep complaining 'cause apparently that's a liberation to us or the best we can do...So much to complain about no matter who fuels that American Dream...

Thought provoking? I would not say so!
Great OSW :-)

annell said...

I need it. Young people need it. Sorry to hear about your foot. Now how did that happen?

Heather said...

another great one - so perfect for todays' world...i agree with above, wish the politicians could read this....enjoy the afternoon!

Heather said...

wait, what happened to your foot????

dustus said...

Bingo. Very powerful and IMO truthful. Appropriate choice to quote The Wall. Great wordplay too.

LauraX said...

I hear our voices singing together with all the children and parents and teachers... this has to change... we sure do need our education!

Vicki Lane said...

Amen, brother.

Reggie said...

Good one Brian...I found myself chuckling through this truth.

Short Poems said...

Great one Brian, so fun to read, but so truthful at the same time!

repressedsoul said...

Floyd put it so eloquently, we're not entitled to an education now, it's too expensive. All in all we're just another brick in the wall mate!

Great writing as usual Brian, you always deliver x

anthonynorth said...

You've expressed the feelings of many - in many countries. And Pink Floyd finished it off perfectly.

Tara Miller said...

This will probably be a never ending battle. I think it's better to let our voices be heard and also be ready to back up what we say by rolling up our sleeves and helping to evoke change where we can. Silence never creates change.

River said...

Oh yes a flash back to Pink Floyd.

Too true.

Anthony Desmond said...

So true & greatly written! Really cool man.

Barbara Shallue said...

Hits it right on the head.

Alan said...

Ah, just when I calmed down from Ohio's senate bill 5. Thanks so much. lol.

Chris G. said...

That classic Brian voice, mourning, yet packed with entertaining tidbits - sounds like the world's lit a fire under you my friend, and I can certainly understand why...but on it goes.

Timoteo said...

The kind of stuff I like.

lori said...

This one is quite remarkable, I must say. Nice Pink Floyd stringing it all together. There's so much greatness here, so it's hard to pick out my favorite part. I'll choose (drum roll, please) the 4th stanza!

Know that I'm leaving hear singing...
...we don't need no education...
:)

Vodka Mom said...

you KICK BUTT!!


I adore it. Fantastic.

Beachanny said...

And you put voice to our fears and tomorrow's headlines will add to them and the litany repeats..why, have mercy, why?

Corbie said...

Brian, a hard truth put to a lyrical poem. It is sad how for some education has to take a backseat just in order to survive. Thank you for sharing such a potent poem.

Steve Isaak said...

This may be one of my favorite poems from it - it's definitely my third - in order of reading - poem in this week's offerings.

Wish I'd written this! ;)

hedgewitch said...

hell yes--it's only a dream if you stay asleep, my friend. I won't tell them you've got it all figured out though--you don't want a visit from the men in black...

secret agent woman said...

the educational divide sure seems to be getting worse all the time.

Pastor Sharon said...

Wow

flaubert said...

Brian, it is a sad state of affairs
with the USA's education system.
Well said.

Pamela

G-Man said...

Thats the reason I've never aspired to middle management...
The rolling downhill thing.
You Da Man!

heartspell said...

rich politicians full of gas, siphoning equality from our world....such a travesty...

Asobime said...

Incredibly powerful poem. Political message that is a social message...but it still doesn't violate 'art'.

The sharpest, leanest and 'true' of poetry.

You could make this an anthem of the revolution.

Lady Nyo

Diana Lee said...

Comment without rhetoric...I like it :) You write brilliantly.

hpicasso said...

call Sully..this could be a Godsmack tune

I can hear it already...LOUD

Peace, hp

Thoughts Not Lost said...

Great commentary, amazing read!

Pat said...

Sometimes the only way to show frustration towards politics without violence is music/writings.

Arts web show said...

Highly political poetry always interests me.
If only someone in government actually read this

lakeviewer said...

Oh yes! Brian, I have lost access to my blogs for a while. So, I'm using another address.Rosaria

TPR said...

I love a political poem. You address an issue that effects so much of us in a very tasteful and classy way. A great one Brian.

James Christopher Sheppard said...

I love the idea of incorporating Pink Floyd lyrics into your poem. Very apt. And unfortunately, a very reflective poem of the worrying times we're living in. Great piece. :)

Charlie Parant said...

Great poem Brian, brilliant, I only hope it doesn't show up in some politician's campaign speech somewhere.

Monkey Man said...

Love the Floyd chorus.

Slamdunk said...

Do politicians get perks? Wow, no wonder they fight tooth and nail to make careers out of it.

Joe Hesch said...

As the husband of a 30-plus year teacher whose school and career were simultaneously shut down, I can attest that education has become a business. I believe it was Coolidge who said the business of America is business and American education has become just another bottom line institution. Well done, Brian. Political without being preachy.Thanks.

Helena said...

On Fire! Gotta love Pink Floyd! Nice Rant! ♥ ஆεlεɳa ~.^
P.S. I appreciate your comments Brian...Thanks for visiting my blog.

Katherine said...

This is a truth that is shared in other corners of this earth too Brian! Thought provoking, emotive read! You master word manipulator, you! :)

Elaine said...

Sadly the truths of this piece are echoed here in Canada too. but hey...at least it's not Libya, or Egypt or....
A good read and a good write!

Celestial Dreamz said...

That's fantastic ... hey wait, there's something really different about this poem but I can't pinpoint what/where ... may be the word play or the style ... I am so tempted to try something similar :) all the best.

Olivia said...

I agree with North!

I thought such was the situation only in my country..
Alas! The confusion, corruption rules everywhere it seems..

You have given a very vivid picture but it is so sad and ugly :(

Peace

Carl said...

I loved this one. It is a great draw into the topic, makes wonderful points without anger. If we're not listening to Pink Floyd, hopefully we're listening to you!

V. Furnas said...

LOVED IT! Amazing movement, embedded meaning and a dizzying swirl of prose.

KB said...

Love a bit of Flloyd.

Dasuntoucha said...

...perhaps they should just lower
the graduation age of working
class children to get them
producing the revenue streams
they need to fuel their American
dreams---


...eff'n genius lines...*applause*

haikulovesongs said...

great work. very powerful.

kenny said...

...to..fuel...those...american...dreams.

Alright, it's excellent! I have a huge smile on my face, original, fresh, indignant, strong, clever, and that device...that song...

Good stuff, excellent!

Zuzana said...

I love how you can write a romantic love poem one day and then criticize the political system and the society next.
I have to say that this line made me chuckle:
sh(can you hear)it
Have a great midweek dear Brian,
xoxo

Aquarius63 said...

Thought provoking and so well penned, Great one Brian.

Anita.

Kavita said...

As brilliant and powerful a write as ever, B!!
I vote for cutting the big bad politicians' salaries by 80% (not just 8)!! :))

And oh.. I LOVED the Floydian refrain... couldn't have been any more perfect than that!! You totally ROCK, B... (pun)

only a movie said...

Well done, Brian!! The decision makers are not very child centered these days... sigh.

Jerry said...

politically punchy...good one...take it to our leaders.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

I ♥ your poetry.

blueoran said...

I think it's very hard to keep to Beauty in verse when there is such hard circumstance falling on so many ... It's good to see a poem show a proper gnash of teeth. -- Brendan

Lorraine said...

This is not fiction, it's true, every word..everywhere. everywhere. How do we fix it, can we reunite and say no more, I'm not bying anything but food. Food would then become the Gold of the Future, people would die, but upfront where no one can hide...ok I admit what I just wrote is beyond weird, but I think you get that

Old Ollie said...

Miller - you bring in a lot of cool elements. FLOYD!

Carl said...

Well done, Brian. "Whose American dreams?" I hear you.

Syd said...

I so agree. And why do so many go like sheep right along with it all and pull that lever to keep those who don't care about their well being in power? We are going off the cliff fast.

natalee said...

we need to send this to nj 's gov

adeeyoyo said...

Oh sometimes I despair that 'they' will ever see sense! Excellent verse, Brian. Couldn't be better (if we could only MAKE 'them' read it).

adeeyoyo said...

And not just American Dreams!

Ben said...

That's some pretty sharp and eloquent social commentary. I like it! "euthanize the waining days." Sad but so true.

lizziviggi said...

Yes, clearly the way to catch up with the rapidly accelerating rest of the world is to go on bickering and blundering blindly. God forbid we should actually learn from other countries' examples. No, dammit! We're AMERICAN! Your poem is a perfect snapshot of where our country is right now. Sad.

Heather said...

Nice. I liked sh(can you hear)it
Innovative.

Pete Marshall said...

not just the "american dream" but THE DREAM..this crosses continents...loved the Floyd....really good poem Bri...top form here...pete

the walking man said...

Don't excuse my language Brian...but when you get into the fucking fight you fight very very well!

CM said...

Dang. Wow. Good. Let your voice be heard for the rest of us whose kids will never be in private schools. Thanks.

JL Dodge said...

Love the word pay in this one Brian,
'sh(can you hear)it'
wonderful use of words throughout !

JL Dodge said...

Love the word pay in this one Brian,
'sh(can you hear)it'
wonderful use of words throughout !

Hilary said...

Another fine piece of work. You seem to have a bottomless well of brilliant ways to express yourself poetically.

JL Dodge said...

wonderful word play here Brian !

Jannie Funster said...

We don't need no thought control, that's for sure! But teachers should be paid much much more for what they do.

AWESOME poem.

As usual!!

xoxo

Natasha said...

Whether or not you even find these words amongst such an overwhelming reaction will be the question of the day I think. How many of us are right there with you...working harder than most, earning less than officials paid by the taxes they claw back off our meager earnings. Do you know that in the state of Main, 55% of the working population is paid by the government? How are we supposed to get money for programs, education, the arts, when it would mean these very people, with their overinflated salaries would have to take a pay cut? We don't need no education, we need a riot throughout our nations! (Sorry, payback) Governments are supposed to represent US, protect US, see to it that no child goes to bed hungry, no man has to deal with the confidence killing unemployment lines, no woman has to suffer at the hands of an abuser for the sake of a roof over her head. My oh my...I could fill a book with my thoughts on this piece, but should leave room for others. A write that has inturn, fueled my own pen. (The fact that I also love Pink Floyd has absolutely nothing to do with it) I'll just keep to my little black book with my poems in it...and step off my soapbox now. Sorry!

dopey said...

Love Love Love it!!!

Raven said...

Love the way the words fit together

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Sing it!

rhymetime(aka Pat) said...

Wow just have to say, looks like you made Natasha's day.
As she went on a big rant throwing out a curve, think you hit a nerve?..haha

Eric 'Bubba' Alder said...

You don't need no thought control, Brian. No, wait, you DO need no thought control!

(Darned double-negatives!)

Nice One Shot!

James Rainsford said...

Very perceptive and skilfully constructed. As an ex-teacher I found much here that is familiar. You have an evocative and persuasive voice in this poem. Great job!

Nancy said...

Bravo!!!

Kim Nelson said...

Quite an indictment of modern politics and our lack of value for kids and education, Brian.

dianne said...

Love it! And I had to smile at the sh(can't you hear it)it! My sister and I used to um, use expletives like this when we were kids . . . Electric Company style!! Someone said it well here . . . "whose" American dreams?

Well done.

ayala said...

Brilliant, Brian.

JH_Poetry said...

Love the little lyrics in between,(smhs) what makes sense...good message. Nice!

Who Is Afraid of Alfred Hitchcock? said...

Hi! Brian...
What a great (poetic)oh-so-true political statement...I especially, like this verse or words..."take a hose to my verse just to beat some sense out of it or into Guantanamo Geronimo look out below..."
Thanks, for sharing the entire poem.
DeeDee ;-D

Shewriting said...

amen to that! send this to the editor of some national paper - heck, send to all of the national newspapers. well, penned, brian.

Belinda said...

You need a megaphone for this, Brian. And yes, we most certainly need to re-define our priorities and root our corruption where we can. And as Americans, we most certainly need to personalize our American dreams. I just love when you get going on these issues!

Joanne said...

All the right stories to make this one hit home. Love the italic chorus to tie it all together. The American Dream as con game (which it is).

liv2write2day said...

The unique voice of this one is what captivated me.

Glynn said...

Social commentary - lines that jar us awake. Good poem, Brian.

Luke Prater said...

sociopolitical comment... love it..I write a lot of it also... I have to say when I first saw you using a songline (albeit by my favourite rock band ever), I nearly stumbled... songlines in poetry rarely if ever work for me... bravo on this, it slotted in there perfectly. I think it was the fact that it was short enough, and used enough times as a refrain, also that you put [sing] in front of it, consciously telling the reader "this is a line from a song", rather than just putting it in speech marks. The Narrative Voice is very strong in most places, and the statement is incisive and acerbic, driven with intelligence and wit. I found the first half particularly good. Love the play on 'sh(...)it'. One of many highlights. Last line or two perhaps redundant? Whatever, really fine work and in truth my favourite Waystation One to date. Floats mah boat, baby.

Warmest Salad

Luke

Big Sur Blogisphere said...

I found the American Dream
Along the side of the road.
It was having apoplectic seizures
Laying on its side like a horse
Kickin' its legs and shitting all over itself
Weird sounds emerged from its half closed throat
Plaintive, enraged and choked
Packaged gifts lay strewn around the body
Some were being crushed by the flailing animal
Others sat as mute testimony to the failed system
Where promises ended up not being kept.
Other bystanders began to gather for the death throes
The witnesses stood silently watching
Finally, a guy with a beard and camou pants
Walked up the the American Dream
And pulled put a revolver
And put the creature out of its misery

Tiger

JaneBeNimble said...

Ooooh, my eyes are stinging. ;) (That's a compliment.) Excellent One Shot, Brian. I enjoyed the form. Wow, you are rocking it.
~xo

Rachel Hoyt said...

Awesome poem! Excellent thoughtful message. :)

arspoetica said...

too much truth here for comfort; the power in this brings back the notion that poetry can be the wheel that greases revolution...

The Retired One said...

Absolutely, Brian!!!

Don't Want A Real Job said...

You knew that I would like this one Brian. Great commentary. As someone who used to work in higher education, I feel...I feel...I feel that you nailed this one. Cheers for sharing.

violet said...

I'd love to hear you read this aloud.

Madeleine Begun Kane said...

A fine example of political poetry.

trisha said...

its the same story everywhere brian. i wonder why people spend their hard earned money on politicians (most of them are useless).

Sarah Tuttle-Singer. Yes, That's My Real Name. (Hi Dad.) said...

powerful. very very powerful. not that i expect anything less from you.

Liza Ursu said...

"euthanize the waining days"
i dig that line, and the ending is killer.

Rebecca S. said...

Wow! I was singing along, but I think it was a hip-hop re-mix of the Wall. Powerful.

Carys said...

Great piece of political commentary Brian. Can so connect with this one, despite being the other side of the pond. I'm a teacher working in community based adult education. We're in the middle of a recession where people are losing their jobs at an alarming rate and need retraining and what do they do - they cut the Adult Ed budget - genius!

Marla said...

Makes me sick to think of what we value today and what we no longer count worthy. Nicely done, Brian.