Back in 2005, when I was still trying to adjust to life outside of corporate journalism, I dabbled in spoken word poetry; writing and reciting political poems on stage for politically pissed-off crowds in venues throughout Miami’s inner city.
This was right after Bush’s reelection so I viewed poetry as an outlet for the political rage I was feeling at the time.
And this was, of course, before I discovered the joy of blogging. Before I was arrested and found myself obsessing about something other than Bush and his war.
Yesterday’s story about a Walmart worker getting trampled to death by a mob of crazed shoppers in New York prompted me to dig up a poem I wrote on Black Friday 2005, which almost could have been written yesterday. In fact, I have not changed a single word before posting it here.
It’s not my best poem but it was probably the quickest poem I’ve ever wrote, considering I banged it out in minutes after reading an article from the BBC that was reporting news that wasn’t being reported by the American media.
Black Friday 2005
Black Friday was celebrated in the usual way this year
With frenzied crowds converging upon shopping malls
And frantic shoppers mauling one another over bargain deals
A nation bloated and gorged by consumerism
On this sacred day following Turkey Day
Meanwhile, the fighting continued overseas
That old war we won in 2003
If you believed the commander-in-chief
When he proclaimed Mission Accomplished
The end to heavy fighting
But on this beautiful Black Friday
The media was doing its job of ignoring the war
While portraying us a nation unified
As we scratched and clawed for the latest version
Of whatever it was sweeping the nation
Meanwhile on an overseas website
An underexposed story
Told about an overextended army
That came under heavy gunfire
Pushing the death toll over 2100
But back home, there was no talk of the six troops killed on Turkey Day.
There was no need to damper the true spirit of the USA
As patriotic colors adorned warmongering patrons
Who stormed the stores and ransacked racks
Trampling the weak while plundering their goods