I was travelling in America in October and while I was there I did this poem at Chicago's famous Uptown Poetry Slam, 'where slam began', which was a fab night, go there if you can! Well I had to didn't I? This poem is about my fascinations and contradictions about that great nation, partly why I was there. (The photo is me, there, honest, just taken on my rubbish mobile.)
by Emma Decent 2009
Part 1 - homage
I love America.
I don’t know why
you’re a mysterious girl
for all your brashness.
Still, you’ve something.
I want to go to America and fly the flag,
fly it like a flying carpet,
and look into suburban gardens
and endless cornfields,
grubby parking lots
and abandoned drive-ins.
I wanna be Laura Ingalls.
Little House on the Prairie
in a covered wagon,
with Ma and Pa
and a bonnet on my head.
I wanna be a cowboy,
no, an Indian,
no, Bonnie and Clyde
with my partner in crime
sat at a dusty gas station
in the middle of nowhere
and an old man in a battered hat looking at me
like in ‘Thelma and Louise’.
A battered dusty baseball cap
rolling down the road
like tumbleweed in the wind
or the turbulence of monster trucks.
The American dream.
Part 2 - the real thing
There is a magic potion
that can make you dream the American dream.
When I drink Coca-Cola
the sun comes out
and the children on my Lancashire street
stop swearing and screaming
and become full of colour and light.
Their teeth are white.
The grey streets of England clear of traffic
and people of every nation turn to each other
and hold each other’s hands.
Coke tastes like flying over a beautiful, benevolent land
in a hot air balloon.
It makes everything better.
All my friends look younger and more beautiful.
They like me better
and we have more fun.
Coca-Cola helps us to see all things the same,
and so, there is peace at last.
A Coke bottle makes a good weapon
an instrument of torture if used correctly.
Oh let me beat you over the head with this Coke bottle!
And I promise,
all will be well.
Part 3 - the end
Everything is big in America,
they have the biggest of everything.
Roads and prairies that go on forever
Skyscrapers and orange mountains.
And they have the biggest rubbish dump in the world,
have you heard?
Floating right there between California and Hawaii
Twice the size of Texas, yessir!
Fifty years of throwaway washed into the sea.
Where Coca-Cola bottle tops bump up against
He-Man’s mighty plastic thigh.
Barbie head, cut mohican style
by a rebel girl, 1984.
Pepsi bottle, water bottle
Shard of Bakelite radio, 1959.
A Macdonalds cup all the way from Japan!
The biggest snowglobe in the world,
the blue Pacific mixed with
a billion pieces of sea-worn plastic
every colour of the man-made world
of no more use, no more purpose
That will never settle.
I wish I could be famous enough to be made of plastic.
Celebrity moulded forever into a doll.
Tom Cruise, Farrah Fawcett, Sonny and Cher, Paris Hilton.
Then one day I could swim with all those bright stars in the Pacific too.
I wanna be a part of it!
An American dream come true.