Foul

(If Ginsberg had written greeting cards)

by Jon Wesick

I
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed
           by banality, brain-dead rose-scented
dragging themselves through teddy-bear aisles at dawn
           looking for desperate birthday cards.
Blue-haired grannies burning with the ancient hormonal connection
           to syrupy verse in the cogs and wheels of commerce,
whose bone loss lightens bodies for ecstatic hot-flash-fueled flights of bliss,
whose sweater sleeves bulge with tissues numerous as the diaphanous wings
           of an infinitude of angels,
who journeyed to Indian casinos, ate buffets at Indian casinos,
           abandoned Indian Casinos for Vegas, and now bingo cards
           long for their heroic pens,
who never drive faster than their angels can fly, which is 20 mph slower
           than the limit in the left-hand lane.


II
What poodle of clichés and bad rhymes hollowed out their skulls and poured
           Metamucil on their imaginations?
Moloch! Political correctness! Low-carb, feel-good emotions! Sacred cows fouling
           the streams of thought! Countless Chicken Soup books! Office workers
           comatose after endless sensitivity training!
Moloch whose mouth emits a flood of Republican talking points! Moloch whose
           teeth are the soulless gray cubicles of Madison Avenue.
Moloch! Moloch! The Far Side and Dilbert cards have been removed.
They broke their backs lifting Care Bears to Heaven.
Visons! dreams! inspiration! drowned in a festering swamp of platitudes.


III
Maya Angelou! I'm with you at Hallmark
           where merchants cash in on your name.
I'm with you at Hallmark
           where customers gag on the stench of perfume.
I'm with you at Hallmark
           where our electric words wake shoppers from their comas
           O ancient legions run to the poetry aisles of your independent bookstore
           O unknown writers forget your day jobs we're free.
I'm with you at Hallmark
           in my dream you ride dripping with dollars on a bus tour through America
           to a guest spot on Oprah on a warm Chicago night.

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