When I saw Alix Olson perform, she told a story about how she was once invited to perform this poem at a political event (I think it was a labor union rally of some kind), and realized that this was perhaps perhaps her only piece that doesn't explicitly mention being a lesbian. Though she realized at the time that the omission was probably why this particular poem was requested, that didn't stop her from composing and performing a new rant for the occasion: the equally fierce and political but unambiguous in its sexuality "Dear Mr. President". Still, "America's On Sale" is a quality rant, challenging, ambitious, catchy, and far-reaching in its scope, even if its lack of overt dyke content might make it more palatable to some audiences.

America's On Sale

attention 9 to 5 folk, cell-phone masses,
the "up and coming" classes,
attention sports-utility,
plastic-surgery suburbanites,
viagra-popping, Gucci-shopping urbanites,
attention George Clooney loonies,
Promise Keeper sheep,
stockbroker sleep-walkers,
big investment talkers,
Ricki Lake-watchers,
attention Walmart congregation,
shop til you drop generation,

we've unstocked the welfare pantry
to restock the Wall Street gentry
it's economically elementary,
cause values don't pay,
yes, American dreams are on permanent layaway,
(there was limited availability anyway)
so the Statue of Liberty's being dismantled,
$10 a piece to sit on your mantle or hang on your wall
by the small Somalian child
you bought from Sally Struthers
sisters and brothers, it's now or never,
these deals won't last forever
(restrictions may apply if you're black, gay or female.)

and shoppers,
global perspective is ninety-nine percent off
cause most of the world don't count to us
our ethic inventory's low
cause moral business has been slow,
yes, the values-company is moving to Mexico
it's a remote control America that's on sale
cause standing up for justice couldn't compare
to clicking through it from a lazy chair:
Answer: jerry, montel, oprah
Question: folks who really care. . . . for $1,000,000,000
in this new mcveggie burger world order
where the mainstream scene has an alternative theme.
sugar daddy and ginger spice and all cultures spliced,
that's what music is made of when

national health care's one-hundred percent off!!
and medicare's in the 50% bin,
so you can buy half an operation
and there's a close-out bid to determine
which religion will win
all the neon flashing signs of sin
the Christian Coalition is bidding high
shoppers, you ask WHY?
who needs a higher power when you've got purchasing
power to corner and market
one human mold.
that's right—real family values are being UNDERSOLD!!

and it's open hunting season for the NRA!
so there's a special uzi discount—only today!
Gun control?? We say—
black bear, black man, blow em both away!
and the Giuliani welfare mamas are on the auction block again,
we're closing out this country the way we began.
so step up for our fastest selling commodity
no waiting lines for HIV,
condoms and needle-exchange are a hard to sell thing (to the right wing)
so if you're a druggie or a fag
rent-to-own your own body bag NOW!

we're selling fast to the AT&T CEO,
he's stealing all utilities, he doesn't pass go,
and collects $1,000,000 anyway,
he's the Monopoly winner
cause he bought the whole board
and we bought the whole game
now no price is the same!
cause inflation's up on the CEO ego
and power's deflated as far as we go:
cause Nike bought the revolution
and law schools bought the constitution,
and tommy hilfiger bought the red, white, and blue,
a flag shirt for fifty dollars,
the one who's being burned is you!
Marlboro bought what it means to be a man
and Lexus equals power—get it while you can
and Maybelline bought beauty
and new york's buying rudy
and Mastercard gold's bought the national soul
Broadway bought talent and called it CATS!
the Republicans bought out the Democrats
they liquidated all asses in a fat white donkey sale—
now it's buy one shmuck, get one shmuck free
in the capitalist party!

and there's nothing left to get in the way
of a full blue-light blow-out
of the U.S. of A.!
there's a no-nothing back guarantee.
a zero-year warranty,
when you buy this land of the Fritos, Ruffles, Lays,
this home of the braves and the reds and the slaves!
so call 1-800 i don't care about shit
or www.FUCK ALL OF IT.
to receive your credit for the fate of our nation—
interest is at an alltime low

so with these sales-pitching verses
i should win for customer service
i'm like CRAZY EDDIE—
where the almighty dollars sparkle and shine,
this Starbucks Land that's yours and mine.
but America's selling fast shoppers,
cause America's been downsized, citizens,
and you're all fired.

—copyright Alix Olson,

Please see my writeup about Alix Olson for my correspondence regarding permission to reproduce this work on E2.

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