The American Way

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I am a great American
I am almost nationalistic about it!
I love America like a madness!
But I am afraid to return to America
I’m even afraid to go into the American Express—


They are frankensteining Christ in America
 in their Sunday campaigns
They are putting the fear of Christ in America
 under their tents in their Sunday campaigns
They are driving old ladies mad with Christ in America
They are televising the gift of healing and the fear of hell
 in America under their tents in their Sunday 
They are leaving their tents and are bringing their Christ
 to the stadiums of America in their Sunday
They are asking for a full house an all get out
 for their Christ in the stadiums of America
They are getting them in their Sunday and Saturday 
They are asking them to come forward and fall on their
 because they are all guilty and they are coming
 in guilt and are falling on their knees weeping their 
 begging to be saved O Lord O Lord in their Monday 
 Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 and Sunday campaigns


It is a time in which no man is extremely wondrous 
It is a time in which rock stupidity
 outsteps the 5th Column as the sole enemy in America
It is a time in which ignorance is a good Ameri-cun 
 ignorance is excused only where it is so 
 it is not so in America
Man is not guilty Christ is not to be feared
I am telling you the American Way is a hideous monster 
 eating Christ making Him into Oreos and Dr. Pepper 
 the sacrament of its foul mouth
I am telling you the devil is impersonating Christ in America 
America’s educators & preachers are the mental-dictators
 of false intelligence they will not allow America
 to be smart
 they will only allow death to make America smart 
Educators & communicators are the lackeys of the 
 American Way
They enslave the minds of the young
 and the young are willing slaves (but not for long) 
 because who is to doubt the American Way 
 is not the way?
The duty of these educators is no different 
 than the duty of a factory foreman
Replica production make all the young think alike 
 dress alike believe alike do alike
Togetherness this is the American Way
The few great educators in America are weak & helpless 
They abide and so uphold the American Way
Wars have seen such men they who despised things about
 but did nothing and they are the most dangerous 
Dangerous because their intelligence is not denied 
 and so give faith to the young
 who rightfully believe in their intelligence 
Smoke this cigarette doctors smoke this cigarette 
 and doctors know

Educators know but they dare not speak their know 
The victory that is man is made sad in this fix 
Youth can only know the victory of being born
 all else is stemmed until death be the final victory
 and a merciful one at that
If America falls it will be the blame of its educators 
 preachers communicators alike
America today is America’s greatest threat
We are old when we are young
America is always new the world is always new 
The meaning of the world is birth not death
Growth gone in the wrong direction
The true direction grows ever young
In this direction what grows grows old
A strange mistake a strange and sad mistake 
 for it has grown into an old thing
 while all else around it is new
Rockets will not make it any younger—
And what made America decide to grow?
I do not know I can only hold it to the strangeness in man 
And America has grown into the American Way—
To be young is to be ever purposeful limitless 
To grow is to know limit purposelessness
Each age is a new age
How outrageous it is that something old and sad
 from the pre-age incorporates each new age—
Do I say the Declaration of Independence is old?
Yes I say what was good for 1789, is not good for 1960 
It was right and new to say all men were created equal
 because it was a light then
But today it is tragic to say it
 today it should be fact—
Man has been on earth a long time
One would think with his mania for growth
 he would, by now, have outgrown such things as 
 constitutions manifestos codes commandments 
 that he could well live in the world without them 
 and know instinctively how to live and be 
 —for what is being but the facility to love?
Was not that the true goal of growth, love?
Was not that Christ?
But man is strange and grows where he will
 and chalks it all up to Fate whatever be—
America rings with such strangeness
It has grown into something strange and
 the American is good example of this mad growth 
The boy man big baby meat
 as though the womb were turned backwards 
 giving birth to an old man
The victory that is man does not allow man
 to top off his empirical achievement with death 
The Aztecs did it by yanking out young hearts
 at the height of their power
The Americans are doing it by feeding their young to the 
For it was not the Spaniard who killed the Aztec
 but the Aztec who killed the Aztec
Rome is proof Greece is proof all history is proof 
Victory does not allow degeneracy
It will not be the Communists will kill America
 no but America itself—
The American Way that sad mad process
 is not run by any one man or organization 
It is a monster born of itself existing of its self
The men who are employed by this monster
 are employed unknowingly
They reside in the higher echelons of intelligence 
They are the educators the psychiatrists the ministers
 the writers the politicians the communicators
 the rich the entertainment world
And some follow and sing the Way because they sincerely 
 believe it to be good
And some believe it holy and become minutemen in it 
Some are in it simply to be in
And most are in it for gold
They do not see the Way as monster
They see it as the “Good Life”
What is the Way?
The Way was born out of the American Dream 
 a nightmare—
The state of Americans today compared to the Americans 
 of the 18th century proves the nightmare—
Not Franklin not Jefferson who speaks for America today 
 but strange red-necked men of industry 
 and the goofs of show business
Bizarre! Frightening! The Mickey Mouse sits on the throne 
 and Hollywood has a vast supply—
Could grammar school youth seriously look upon
 a picture of George Washington and “Herman Borst” 
 the famous night club comedian together at Valley 
Old old and decadent gone the dignity
 the American sun seems headed for the grave
O that youth might raise it anew!
The future depends solely on the young 
The future is the property of the young 
What the young know the future will know 
What they are and do the future will be and do 
What has been done must not be done again 
Will the American Way allow this? 
I see in every American Express
 and in every army center in Europe
 I see the same face the same sound of voice
 the same clothes the same walk 
I see mothers & fathers
 no difference among them
They not only speak and walk and think alike 
 they have the same face!
What did this monstrous thing?
What regiments a people so?
How strange is nature’s play on America 
Surely were Lincoln alive today
 he could never be voted President not with his 
Indeed Americans are babies all in the embrace
 of Mama Way
Did not Ike, when he visited the American Embassy in
 Paris a year ago, say to the staff—“Everything is fine, 
 just drink Coca Cola, and everything will be all right.” 
 This is true, and is on record
Did not American advertising call for TOGETHERNESS? 
 not orgiasticly like today’s call 
 nor as means to stem violence 
 This is true, and is on record.
Are not the army centers in Europe ghettos? 
 They are, and O how sad how lost!
The PX newsstands are filled with comic books
The army movies are always Doris Day 
What makes a people huddle so? 
Why can’t they be universal?
Who has smalled them so?
This is serious! I do not mock or hate this
 I can only sense some mad vast conspiracy! 
Helplessness is all it is!
They are caught caught in the Way—
And those who seek to get out of the Way 
 can not
The Beats are good example of this 
They forsake the Way’s habits
 and acquire for themselves their own habits
And they become as distinct and regimented and lost
 as the main flow
 because the Way has many outlets
 like a snake of many tentacles—
There is no getting out of the Way
The only way out is the death of the Way
And what will kill the Way but a new consciousness 
Something great and new and wonderful must happen
 to free man from this beast
It is a beast we can not see or even understand
For it be the condition of our minds
God how close to science fiction it all seems!
As if some power from another planet
 incorporated itself in the minds of us all
It could well be!
For as I live I swear America does not seem like America 
 to me

Americans are a great people
I ask for some great and wondrous event
 that will free them from the Way
 and make them a glorious purposeful people once 
I do not know if that event is due deserved
 or even possible
I can only hold that man is the victory of life
And I hold firm to American man

I see standing on the skin of the Way
 America to be as proud and victorious as St. 
 Michael on the neck of the fallen Lucifer—

© Gregory Corso