Leopold Friedman


O sin O corruption O sin O sin
O smiling America O sweet blond America
O golden-joyed and white-toothed America
O land of birds and fresh grasses
and teeming families soaking up the suburban sun
like so many maggots enjoying a Sunday outing
on the hot carcass of humanity
how you reek and rot

In your spacious backyards with freshly-mown lawns
strewn with plastic beach balls striped red white blue
and wooden rifles and cowboy hats
and black feathers plucked victoriously
from the red man’s headdress
In your cavernous houses
silent and full of skeletons
In your polished movie theaters and chrome dreams
In your bedrooms stained with sweet-toothed sweet-smelling
teeth-rotting lechery

Your sons kill small animals and your daughters play in traffic
The thick tires of your trucks crush butterflies
Your white picket fences impale innocent mouths
O the infection, America
There is a rash and you must not scratch
but O how you yearn to claw at yourself

Claw your eyes out, America

Between wide smiles there are flashes of
something horrible
foul as steaming bile
That something is called the Happy Family
It is clean and white
and its hair is nice and neat
and its collar is impeccable
and its patterned necktie hisses Thank You Have a Nice Day
and it consumes expensive coffee

In your churches God laughs at you
He wishes you were dead
You who strangle smiles
who eat the dead
who put your hand on your heart and cry
O Beautiful
America the Beautiful
From Sea to Shining Sea O Spacious Skies
You who thrust hot lust into the soft red untested hearts of girls
who love your apple-pie boys your baseball boys
your homerun touchdown great job champ boys
love them so much that you choke them with candy and bullets




Leopold Friedman is a writer of poetry and prose, a student of history, and a devotee of the Gothic and the Shakespearean. He lives in New England and can be reached by howling into the void – or, more reliably, at