American Idyll, poem by Robert Hill Long

      Sometimes Robinson, tainting his fingers
      or cauterizing eyeballs with what
      passes for Imperial Americana news,
      wishes he had taken up
      the bazooka, not the guitar.

      Another presidential-invasion press conference?
      Kaboom! A Humvee-equipped American Idol
      winner embellishing a Wal-Mart’s So-Californicated
      ribbon-cutting? Kazow! If Robinson can
      sling a nine-pound Les Paul

      how hard can it be
      to shoulder RPG or Stinger
      and fire the opening salvoes
      in a campaign to exterminate
      the idiots who make news,

      make policy, make America safely
      moronic racist evangelist-ridden profit-driveling warmongers?
      Maybe more guitarists will join
      once Robinson’s surface-to-air fireballs
      Air Force One, maybe they’ll

      trade Stratocasters for homegrown jihad,
      replete with black-market Israeli weaponry,
      inspiring their stadium-rock fans
      to apply their sentimental Zippos
      to Molotovs tossed at SUVs

      on freeways from Corpus Christi
      to Anaheim. “Let’s roll!” Robinson
      mutters at his television, connected
      via Big Brother’s omnipotent cable
      to every oversized TV tuned

      into American Idol’s finals tonight.
      Maybe the National Security Agency’s
      paranoia-splendored plan to tap
      each and every citizen’s boobtube
      is operative ahead of schedule

      and its bugging insufficiently debugged
      to permit Robsinson’s reverse broadcast!
      If Robinson yells “Let’s roll!”
      loud enough, he’ll be heard
      over Paula Abdul and whatever
      tearjerking teen chanteuse is irritating
      Simon Cowell’s facial hemorrhoids! Truly,
      what’s the worst that can
      come of an obscure middle-aged
      guitarist berating the shining face

      of his nation’s real god?
      A knock on the door.
      Not NSA or FBI, just
      Officer Rouse, Wrightsville Beach Police.
      “Mister Robinson? The neighbors called.

      They’re afraid you were experiencing
      a seizure, or being robbed.
      Hey, is that American Idol?
      Do you mind?” Chastened Robinson
      offers Officer Rouse a beer,

      a seat before the glowing throne.

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Toni Calvello