What I Can’t Say at My Neighbor’s Party Looking at a Map of the United States by Scott T. Starbuck

What I Can’t Say at My Neighbor’s Party Looking at a Map of the United States

Scott T. Starbuck

Texas is, and always has always been, an upside down shark eating Mexico.
Florida is a phallic reminder of how the nation got screwed – twice.
And who can forget Louisiana getting the boot during Katrina with all those families on roofs?

I lived in California during Enron deregulation where code names “Fat Boy. Death Star.
Get Shorty” made us the laughingstock of the nation, and for those with no air conditioning in
August, we were a giant handle connected to everything in this country, and nothing.

I recalled Our Lady of Guadalupe School in Hermosa Beach where
it was “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all” while California flapped
its red star and brown bear.

No one said anything about Mexican families dying of thirst or hypothermia
in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts, and mountain areas, trying to get across the border.
Instead, all eyes were fixed on Christ, white as Wonder Bread with its red, yellow, and blue balloons

like crayons melting into Redondo’s Saltwater Pool,
or we stared at the mighty Pacific with her bikinis, surfboards, and steel-blue fish.


© Scott T. Starbuck


Scott T. StarbuckScott T. Starbuck. My poems are activist or Pacific Northwest nature-themed. In poetry and claywork I focus on the clash between ancient sustaining life forces like wild salmon rivers with modern industrial lives. Sometimes I feel like my colleagues and I adopted too much of the Prime Directive principle from old versions of Star Trek, and not enough raw honesty, or put another way, not enough of Emerson’s “rude truth.” I mean The National Poetry Series accepting support from Exxon is like God asking Satan if he can spare some change for the cause. My blog “Trees, Fish, and Dreams” is at riverseek.blogspot.com.