Matador Review

A Quarterly Missive of Alternative Concern

todd fuller

american cannibalism:

Whiskey Vs. Beer, Or Fixing To Vs. Goin' SouthQuick

- after Juvenal

"That's right: the illusion is called 'The American Dream,'
because you have to be asleep to believe it"
- George Carlin

(The bullet I'm imagining is a gift meant
For your redneck Budweiser® Hole
/ Is from Central Oklahoma
With a liquid brother
From  Kentucky):

Part 1:  by Jake Shooter

(1st shot) / wince / exhale
Tonight, this is my whiskey,
And I'm screaming like drunk
To the only asshole who can
Hear me: (& that's me / 2nd shot)
I'm drinking until the darkness
Is gone. So, I'm writing these
Words like they're arrows meant
For each kind of hateful moment,
For each instance of unjustified
Fear (3rd shot). // It's like this:
(My fists air-punching all over
The air [tonight]) How'd you
Become so /so / so/ so afraid of
Yourself, America? (4th shot)
What part of We the People is so
Confounding? What part of We
Excludes any one (of us)? This
Means, I'm drinking until we
Come to an understanding (5th
Shot): // Right now, I'm half-way
Through my own 2nd edition of
Our American Civil War. (6th
Shot) & Not one of those wordy
Culture wars either – but, the
Kind where we blast the tar &
Feathers out of ourselves. I can
See it all: & it begins with love (or
Its impulsive kin, lust). It happens
On either side of the coasts/ state /
Or river: (7th shot) How our eyes
Purr as we fall (hard) for well-
Defined curves of those lips,
Hips, & wrists – all those funky
Combos of sex & genetics made
Perfectly manifest across 1000
Generations. And all our mixed-
Blood babies, with their Holy /
Mocha hearts, lift their faces to
The sun, become blossom burst
Drumbeat popsicle rainbow eyes –  
Beautiful. (And now, there you
Are, all moping-in-your-beer mopey
About changing demographics,
Which have never been pure.)
So now, here we are – all filled
With perfect American cannibal-
Ism, without spaces to heal or
Pause. And now, your most
Most sinister of inventions
(Race) will finally eat the last
Breath of your (settler/colonial)
Mal-intentions. & It serves you
Right, after you built your tongues
And continents on boats / Upon
Oceans & removals / On forced
Migrations & chains / Upon the
Bodies of ancestors of ancestors
Of our babies and their ancestors.
(8th shot) And on rolls the war
(And the wars of our ancestors
With mules, mud & munitions)
On it rolls with the reverb of
Shock events that register along
The creases of our DNA. Yet,
You still play baseball on/above
Boneyards. & Now you will be
Those war-torn mothers / you'll
Carry shrapnel-ghouls in your
Eyes – the angels of your kids
& Their bones – a weepy story
For media in the Middle East &
Those elsewhere to see how the
Emrika/U.S.A./Estados Unidos
Dissolve aroun' narratives of self
& Hatred: The bullet/the bullet/
The bullet/the bullet/the bullet.
This is our national suicide un-
Folding on each camera phone.
(9th shot) So stop using my $
To kill our brothers & sisters.
We are now a movement of
Folks going toward or away
From the fuse, from hope. &
There are no whispers quiet
Enough to calm the rage of
Our patriotic self-mutilation.
Because I see you and yours
Throwing red & black roses
At Hitler's ghost.* Just like
You see me & mine making
Offerings to MLK's memorial.
I see infinite separations of
Limbs from torsos. I see eyes
Detached from their owners'
Sockets & rolling down alley-
Ways. I see our knife-sliced
American throat spilling open
Across the Great Plains and
Deltas, and all our terrestrial
Eco-regions. I see colors dying
And borders dissolving. I don't
See God on either side either.
No God for either one. Not
After all the spiteful bullets /
Acerbic bombs / bitter firing
Squads / vitriolic surveillance /
Rancorous words / malicious
Techno-bio-warfare / cruel
Billy clubs up-side the head &
Knees / not after the caustic jets
Tanks & missiles engaging fire.
(10th shot) And I see centuries
Of spilled N8tv* blood rising
& Resurrecting up beaded roots.
I see the land – its story&breath –
Returning to its 1st kindness /
Detoxified of each genocide, of
Each eco-assault. So, now is the
Apocalypse we feared in the 80s.
Now is one heartbreaking diatribe
After another; one failed attempt
After another to listen & talk, to
Engage respect. We are 2 hands
Trying to fit in 1 glove. We are
Each invited to the new age of
The our-your (mis)Anthropocene.*
And America's funeral will not be
Well-attended. (The round world
& Expanding universe will not
Miss your immature chants of
U. S. A. at every Olympic event.)
// The well-worn paths between
Neighbors & neighborhoods &
-villes & -burgs & angels will be-
Come anti-anything-to-do-with
Respect or mind or good deeds –
Anti-everything. Welcome to
The anti-Republic / to the sooty
Apparition formerly known as the
(Yours Truly) Nation with its gray-
Hearted shadowy trace suffocating
Every square inch of thefted land.
Welcome to the Apocalypse 101,
Which includes this 1 shot of air
For all to share and breathe. But
This – this is my whiskey, and
I'm Saturday night hollerin' from
My lawn chair pulpit, and I'm
Just getting started. (11th shot)
This is my armed resistance.
I will not surrender my country.
I will not surrender my pulse. I
Will not allow any child's dream
To be surrendered to phantom
Fantasies of (white) supremacy.
I will not surrender one kiss from
My baby's lips – those save your
lips - which busted my sad,
Forlorn days into so-happiness.
I have no surrender inside me.
'Cause I've shot manifest destiny
In her left breast and his right
Nut.* I've killed your long/long
Doctrine of discovery* with a
Slice through the (ouch my) eyes.
To hell with your fears of We're
Gonna lose whitey
. To hell with
Your invented (non-)races. I am
Not worried (at all) about made up
(Non-)races vanishing. Because I
Know the Experiment has failed.
The same way water fails you /
And soil fails you / the failure
Of the sun / the way this poem
Fails to spark the revolt. To hell
With it. Air fails you too. Finally,
I see 4 Americas: (12th shot) I see
The flurry of my fury. And it's
Almost dawn. So, one America
Holds to a coastal state of mind,
With its water & borders & all
Persuasions of hair & melanin.
The second Amerikkka, aka # 2,
Worships at intersections of oil,
Jesus & fried gravy & eye-length  
Rows of agriculture. The third
Nation lives above halos – their
Penthouse superiority up there
In the fogginess; they're not land-
Based mammals. (I do not under-
Stand them with their 32 perfect
Teeth.) As for the 4th U.S., they
Live in earth & water from one
To the other end, and they don't
Know but they are brothers and
Sisters. (Last shot) This poem is
My prayer – even as the sunrise
Tickles Tennessee & Arkansas.
(I don't think my grandchildren
Will know the cartography of our
Time.) This is my prayer, which
Is also my gun & tank, my army
& Resistance. It is my one-man
Revolution/prayer for non-reruns
Of eugenics* and firehoses and
Blankets conveying smallpox and
Lynchings and Civil Rights Wars.
I greet your spit-flying hatred
With intolerance. But maybe that's
The whiskey talking. Now, I greet
My own intolerance – I welcome
It through my thought-ways of
Consideration. And what are the
Narratives you tell your kids
About this country? Do you
Tell them they'll learn 1 story
At school & the truth at home?
Do you tell them their brown
Skin is beautiful? And how do
You dare write eulogies for ex-
Experiments? 'Cause the wounds
Refuse to heal. It's the echo of
Choices. Eco of choices (last
Shot, again).

* Age of the Anthropocene: the Earth's most recent geologic time period, as being human influenced based on evidence that earth system processes are now altered by humans; see: for more information.

Todd Fuller has had two books published, a mixed-genre biography, 60 Feet Six Inches and Other Distances from Home: the (Baseball) Life of Mose YellowHorse (Holy Cow! Press, 2002) and To the Disappearance (Mongrel Empire Press, 2015). He has work in Quarterly West, Puerto del Sol, Crazyhorse, Third Coast, and Cimarron Review, to name a few. His first book has been optioned for a screenplay by River Rock Entertainment.