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work in progress: "i am feeling american"

This occurred to me as I was walking back to the subway Tuesday night. I
have been catching up on my Transcendentalists, Emerson and Whitman, while
I'm here.


look out nihon
i am feeling american
i have been reading whitman

i will take the love of your women
yes, and that of your men too
i will take it not as theft but as tribute
it is freely given. i cannot refuse it

i am feeling american, more american than in a long while
reconnected as i read whitman
beware japan
i will take the steps two at a time in your train stations
i will but gesture in your taverns, and glasses will shatter
i will walk down your streets like a wind
like a river current
like a warrior priest king

i had to come here to be american, to know what that means
come here away from the noise to perceive the signal
(I write this part in a cheap japanese bar, I can just barely order sake, it is enough, it is enough)
i am a barbarian here, i revel in it, i am free of expectation, of convention
i sound my barbaric yawlp! across the roofs of Osaka

your people will sing my songs
your women will sing empty songs in words they do not understand, just to feel America in their bodies for a minute
and i will not apologize
(should the moon apologize to the ocean, that feels and moves with its pull, that reflects its light?
and I do not forget, I do not forget, that the moon is reflector also, that the moon also moves in thrawl, in attraction, in ecstasy)

and i will not apologize
big raw boned loose jointed big-booted bristly-whiskered amercian, i will not apologize

but i will give thanks
i will give gratitude
i will keep my light shining for you best as i can
i wil thank you for reconnecting my with myself
i will thank you for sake that fuels poems
i will thank you for train and bars in which i can read Whitman and Emerson
where i can escape American noise to find American truth, and truth beyond America or Japan or any nation

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