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The Great American Make-Believe

Suburban resident pretense, a bleak uniformity.
I grew up among the repetitious homes,
isolated alienated, I wandered the conformity,
the endless square yards, the dull feckless syndrome.

Repugnant yet intriguing, a redundant singularity,
fabrications of fortified, fraudulent self-deception,  
blocks and blocks of suffocating, vapid vanity,
I endured the bland boredom like an endless inquisition. 

All history, all memory was recklessly strip-mined away.
Barren of lore, fat men rode loud, smelly power mowers
belching oil over manicured lawns with access to the highways.
Insular castles in the air, the tributes to white flight silently cowered.

Everyone tried to grin with toothpaste commercial smiles.
Everyone tried flaunting success with Chevrolet Bel Air fins
and backyard swimming pools, barbeque pits, or patio tiles.  
Success was a charade hiding deep, wounded chagrins. 

This was the sterile zeitgeist of a secretive colonization,
where everyone was living in Thoreau’s quiet desperation,
where in desolation and despair, every heart lay resigned,
where perverse platitudes and euphemisms numbed the mind.

This microcosm where all communal convictions were taken, 
where the broken edges of confident affiliation never awakened,
where commodified adorations formed the language of thrill,
where a busyness cluttered every weary mind like a noisy drill.

I grew up among the monotony; I was devoured by the beast,
this juncture of moment and place, its pain has never ceased.
The Great American Make-Believe, for Bobby and Sue.
These property lines were the racial entitlement of a few.

Some recast this age as Great America, craving a narcotic,
but ennobling these glib, obdurate neighborhoods is ironic.
The Great American Make-Believe, for Richard and Nicole,
concealed the dejected anguish, searching for a soul. 


Copyright © Thomas Wells | Year Posted 2024

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Book: Shattered Sighs