American Kakophony, poems by Mikhail Branski

Amerikan Kakophony

© 2014 Mike Mihaljevich

Sounds of Profit

I can't escape the noise
Seeping from apartments
Enveloping me
Like a contagion
Infecting the quietude
I had nursed

How can I think poetic thoughts?
What would philosophers say
Of environs where crickets and
Frogs are hushed
By the sounds of profit?
Age of Materialism, # 3

Materialism has
Become our God
And to the future
We shall be known as
The Indifferent,
The Disdainful
Oblivious before all signs
Of the Collapse.
Nero's electronic accompanists
Playing punkish cacophonies

There will be no dispute
About these generations
Of the selfish & narcissistic
No orgy of cries will arise
To apologize for this
Mega-idiocy of men & minds
Bent on destruction
Who argue like adolescents
And sell ideas at garage sales
To a public too weary to doubt
Anxious for facile answers
Everyone in Amerika (verses #1-4)

I invited everyone in Amerika
To my home
Much to my surprise
They all showed up

I showered them with gifts and dinner
They took the gifts
Without so much as a thank-you
Fought during their repast
Then left without offering to clean up

Their belligerence and rudeness
Upset me
But I knew that it was
Simply poor upbringing
Or at least wanted to believe so

The culture disintegrates daily &

I'm a witness to a montage
Of poignant lunacy which is guzzled
By shameless millions
Robots in Coats & Ties, Version #34

Robots in coats & ties
Purvey their lies & deceptions
In the media marketplace
Vying for the best packaging
While consumers barter
Their common sense
For bits of data to be
Consumed like fast food

Tired tv images waft
Across the nation's air-waves
Wielding distorted images
As passive onlookers suffer
An onslaught of evil incantations
Incarnated into sound & visuals
Sweet words & pretty faces
Meant to sell stale stuff

Our modern-day heroes
Saviors clothed in coats & ties
False messengers of the Gods
Manipulators of mortals
Truly reminiscent of a Greek
Comedy of tragic proportions
And a very foreign policy
An Old Ritual, #2

The Indians said the White man
Spoke with forked tongue
Splitting truth into pieces
Words sliding out of mouth
Like an eel through the slime
Of evil intentions

Soldiers came with Great White Father
Proclamations bearing
Seductive gifts conveying
Warm-hearted assurances
Meant to pacify Indian anxiety
Meant to lure Indian heads into
The noose of suffocating White man ways

Words worming their way
Into the susceptible hearts of a
People unfamiliar with
Investments, profits, and greed
For whom promises need not be written
Or affixed with the signature of a
Witness nor stamped and certified
With an affidavit
Society as an Edsel

Our society is an Edsel
Malfunctioning
Careening down a disintegrating
Highway of superfluous information

Under the stress and strain
Of the twin Gods of materialism and status
Children gaze at their parents
And wonder who they are

Mom, who are you?
Dad, what are you?
Is it any wonder they reach
For symbols of alienated inhabitants
Of the ghetto

But our nobel-prize winning academics
Just don't get it
It's amazing
Adults have bought the line, hook and sinker
Something's wrong
The roof is crumbling, tumbling down
But somehow they don't notice
That the pillars are cracked

And so, we clutch onto each other
Fasten our seat belts
And race down the mountainside
To what we know not
Searching for Truth (Verses # 1-3)

I went searching for truth in newspapers
But all I found
Were the opinions of the rich
Scrawled in peasant blood

I went searching for Truth
Leafing through Newsweek & Time
Examining facts & explanations
But all that stared back at me
Were editorial decision-making
About what could be published
Without jeopardizing the myths
Of the rich & powerful

I went searching for truth
In evening newscasts,
Hoping to read
In between the lines
Of political apologists
But all I could see/hear
Were beautiful people
Repeating a mantra
Of rehearsed lines
Scripted by others
Taking home million dollar paychecks
The Bureaucrat

He orders us about
From the tormented
Cell of his soul
Lashes out at us with
Sweet word-appeals
To our idiocy and falseness
He brings out the worst in us

In his tangled mind
He weaves ideas
He has heard from others
And, smilingly, holds meetings
At which we feign attention
Then walk away wringing
From sleeves anxious perspiration

We are as marionettes
And respond accordingly
Dancing on the stage of his world
Where actions contradict thoughts

Subject to and regulated by
Rules and policies from on high
Bureaucracies are to homo sapiens
As assembly lines are to objects
Golly-Gosh-Gee Whiz Type of Guy

He was bred
To be an administrator
Smooth, diplomatic, tactful, friendly
He had gone to the
Ronald Reagan Finishing School
After attending
Richard Nixon College where
He studied Ethics and wrote a paper
On the Reconciliation of
Truth with Duplicity
For which he received a B+

He was at ease in all situations
Incapable of sterner emotions
Stuck in boyhood,
Say....about 12 years old
He had a great golly-gosh-gee whiz
Attitude that said it all
He was at home in all situations
He loved the pat on the back
The pat on the butt
The pat answer

He agreed with the majority
And convincingly so
With a sincerity
An amiableness
That pushed him to the top
Of the bureaucratic pyramid
Children of Today

Children of today
Slumbering in
A mesmerized stupor
Of evaporated Dreams
Reach out for a meaning
Where none exists

Seeking stability
In a vacuum of ideals
Taught to parley
Their thoughts into cliches
Like vulcanized Indians
They have no retort
Except to report a litany
Rehearsed in classrooms
Land of the Free

In the land of the free
There are some eighty million plus
Hostages of a peculiar mind set

During the day, they venture out
On sorties for their daily sustenance
Only to return to their
Glorified cells to hide from
The nocturnal offspring
Of Ignorance, Karma, & Poverty

In the cities, lurking in all
Neighborhoods, fear is the
Common equalizer
Neighbors are aliens
Fences, driveways demarcate properties
Symbols of private realms
Hiding inside houses
Double and triple locked
Curtains drawn even during the day
Barred windows, warning systems
Neighborhood watch signs
Watch dogs guard possessions and lives
In the land of the free &
Home of the brave
Jellyfish Eyes

It's all liquid to them
Them with the jellyfish eyes
They ogle through the ooze of their minds
And sometimes tangle with Real Thoughts
Not knowing what to make of them

If they met Jesus
They would say something like
Oh yeah, he was hip
But he had a big ego
Yeah, his truth was real deep
I mean, "I am the father"
Waycool, man

Then it's time for a mocha java
Or some yuppie drink
I don't know what the stuff is
I imagine it's made to derange
And rearrange brain cells

(and, still, the pets of materialism
are snorting and injecting goofy ideas;
downloading the latest in babbleonian
newage ideas into their brains and bladders
and spitting and spilling it over goblets
they hold like silver penises,
admiringly praising their erectile structure)
The Nouveau Consumer

I see it all now
Children of the modern aged
Industrialized, consumer-surfeited
Society
Grow up until 7 or 13 to become
Ideal consumer junkies
That mean age required by the beast
Pre-ordained by the profit masters
Of technology

Generations bred in
Narcissistic hedonism
Brain-washed to enjoy
The freedom to buy
Virtually no struggle
Yours for the grasping
Unfettered indulgence
Freedom become license
For nonsense
Unchecked, unthought buying power

Today's freedom lovers are
Tomorrow's consumer-lackeys
Uncle Sam may one day
Want you for cannon fodder

But now needs you for the
Marketplace
You're our only hope: Buy or Die
Space Invaders

I surveyed my apartment
After Christmas
And noted the invasion
I have loss eight cubic feet of space

Aliens stare back unflinchingly
Anchored in terra firma
A newly acquired colony
From which there will be no uprooting

The inanimate snicker contemptuously
And eerily, suck at vital molecules of air
To which I am so slavishly attached

I curse them
They spit back
My thoughts to me
In twisted forms

They convey my addiction to them daily
I hear their whispers during the night
Reminding me of the caricature
That I am
That we all are:
Mere appendages to things
Nothing Untouched

Humans can leave
Nothing untouched
Meddling has become
A psychic addiction
With which to dance away
Life in a meaningless barbarism
Of mazes & dice

Searching for answers
In supermarkets
And entertainment jungles
Aspiring to simple
Juvenile delights,
Deliverance is sought
At the hands of
New Age pseudo-sages

Mini-minds marveling
At all things material
As if to say,

"That will make me happy
"This will make me happy
"And maybe this...
"And that also....
Ad infinitum

About Mikhail Branski

Mikhail Branski has written poetry, comedic skits and essays, and other prose sporadically during the last forty years. Much of his poetry he describes as political, social and philosophic commentary or simply “rants.” A self-described critic, he lambastes, especially, American society and political culture. Words such as “caustic and vitriolic” are often used in reference to many of his poems. His writing is also infused with humor and odd twists and tries to keep listeners on their toes. A former Peace Corps volunteer, Mikhail has taught in the ghettos of Los Angeles, and was a political activist and organizer during the 1980s and early ‘90s. He now lives in Mexico teaching Russians online while eking out a living while writing and exploring other realities.
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