Hamburger Frying in a Pan of Grease – a poem by John Ian Bush


Part One


I write this as I sit at my kitchen table and watch my hamburger fry in a pan of hot popping grease.

I think now of mortality.

I think now of God and Hell and Heaven and Meaning, and how Meaning may be Delusion, and we all may be meat patties frying in it.

I think now about how I’m confused about what I have Faith in.

I think now of the world, where some days you wake up and find no Humanity.

I think now of being born.

I think now, “Why bring Children into this world.”

This world, where we all just get bored of everything and if we’re lucky die peacefully in our sleep in old age.

This world, where in old age we lose our hair and teeth and control over our bowels.

This world, where we worry over bills and if there’s a Heaven or a Hell or if the Devil is on your backs or looking over your shoulders, or if the Devil is a delusion, or if Mark Twain’s right and we’re all the Devil.

This world, where we search for Joy and Satisfaction and Meaning and Truth in churches, schools, bars, friends, family,

whore houses, sex, sex, sex, drugs, shopping malls, therapy, internet porn, back to church, a new church, then back to the bar, sad.

This world, where we’re all born to die, die, die, die, die, die, die. Every last one of us.

This world, where a monk can burn himself alive to protect his faith and be forgotten and I sit here unsure if I can have faith in anything at all.

This world, where perhaps there’s no real point to talk about The After Life, Existential, Morals, God or Truth or Right or Wrong because in this world there’s no way to prove anything but numbers and facts, and if we keep on thinking about the other things, these things that we drive ourselves mad trying to figure out with no real hope of resolution, we’ll all end up lying in the grease of the Delusion of Meaning and frying in the metaphorical pan that is the world while being seasoned with Thought and salt.

But who am I to say any of these things?

What do I know?

Who am I, some fool frying a Burger at noon on a Tuesday.

Who am I, some confused son of a bitch, one hand on a pencil, the other with its thumb up his ass.

What have I given the world other than a couple short stories and poems?

I don’t know.

I don’t know.

But the smell of fraying grease makes my stomach sick.



Part Two


Fuck it!

God, no God, meaning or only endless numbers and facts, let me be a frying burger!

Let me believe that there is a Right and a Wrong and propose.

Let me believe there’s Joy and Truth and true Beauty.

Let me believe Tenderness.

Let me believe that I can die old and happy.

Let me believe in Satisfaction.

Let me believe that pain makes you strong and isn’t just pointless suffering.

Let me believe that we are more than the sum of our skin and bone and organs.

Let me believe that we’re more than a bodies of chemicals and blood and breath.

Let me believe in the Kindness of the human Soul and its Tenderness.

And let me believe that if there is a God, he sees this kindness somewhere in all of our souls and it makes Him smile.

Let me believe that if there’s a God, he knows me and understands me and he’ll let me go to Heaven.

If I have faith in anything it’s in Human Kindness and Human Weakness, and perhaps that’s meaning enough.

I hope to be like Ann Frank and Buddha and  think that all people have good souls if you dig deep enough.

I hope to be  like Jesus and  be magnanimous and loving.

Hell, one day I’d like to have a kid when I’m not a mad mess of disorganized thoughts, and when I do, I hope to have enough faith in the world not to pity my child for being born.

I’d like to put all this to rest now.

After all, if I’m a frying burger, we’re all fraying burgers.


The Little Girl – a poem by John Ian Bush


Part One


Aunt Margret is dead.

She’s dead with FDR, apple pie, the gold standard, and so on, at age seventy-three.

She died a child mind in the worn body of an old woman.

She died and left no children, but a staggering collection for porcelain dolls and stuffed animals that she bought in her younger years for when she finally had kids.

Now each doll and each animal have a name and a place on the bed or couch.

She’s dead and the only Earthly possessions she’s left behind are old movie posters and framed head shots of old movie stars like Marilyn Monroe and Rock Hudson and John Wayne and James Dean and so on and decorative plates of MLK and JFK and his kid brother.

Oh, yes, she’s dead.

She is dead and she’s left her lonely sad puppy nervous wreck of a husband, Jim, to crying over her cold husk in the casket.

He kissed her cold dead blue soft breathless lips.

He ran his brittle white shacking fingers through her dead gray hair.

“Oh, my little girl is dead! She’s dead! Oh, my little girl is dead,” he cried.

That’s what he called her, his little girl.

“Oh, she’s dead! Oh, she’s dead!”

In the coffee room, we all talked about the body.

“She looked so natural.”

Yes, oh, yes.

“She’s at peace now, you can see that on her face.”

Yes, oh, yes.

“She was a God fearing woman.”

Yes, oh, yes.

“She’s in Heaven now. She ought to be mourning us, you know. Don’t pity the dead.”

Yes, oh, yes.

“She’s in Heaven now laughing with Elvis and Jesus.”

If there’s anything she loved it was Elvis and Jesus.

Yes, oh, yes. Oh, yes. Oh, yes.



Part Two


Oh, sweet little old Margret.

She’d fed the stray cats before she’d eat herself.

“They’re hungrier than I am,” she’d say.

And she was proud to be an American.

Yes, oh, yes.

She loved Ronald Reagan, both as a president and as a cowboy.

And she wondered if the chimp had a room in the White House.

Is there a bedtime for Bonzo?

Oh, and she wouldn’t let you leave her house without a hug.

She’s stare you in the eyes and say, “I love you,” and she meant it.

She probably loved everybody.

She’d probably kiss a stranger on the lips.

Now she’s left a loveless slab of meat surrounded by flowers.


Part Three


Oh, Holy God, there is a Heaven!

Yes, oh, yes!

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Great big castles and gold streets, just like the book said!

Everyone is there!

Elvis, Jesus, FDR, MLK, JFK and Bobby too, Ronald Reagan and good old Bonzo, who doesn’t have a bedtime, and James Dean and John Wayne and Rock Hudson and  Marilyn Monroe, and, finally, Aunt Margret.

There in Heaven there are children for her dolls and animals.

There in Heaven, the strays are always fed.

There in Heaven nobody’s a stranger and everybody kisses everybody on the lips.

And there in Heaven, nobody ever says good bye to anyone without hugging them and looking them in the eyes and saying, “I love you,” and meaning it.


Super Stores in America – a short story


Walking into the super store, I get the feeling that everybody wants to snap my neck.

Everybody hates everybody in super stores.

My mom’s going to the pharmacy to pick up our anti-depressants, my grandma’s going to get groceries, I’m heading to the CDs.

I rob this place blind of CDs.

I’m walking passed the posters now, I’m giving them a quick look over. Nothing but a bunch of boy bands. It’s their fault that I can’t get a woman. I don’t look like a half chick like they do, so I’m fucked.

But I feel a little bit bad for them, the boy bands, they’re nothing but salesmen in tight pants that are pushing sex on preteens.

It’s sort of pathetic, in five years they’ll be remembered as  jokes.

One thing I do like about super stores is that there’s half naked woman everywhere.

I’m glad that summer’s coming soon. Summer heat waves and sweat is God’s gift to horny teenage boys.

I’m a horny teenage boy, and I blame the media. I told my counselor that television’s turned me into an idiot, and it did.

There’s a woman in the lotion and candle section with four children. Her daughter’s at her side, her little boy is in front, staring at his feet, bored, she’s got a new born in a car seat in the bottom of the cart and a three or four year old in the little seat near the bars.

She’s sniffing each candle with her eyes closed. She’s in sweat pants and a bleach stained t-shirt, her hair is wiry and put back in a bun. She looks stressed. She looks like she really needed to sniff those candles.

Oh, God, I think she caught me staring.

I actually have a staring problem. I start staring and thinking about people and I sort of forget that they can see me.

I’m in the CDs now. I have “Dark Side of the Moon” against my balls.

That sexy red head is behind the counter in electronics. Who else can look sexy in those lame gray work pants? I’ve been checking her out since I was eleven. This place would lose it’s  magic for me if she stopped working here.

I’m going through the clothing section now. I’m bored. I remember when I was a kid, when I got bored in super stores, I’d hide in the middle of the clothing racks so I could jump out at people when they looked through them. That never got old.

I wish I could still do that.

Super stores were fun when I was a kid. I remember when I use to be able to run through the aisles without being thrown out by management.

I remember this one time I got one of the bikes from the bike rack and I rode around the whole store, no one said a damn thing.

Now I’m fifteen and expected to behave.

We live in a cruel world.

We live in a world where everyone wants to snap your neck.

Super Stores in America – a poem by John Ian Bush


An Enormous parking lot is surrounding a titanic building of white and blue and dark blue with white letters,


And, like Heaven, there’s someone at the door to greet you.

How lovely.

Agonizing beeps from the registers. People in red vest standing,

Behaving as robots.

Cash or credit?

Cash or credit?

Grandmas and Grandpas in the medicine lines.

My mother also in those lines,

The house needs Its anti-depressant.

I have a secret, I don’t trust doctors.


     Remember, that’s a secret.

I’m starting to think they have the walls bugged.

I’m digressing, though.

Back to the many point.

People walking about, aggravated, pushing carts. They count the price of the things in their carts with their eyes.

Nosy people looking in the carts of others.

Teenaged boys stalking about, checking out the asses and breasts of the women passing by.

Oh, youth. Oh, unsophisticated sex drive. Where have you gone?

     I see into the clothing section.

I women who work in the dressing room are talking and putting the clothes back on hangers.









God damn those bright lights on the ceiling!

My eyes are sore now!

There’s cameras!

There’s cameras everywhere around us, and worse yet, we can’t see them!

This place is God-like!

In the groceries, the stock boys are stocking.



Red and white cans of soup for pocket change.

Wild caught chuck light tuna.

BOXES! BOXES! BOXES of Ramen noodles!

Red beef!

Orange chicken!

Yellow and green cans of sweet corn!

Small salty cans of potted meat!

Damn, I need a stiff drink!

Thank God, there’s a sell on white wine!

Thank God, a cheap drunk!

And to think, I just came here to get some paper and paper clips.



Portrait of America – a poem by John Ian Bush

Bridges and ever-going gray blacktop roads lined with cars, both moving slowly through traffic and parked against the unpainted curb;

Cars of reds,




more Black,






Sidewalk you can see the vents and the chimneys of buildings, building, buildings, banks, buildings, apartments, apartments, pawn shops, pawn shops, pawn shops, pharmacies and restaurants;

You can see the steam or smoke or exhaust rising from those vents and those chimneys, and they look pure and beautiful from the sidewalks when the sun’s down and things are quiet and the sky’s holding the moon.

Buildings and banks all look beasty and mighty; they stand like man,

With presence and propose,

Cocky and big and proud and popping their chests

At everyone.

But unlike men,

Their faces are brick and emotionless,

Unlike men,

They have a bunch of black glass eyes,

They have black glass eyes, and inside those eyes are rooms,

lifeless at night.


In apartment buildings,

Families eat pork chop dinners,

Watch TV,

Scroll through Facebook.


In apartment buildings,

Men shower,

Women bath and shave their legs and sing and shampoo their hair,





Beers and smoke cigarettes

And watch the News:

“Damn Obama this.”

“Damn Republicans that.”

“Damn economy, damn.”

“Damn congress, shit.”


In apartment buildings,

The women type on phones,

And pets the cats,

And pets the dogs,

Some men wash and dry the dishes in the kitchen sink, then go shave their faces in the bathroom sink,

Then sleep on mattress next to coffee tables and alarm clocks.

Other men stay up later, drink more beer and watch movies with their dogs and women and fill up ash trays with the butts of cigarettes.


Then there’s the bars.



Neon signs, alcohol, alcohol,

College students and bar flies alike playing pool and darts.


I am walking in the parking lot of the grocery store, my coat’s buttoned up and my sweater’s stained with tea.

I’m walking with friends, they all have cold finger,

They’re smoking,





But overall, they’re happy,

And I am too.

Passed us, there’s more gray blacktop roads, roads, roads,




And a avenues,



The movie theater.

People smoking joints in the parking lot.



People drinking and fucking by the train tracks under the overpass.

Young folks run in the streets by the light of the street lambs,

From their house,

To a friends’ house,

To another friends’ house,

Back to the street,

To the sidewalk,




Youthful, forgetting the traffic lights,

To fast food places for a quick meal.

Then back out to the streets,

To the river, where, during the summer, they gather with friends to drink beer and smoke weed and raise Cane.


Now I hear a train.

The poets don’t talk about trains anymore.

I’ll talk about the trains.

Big long black beautiful metal snakes that roam America’s soil.



Trains are America.

Bridges and gray blacktop roads are America.

Banks and building and pawn shops are America.

Apartment buildings are America.

Families eating pork chops are America.

Cars are America.

Sidewalks are America.

Forgotten traffic lights are America.

Bars and bar flies are America.

The young folks running in the streets are America.






Whore – a short story by John Ian Bush

Part One


I’m willing to admit that my interest in Goldie isn’t healthy. I started watching her last summer when she moved in the house across the street. Before last summer I use to spend my nights watching this documentary show about life inside prisons, but she’s more interesting to me now.

She’s short, and I like short girls, and she’s got long golden blond hair, and I like that too. She’s always wearing really revealing clothes, though, and I hate that. I hate to think that other guys get to see that much of her.

The first summer I started watching her, she wore these really short jean shorts and tank tops that showed her stomach and hip bones. I like her stomach and her hip bones, and I’ve never thought about those parts on any other girl before.

I should mention that she’s a known whore, like a prostitute I mean. I don’t wake up during the summers anymore until one in the afternoon because I usually stay up until four or later to watch her bring her customers back and forth to her house from the train tracks, that’s where the whores normally set up shop here in town.

I watch her at night partly from jealousy, I hate every old bastard that gets to have her  while I sit in my room lusting after her and fantasizing in my underwear, and partly I do it to make sure none of those perverted old johns hurt her or try anything rough with her.



Part Two


I finally did it. See, I’ve been selling my ADHD meds to a dealer friend of mine down the street, he gives me thirty bucks for every bottle. I saved the money for six whole months so I could pay for a turn with Goldie.

I wanted to look good for it. I got my hair cut, I shaved, I trimmed, I went to the store and picked up the best smelling cologne I could find, and when I got back home, I picked some flowers from my mom’s rosebush in our back yard.

I went to her house after dinner, she answered the door dressed, but with wet hair and legs and feet. The first thing she asked me was if I was looking to have some fun, and I said I was and she waved me into the living room.

“Are you wearing perfume?” she asked.

I told her I was and I handed her the flowers.

“Sweet heart, this isn’t a date,” she said politely. “I cost a hundred.”

I handed her the money and she gently pushed me to her couch and kissed me. “You look familiar,” she said.

“I’ve been watching out for you,” I said.  “I live across the street and I’ve been watching out for you.”

“You’re sweet,” she said. She started undressing. She wasn’t wearing the short jean shorts of the summer before, but this little black skirt that barely covers her ass, and instead of tank tops, she was wearing a tight little t-shirt. She wasn’t wearing any underwear or a bra, but that was okay by me.

When she took off her shirt, the first thing I noticed was that she had a belly button ring.

“I’d like your stomach more without the piercing,” I said. “I’ve always liked your stomach.”


Solitude of Sidewalks – a short story by John Ian Bush

Part One


I’m in the grocery store eyeing the blond on register nine, I think I’m in love for a minute, then I realize, or rather remember, that I’m an emotional fool and I leave, embarrassed, and head to the deli.

There I find a brown headed angel in a hair net; heart shaped face, doe eyes, delicate gloved hands slicing meat. I stare for a while, then she notices, she meets my eyes and smiles, I smile, then walk away to the frozen goods.

What a shame it is that we don’t live in a world where one can be honest about their admirations. What a shame it is that I can’t walk up to the counter and tell that brown haired angel that she is a brown haired angel, then walk away without shame. And that blond at register nine too, I’d tell her the same.

I’m walking down the sidewalk outside the store now, it’s empty. No sound but the sound of no sound at all. No light but star light and street lamps. No movement whatsoever, besides my own and my shadow’s below me.

I have that feeling that you can only get from empty, quiet, carless streets; that feeling of soothing cold pavement under my feet. The feeling that the Earth is somehow at peace, so you are at peace with it, and by extension, at peace with yourself. That feeling of beautiful, silent, solitude and present mind that you only find around blacktop under street lamps. You have to love solitude on sidewalks.



Part Two


I went into a bar to piss. You have to love the smell of dive bar bath rooms. The stink of piss is so strong in the air you feel like you could cut it with a knife, it’s thick like butter. Now I need a shower.

Here I find more angels: angels in tight jeans and tight skirts and shirts, they’re all drinking, some are drinking while sitting in stools, some are doing it while laughing with friends, some while playing darts and pool, so on.

Watching these women, and the men drooling after them, I have to say, I understand the allure of the one night stand. Experiencing someone else’s naked beauty without being weight down with their added bull shit. I don’t blame anybody that doesn’t want to deal with my added bull shit.

Now I’m back on the sidewalks, back to the feeling. I love the feeling. I’m at peace with everything and everyone when I have this feeling, and if somebody walked passed me right now, man or woman or what have you, I’d be liable to smile and kiss them on the forehead. Why? Because this feeling makes me want to kiss everybody on the forehead. What a world we’d live in if we all loved everyone and understood anybody and wanted to kiss every forehead? I wish for such a place.



Part Three


I’m walking home now, it’s late. I’m passing a laundry mat, it’s closed, yet the lights are all still on. The lights in laundry mats are never off, they’re like  North Stars for the bums and the beggars, and me, and the likes of me; those of us who stumble around in the quiet streets hoping for that feeling, hopping to kiss the foreheads of angels.  I hear now a train. I’ve heard trains my whole life. I’d wake up from sleep in my youth and hear one blow it’s horn, and  I’d be comforted by it, and I’m comforted now.

I see now across the street at a gas station, which is still open, three men in blue jeans and overalls, all bearded, all smoking tobacco and talking, breathing cold white breathes into the vast thin cloud of cigarette smoke. Their faces are visibly greasy and tiered. That’s American. American is greasy faced bearded men smoking in front of a gas station.

I’d join them, but I don’t have an invitation.

I’ll stick to the sidewalks.

There’s a young woman behind the counter in the gas station, I can see her through the glass door and big windows. She looks bored and somewhat sad. She’s bent over the counter and staring at her finger nails or knuckles. She has thin, yet kissable lips, a light shade of pink, no lip stick. I can tell all of this from a distance, it’s probably my imagination, I guess. In my imagination, every woman is an angel with kissable lips from a distance.

On the highway I find cars, but I’m still gripping on to the feeling. The traffic lights are beautiful at night, how they reflect off windshields, and roads, and windows.

I go now to the movie theater, it’s also closed, its lights are also still on, another North Star. Everything’s closed and most people are in bed and warm by now, as for me, I’m glad I’m not, I’m glad to be among sidewalks and North Stars and Angels in hair nets and tight jeans and shirts and behind counters in gas stations and behind register nine.




Confessions of Joel – a short story

Part One


I’m writing this in the second floor rest room stall at school. I sit in here every day for  most of six period because I have no idea what the hell’s going on in that class, my teacher doesn’t give a shit if I pass or not, which I won’t.

Note: I’m writing this of sound mind and body; this is my sincere confession of what I see as my sins and short comings.

Note: you may laugh at what you’re about to read, but, like I said, I’m trying to be sincere and get this shit expressed properly. I’m not too articulate, but I’m going to do my best:

I wrote out a list today in credit recovery, it’s a list of all the reasons I think I need to become a drafter or hang myself. I won’t bore you with the whole list, I’ll just give you the highlights:

One, I’m a dumbass academically, I spend basically all my class time staring at the window with my thumb up my ass. My teachers and classmates all think I’m a fool, and they’re pretty much right.

Two, I’m sixteen and I don’t know how I’m supposed to becoming a functioning member of society, and odds are I won’t find out by rotting in this stall for two more years.

Three, I’m failing history because I can’t stop staring at my teacher’s ass long enough to pay attention, I’m a horny animal and I lack sexual morals.

Four, I’m hopelessly addicted to marijuana.

Five, despite trying to be good and just soul, I always end up borrowing my mom’s phone at night to surf porn on the internet.

Six, and probably the saddest thing of all, yesterday in credit recovery, this big baboon that sits in the back named

Robert Horn shit his pants in the middle of class. Robert isn’t special or anything, he’s just a crude jack ass. Anyways, all the other baboons started pointing at him and laughing, and Robert laughed, and I joined in too. I laughed with those drooling, immature pricks.

No, I was one of those drooling, immature pricks.

     I was a Robert Horn.

I’m sixteen years old and I laughed at someone shitting their pants.


How can I live the rest of my life knowing that?

How am I supposed to become an adult and live a just and respectable life when I remember that I shared a laugh with that fat fool.

I will walk the earth for the rest of my life with that baboon’s face in the back of my head, laughing in his soiled jeans, reminding me that we are the same.


Part Two


I’m sitting in my shed alone. I’m praying and waiting for God to tell me what I need to do and what I have in my life that I need to get rid of to get where I’m supposed to be, I’m waiting for a vision, or to at least for Him to tell me what I’m supposed to do with myself.

Note: I’m not praying to any certain God, I’m praying to whatever one is listening.

The reason I’m sitting her praying is the same reason everyone needs to pray: I’m praying because I don’t want to live a life that’s not about truth; the world’s full of shit and I want out, but every time I get a grip on something honest, I get horny and high or get caught up in something stupid on TV.

My situation is starting to look hopeless. I’m left with two options:

Option one, kill myself.

That would be poetic justice. I’d be a martyr. I’d be killing myself for my belief that living in a world of bull shit and people laughing at someone shitting their pants is worse than death — and it is, don’t be fooled.

Option two, I could go across America as a hobo and try to figure all this shit out, then come back, bearded and wise, and hopefully by then I will have finally heard from God and gotten my vision. But if I go with option two, I can’t come back until I know I’m not a Robert Horn.


Part Three


My friend Darren and I just bought a joint off a guy we know in Wayne Hills, now we’re running around by the highway smoking it.

I’ve been waiting on a vision from God all day.

He took too long, so I got high instead.

“I’m hungry ,” Darren just said, he’s pulling out a bunch of crinkled up one dollar bills from his pocket.

He’s leading me to a gas station now.

I want an ICEE. Cheery flavored. No, blueberry.

I want a pretzel.

I want a vision from God or a pretzel.

The guy at the register knows we’re stoned, I can tell.

This may be paranoia, I can’t be sure.

I see cheese its.

     Cheese its. I want cheese its.

     “Darren,” I just said, “cheese its.”

Darren’s not listening, he’s looking at the corn chips.

     Fuck corn chips. We should get Cheese its.

Darren’s at the register, he’s buying a bag of corn chips, a two litter and beef jerky.

Evil, dry beef jerky

Evil, salty, hot beef jerky.

“Man, fuck beef jerky,” I just said, I put the cheese its on the counter. “Cheese its, man.”

“I can’t get all this, mother fucker,” said Darren.

I put the cheese its back, but I’m not happy about it. I hate beef jerky.

We’re out by the pumps now, I smell the stink of gas.

“Darren,” I just said, “I just realized something. We’re too deep in the shit. We can’t get out, we’re in the shit too deep, we have to kill ourselves. God’s not sending a vision! We have to kill ourselves.” He isn’t listening, he just passed me the two liter. It’s Mt. Dew. I hate Mt. Dew. “Man,” I just said, “you should have gotten Cheese its.”



A Prayer to the Beautiful American God – a poem by John Ian Bush

Part One


I Pledge allegiance to the Capitalistic soul of America.

One system under Money, Greed, the Powerful few, the One Percent, the Endless and Soulless Banks and Laws and Lawyers and eloquently dressed Businessmen and the Boundless and Godless Bureaucracies.

One system under tax loop holes and Politicians with their pants ablaze and their fat hands in the metaphorical Corporate cookie jar.

One system that tells people to take what they can take by any means while they can take it and to Hell with anyone that doesn’t share their Bank account.

One system that tells you that Businesses are people too and perhaps one day they’ll be eligible for public office.

One system where citizen is slave.

One system that will suck you clean of Humanity and at Its core is Inhuman.

One system that promotes openly the metaphorical slitting of your fellow man’s throat.

One system that is destined and damned to one day slit its own throat from Its own weakness and craven or destined and damned to be beheaded by the rightfully furious Masses.

One system that tells you as a child that Money is the only true God and that Heaven can be bought, sold and traded in the form of stocks and real estate and flat screen television sets.         One system above the working class, the lower class, the working poor, the common bum, the food stamp recipients and the unemployed.

Because we are One Nation that’s still naive enough to believe that It’ll all work out after all and that communism and socialism are the true beasts of economics and that we’ll all be alright in the end.

Because we are One Nation that hasn’t realized yet that the dollar bill is nothing more than a recite to the shackles and the chains we all are guilty of working for and or accepting as evitable and necessary.

Because we are One Nation that walks around fearing the unisons and socialism and Obama care more than the Vampire tick of Big Business that is draining us all of our symbolic blood when we’re sleeping.

Because we are One Nation under a system that could and would downsize and outsource and step on all of us if it’ll save them a  buck.

Because we are One nation that’s working themselves to the grave without being offered a 4O1K.

One nation that’s under a system that doesn’t really give a damn about you, or the next guy, or the next, or the next, and, in fact, does not see any of us, for the Holy Dollar signs are blinding.

One nation that’s working themselves to the grave for dollars bills that will pass from our hands to another’s hand, then to another’s, then to another’s, but in the end, after all the hands it passes to and from, it will still be paper and soulless.

Because we are One Nation that hung Karl Marx and poor Friedrich metaphorically without a metaphorical trial or judge or jury.

One Nation that hasn’t realized yet that Money is the only way that the people above us have secured their place.


Part Two


Oh, I praise you, my Beautiful American God.

I worship your ten billion digital eyes.

I praise your iron veins and concert arteries.

I thank you for your bounty of red meat.

Bacon and steak. Bacon and steak.

Thank you for the white Jesus, the brown one scared me.

Thank you for hating the fags as much as I do.

Thank you for the capitalism that burns in the oven of my soul.

Oh, thank you for spreading your word through the saintly angels of Fox News.

I thank you for St. Rush Limbaugh, who protects us all for the blaspheming liberals.

Thank you for your minimum wage.

Please, don’t let them take my guns!

Please, my beautiful American God, deliver us from Obama and his fascist communist socialist liberal Marxist Islamic extremist agenda.

Deliver us from amnesty. Deliver us from affordable healthcare. Deliver us from social awareness. Deliver us from green energy. Deliver us from equality.




please, deliver us from critical thought, thinking gives me a headache.

Please, continue to fill our cups with the waters of your Holy plan trickledown economics.

Please, continue to fill us with the Spirit of the Holy Ghost of Propaganda and Fear.

The Home – a poem by John Ian Bush


Part One


Today we visited my Grandma Allison at the nursing home.

I walk through the automatic doors to the smell of urine,

To the sound of ringing phones

And to the screaming voices of the old:

“Where am I?”

“Who are you?”

“God damn it, I wanna go home!”

“Hey, you God damn fool, I wanna go home!”

“Can no one hear me! I’m telling you I wanna go home!”

“Don’t touch me, I don’t know you!”


Decoying bodies.

Wrinkled skin.


Adult dippers.

Oxygen machines!

Their groans!

“I need help!” cries an old man in a bed at the end of the hall. “You rotten bastards! You faggots! You son-of-bitches! Somebody help me!”


In the lobby, the old pale withered people in their sad worn wheel chairs sit around the television, the weather channel is playing — old people love the weather channel; some smile, some sleep, some mutter to themselves words of nonsensical madness.


“I can’t breathe!” the man at the end of the hall screams! “You son-of-bitches! I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!”


The feeling of death and approaching death is overwhelming.

I began to think that bed sores have a smell.

Vaseline, God, the smell of it!

They must wash the walls with it!

The windows and counters must be washed with preparation H!

Everything smells like piss, fish and rubbing alcohol.


“I can’t breathe!”

He never stops screaming.








I can’t Breathe!”


The workers and the nurses all ignore this.

I.Vs seem to outnumber the people in this Hell hole.

I was starting to feel very Nihilistic.



Part Two



Finally, we’re in Grandma Allison’s room.

She is a stick now,

wrapped in thin, almost yellow skin,

Dressed in a tired old night gown,



Feet cover with thick socks.

“How are you?” we asked.

She just stared.


“How are you feeling today?” we asked.

She turned away.


“We love you,” we said.

She moaned in pain.


“I can’t breathe! You fuckers! You fuckers! You fuckers! You faggots! You fat whores!” yelled the man down the hall.


And she moaned again!

That moan!

That moan!

I thought she’d die with that moan!


The Home is full of moans

And Groans!

And cries

And more moans!



And fucks!

And Helps!

And yelps!

And ringing telephones!


The Home is full of shrieks!

And squeal!

And men bawling!

And eyes with tears!

And nurses wearing scrubs and fake grime smiles wheeling in meals,

Meat and potatoes that Grandma Allison won’t eat.