Coastal Poems

PIMP MY TOP KILL LIVE FEED MOTHERSHIP by Sharon Mesmer

Pimp My Top Kill Live Feed Mothership

Pimp my Top Kill Live Feed Mothership
Pimp it with a legendary Saddam relationship
Pimp it with three-day throttle like a pimp beats a whore
Pimp it fast with patches of dry skin from Chris Matthews
’cause pretty soon nobody’s gonna care

Pimp BP’s little port-a-potty mistake with the Top Kill Live Feed
posing for Playboy ’cause this spill is already pimp!
Pimp the dead cajun way of life with flava attainment, swankienda style:
with a disco ball in a Top Kill Live Feed club with a laser!
Poor people can always dance

Pimp me some CEO martyrdom as a last stand for pussies
that can’t honestly kill a man so they remotely soak a pelican
Pimp me every second of Rick Warren and associate pastors singing “Brick House”
’cause they think the world needs more “Brick House” singing
than Top Kill Live Feed bringing

Pimp me some wiki-educated bitch keepin’ it real:
“I would prefer to be Jackson 5′ed by Steve Jobs than hear about some new
boring ocean problem … in other words: pimp me pimping a snake
being weaned from your balls”

Pimp that minute fraction of a second when you realize you just
made a huge mistake, and then you pimp
“Pimp My Lotto, Super Jesus!” to poor people
via “supply-side economics”
And what about the endangered nacho?
The endangered pimp hand of celebutainment?
Btw, I thought the oceans were already dead

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s difficult to make a statement that will be different (or stronger) than the living “statements” made by the participants in the so-called “Cochabamba Water Wars” in Bolivia in 2000.  Led by Oscar Olivera, the Coalition in Defense of Water and Life — made of up organizers and citizen-activists — took to the streets of Cochabamba to protest the privatization of the municipal water supply by an international consortium (which included the American corporation Bechtel).  Among the protesters were peasant irrigators, retired factory workers, pieceworkers, sweatshop employees, street vendors, middle class anarchists, the homeless, and children.  These everyday citizens succeeded in defeating the consortium, forcing the executives to flee the country in company jets.  In considering the bravery of these ordinary people, I wonder (and I include myself in this question): why aren’t we, in this country, taking to the streets every day to protest what corporations are doing to us? to our water? to our world?  We all — and I include myself in this — should be ashamed of ourselves, but we can look at that shame as the true seed of change, planted in our minds NOW.  We can make the necessary changes, but first we have to change ourselves, our thinking.  We desperately need to start paying attention.  As teachers and artists we already know how to do that, and we can — and should — encourage others to do that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photo Credit - Esther Levine

Sharon Mesmer is Fulbright Specialist grantee, a two-time New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in poetry, and a member of the flarf poetry collective.  Her most recent poetry collections are Annoying Diabetic Bitch (Combo Books, 2008) and The Virgin Formica (Hanging Loose, 2008).  She teaches at the New School.

16 thoughts on “PIMP MY TOP KILL LIVE FEED MOTHERSHIP by Sharon Mesmer

  1. I vividly recall the 2000 Bolivian Cochabamba Water Wars you speak of and also wonder why Americans don’t take to the streets and fight for what we need. We queue up for all kinds of seductive consumer items yet do not fight for what we really need — what the earth provides which can never be wholly quanitifed. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote of the dangers of comfort in “The Great Gatsby” where people’s entire life energies were used up to maintain a superficial world of status and materialism. This type of world cannot afford a surface crack because it is all surface and will come undone. Poetry fights lies that maintain illusions. We would feel the kind of mystical ecstasy Joseph Campbell spoke of if we gave ourselves to real change. Your use of the pimp conceit is brilliant.

    • Yes to the mystical ecstasy of giving ourselves over to change. I often wonder what I myself am afraid of, going that route. Maybe that’s the beginning of change — giving ourselves over to the Unknown. Thank you, Donna!

    • “Poetry fights lies that maintain illusions. We would feel the kind of mystical ecstasy Joseph Campbell spoke of if we gave ourselves to real change.”

      – Gorgeous. All the arts fight the lies, really. Art is maybe the beginning of that fight.

      • Hello, Sharon. Glad to hear your thought continues on with this. Yes, potentially all of the arts, I think. Yet, poetry seems to me to be the art form furthest away from the threat of being co-opted by illusions. It pays the least monetarily and so is the least controlled by mainstream thought, generalizations, and stereotypes. Being made, as it is with words — and it is with words that we think and identify ourselves in the most basic of ways (and yes, we can also become lost in them as I am now trying to prevent myself from doing!) —it is a scroll-like, organic process. Recently, poet Joseph Hutchinson described on “The Perpetual Bird” how poetry is not a machine, as Williams had described, because it is organic, is more than the sum of its technical parts and knowledge Poets have to know when and where to stop steering the poem in its technical making and let it take over. It has got to do with truth-telling and sharing those truths. Poets can not be careerists in the traditional sense, which is ultimately more important than money and influence. If you have no agenda, you are free to think, to write, to read, learn and grow and de-program when you are seeing an illusion in the making. I do not have an agenda really. This is my experience and I wonder what sense do you make of this? I am very interested. Wishing you well, Donna

  2. Hi, Sharon–
    Civil action? Social protest? That’s basically been dormant since the 60s, when the worried Establishment re-doubled their efforts toward keeping us down. But, as of May 29th, when the planet Uranus entered the explosive sign of Aries, all that has begun to change! You won’t have long to wait before a groundswell of grassroots activism effects swift and real progress, and the countdown to 2012 begins! The children of the mid-60s born under the Pluto-Uranus conjunction in ecology-minded Virgo have come of age, and will be taking the lead. Also, for the first time in U.S. history, Mars goes retrograde in the national chart, presaging a rethinking of how we go about obtaining energy. In other words, people are pissed and won’t be pimped by whoremaster corporations without rebelling! /Brant

  3. Great piece, Sharon – one of my favorites so far!

    @Bill: As far as other pieces not addressing the event directly: The call for poetry detailed work which addressed the Gulf more generally (“systemic connectivity” to Katrina to the oil spill, etc.). I’m happy to see it all.

    • Amber: I don’t doubt the good intentions and sincerity of any poet contributing here . . . but there are endless anthols of “Nature poems” . . . it reminds me of what Karl Marx said to Heinrich Heine: “Give up these everlasting complaints about love; show these poets how to use a whip.” What makes the Mesmer poem stand out from the others here is the whip of it.

  4. Wonderful poem, Sharon! I am assembling a website of art capturing America’s responses to the Gulf Oil Spill for a class and I would love to feature a copy of your poem on my site. Please contact me at oilspillart@yahoo.com if you are willing to let me use your poem. Thank you!

  5. no, seriously: is this supposed to be a PROTEST anthology (like Lowenthals’ “Where is Vietnam?”)——

    or just another yawn addition to the “everlasting” shelves and shelves of nature poem anthols ——

    ?

  6. Pingback: My poem is up at Poets For Living Waters « O drivel, dumb mouth that speaks

  7. Pingback: SYSTEMS/ BOUNDARY WORK | Ecopoetics@Warwick

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