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Aria Of Atonement by Joanie Zosike

Aria of Atonement, as Sung by


an Eastern European Jewess


By Joanie Zosike


I was born in the United States of America. The United States of America. The USA. I was born in the USA. I hate this country.

I was born in this country. I was born in the US. I was born in the States. I hate the States.

I hate states. I hate the United States.

I hate the country where I was born. I should not hate where I was born. I shouldn’t hate anyone or anything. I should love everyone and everything. In fact, I hate the word “hate.” I do. I thought I had eliminated that word from my vocabulary. I’m ashamed of myself when I use the word “hate.” I should expunge the word “hate” from my vocabulary. But sorry to say, I do hate this trumpeting strumpet of a country. I hate it.

I am an American. A born American. I am a native of this country. That’s not true. I am an interloper. The only natives in this country are living on reservations. The only natives of this country suffered cultural genocide after the cold-blooded near-extinction of the so-called Indian nation. They weren’t even Indians. They were in the right country at the wrong time.

The dominant population of this country are the descendants of white European bullies. Refugees, settlers, slaveholders. Aristocracy, in polite parlance. This country brandishes its velvet-appareled history in museums and statues. It celebrates its red-hued chronicle via anthem. It proudly sings of the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air. It sings about the way it began, the way all countries begin: Interlopers move in, flash their shining ships, buy the dreams of others with wampum and duplicity. Take the brown bones of those they overpower. They enact their role as Gods and mete out Armageddon.

I am an American.

I am an Americano.

I am an Americanah.

I am an Amerindian.

I am an Am-Eurasian.

I am an aneurysm.

I am a mericon.

An aberration.

An anathema.

I am embarrassed by this America. By the way, this is NOT America. I was not born in the country of America. America is not a country, it’s a continent, a land mass. Though the US of A calls itself the name of a continent, in actuality, the continent is “the Americas.” Plural. Yes, Virginia, there are other Americas: South, Central, and North America. Black, brown, and poor And let us not forget, although we’d like to, middle America. The United States of America is IN North America. North America includes another nation, Canada. It’s a country, not a parenthesis.

I am a North American who disapproves of what the US of A wrought in South America, stealing sugar, cigars, and senoritas, all the while teaching torture, reinforcing dirty politics, and supporting dictators who kowtowed to American interests, only to later be overthrown and executed by the U.S. for getting too snippy.

I am an Americanarchist who shrivels at the thought of a State—the very thought of The State puts me into a state. The State is held in estate by a common brokership, the broken Ship of State and its putrid sea breath. The Ship of State is an illegitimate power base. Illegitimate Power is base, and inhuman at its base. But in America, all we talk is baseball, not the basis of America.

The basis of the United States of America is the genocide and marginalization of one people and the kidnapping and enslavement of another, thus insuring the fledgling country’s economy. Fill in the colors. Anything not white, not Christian, or female, will do.

I’m an American Humanarchist; I reject the idea of state. The state does nothing but impinge and overcomplicate. It interferes with everyone’s life—and wastes time on our dime. The state is nothing but an impediment to progress.

Other than staying in power, the State is interested only in what happens to any stray wealth it hasn’t itself subsumed. It wants to keep itself armed and rich, and to keep its citizens in control.

I live in a state that hampers evolution, one that would rather keep weapons in the arms of maniacs, racists, and the military than step on the toes of arms dealers, AKA the NRA, a body that deals in domestic and global weaponry, and supports candidates who protect its right to do so.

This is a nation of traffickers, pimps, murderers and thieves, cloaked as puritans. A nation true to the roots from which it has grown, lo, these years since the aristocracy’s independence was declared. I am loathe to call myself an American.

I live in an American democracy that declares I am entitled to personal freedom comprised of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, states the state’s profane scriptures.

But in truth, I do not live in a genuine democracy. I need not get sentimental about saving democracy because this country was never an expression of democracy. It’s more into pussy and gossip than it’s into democracy.

Anyway, what is democracy, and do I really want to participate in it, or the democratic process—which simply fosters exclusion? When Democracy rules, it dismisses dissent. As has been shown, the state views those who hold opposing opinions as dispensable. Their voices are diminished, trivialized, and collectivized (in the worst sense of the word). They are quashed in the cellar of irrelevance, left to shout their rebel misery into dungeon walls, at least, until the balance shifts.

But when it does, what is to keep a new regime from climbing into the cockpit of the worthless craft of state? When will tyrants learn that to oppress other human beings is to oppress oneself?


I am not an American.

I am a resident of earth.

I walk a silent silver path.

I cannot travel without a passport.

I cannot legally use public transport.

Unless I pay. Or public schools.

Unless I pay. Or health care. Unless I pay.

Or if I’m a member of Congress.

I am relegated to insignificance.

Sentenced to secrecy and fear.

Marginalized as inferior, dark, lethal.

I have no papers. I use them to

wipe my nose. For they are worth

nothing, nothing—less than money.

My hands are tools; my feet, vehicles.

My brain flies the craft of my ideas.

My soul feeds my hungry belly.

And if I speak from a podium of

privilege, it is all I can do to atone,

to practice peace, and to wander

until I find a comfortable village

where I can find a way.



Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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