Amerikkkan Cannibals, or (Askew-ed World Order)


[Anthropophagus/: The Beast, The Savage Land, and The [es]Scapegoat]


What does it mean to be Amerikkkan ? We/We . The People . . . as a theory
has the heft of trebuchet stones lobbed into still water . A can[n]on of lies
agreed upon by the victors, and the collective conscience complicit
                                                                                                           . You

                                                                    . Them/ those
                                                   . . . The People
                                                   , rippling outwards—a/ massed in motion
—a momentum, expanding to the far horizon 
                                                                          (a = F / m 
                                                                          ) as a meta
                                                                          -phor never get on the bad side
                                                                          of tiny tin gods
                                                                          who have a little authority
                                                                          , who believe
carry weight, but always weigh the same as nothing
, or nobody
. Are They who do the dirt, and us, who are complicit . The omnipresent 
industrious, invisible and mysterious They
, who give intentionality to random events, or
external explanations for psychological episodes / : Why   ? did They
invade Grenada . The They
, who calculate worth as having all They see, that which is not theirs to take
. The They, who define ambition as a raptor wingspan
of taloned plummeting, a dogged pursuit


, the greener grass rising on thermal currents of global warming
. They eyes
-wide blind to ever needing a word for envision an inclusive co-existence
, for where ? in their bodies, did they evolve to crave, to take
without asking and forever salt-thirst for more than they truly need
. They obsession with killing everyone, and everything
, just for the blood of it
. Amerikkka is a mongrel insensitivity to empathy
. A capitalist concept
                                  of man
                                  exploits man
. I have a problem with Capitalism, especially late-stage Capitalism.

I mean, it’s impossible not to, since one of its default ideological positions
can be neatly summarized as follows: “I will work for other people
until I can get other people to work for me.”   Okay,
so, leaving aside the incredibly fraught implication
that the ultimate end goal of the system is personal idleness—something
completely contrary to the ethos of “the brand,” so to speak
—what troubles me most about the phrase is both its focus on one’s labor
as a raison d’être, and its determination that the exploitation of [O]thers
is not only necessary, but shrewd. It strikes me that achieving success, in
late-stage Capitalism, relies upon removing the humanity from the human
. Now of course, I could be wrong. But go ahead, prove me wrong 

                                                                  (Rone Shavers, Crônica del Crepúsculo)  
                         … Amerikkka is a kind of bull’s
                         -eye on bodies
, that are non/
                      , and in/decipherable
in Amerikkka’s imperial tongue
                                                   , yet targeted
, as them/   those people . The lower caste
justified by police gunshots
                                             echoed to thin the herd
. What is it to be the Other
? We are all fragile creatures surrounded by hostile acts, some
persistent sense of long-term ruin . What good is it to grope hopefully
into the future ? Most can never recover . Every hope
an odd object reeled out of a polluted lake, discovering, little by little,
more what kind of nothing   nothing is   , as I did
                                                                   from the rowboat
                                                                   of mute perishing
, fishing up the paycheck to paycheck part-time working poor
. The suspended food stamps, and parole officers—more often than not
, somewhere in a small room, smug strangers are deciding our fate
. Why   ? am I
being detained, again
It could be any of us—the We were
. The gun
concealed under our hoodie, or in our back pocket
. It could be none of us . But protocol dictates  
that We assume the position
—that They unlawfully stop and frisk our bodies 
. Anywhere arrogance has wolf pack/ barged
without knocking, like so much wrong
                                                    justified as reasonable doubt
                                                    . When We are targeted
                                                      for what We are not
. Anywhere democratic global-
I-zation has planted a flag
. Everywhere the invasive metal detector and hand wand
, as methodically  
the X-ray machine cavity-searched our carry-on bags
. The scrutinized
-Black surveilled by the outside gaze
, worried that their evil spirit
will soon try to appropriate our space . We paste protest signs
to our bodies, a haint blue 
, in order to distract evil spirits from doing any harm
, when singled out, our caste haunted by crackers
,for what We are assumed to be—with sometimes fatal consequences
. They carry within themselves the awakening calculations
of smoke, fore-shadowing the upright mania
of consumption, a drought-stricken field of grass
fallen victim to the thoughtless match
                                                             . They forever grasp of entitlement
, as exclusive as Rodeo Drive, is status-brand, designer
-dressed in vanity . The further horizon, of grab as grab can
, where everybody wants
                                        , everything behind the glass
. They greed begins as an ulterior agenda, more obsessive expectation
than hope
. Begins with the smolder of deceit—the securitized oil of materialism
, and arrogance, like a combustible soaked into a rag
and tossed next to the hot water heater in the corner of the garage   
. Amerikkkan cannibals are little minds
in Twitter tele-communications of little import
. The methamphetamine violence of their hunger, failed upwards
to the level of a self-centered addiction,
can only calculate their needs in 150 characters, or less, is a megalo
-brilliant opulence of maniacal magnificence soaring above the
             -splayed, browning blood splatter of the Dream
             that patronizes our bottomless thirst of sorrow
, when they see us, if they see us   , maybe believe they see us
. They onslaught of Progress for singular gain
sponging material solace
                                         from moral poverty’s covetous embrace
. We all wanted to believe
that God would help those who help themselves, a rewards card program
marketed by Amazon . A tax credit
to close the expanding chasm of up-by-our-bootstraps . The free anything
Made in Amerikkka, that is something offered
                                                                          , but always
                                                                          , a quid pro quo
                                                                          snatch the shirt off our back
                  , or maybe, the college
                                                      -debt indenture of our first-born child 
. The holy cross shape of all the suffering . Our harsh histories
, the sand in the gears of anxious days
, is the afterthought of hindsight We have become—is the blind faith 
moaned a Blue(s) song
to batter the throat’s confessional 
. The stealth of every scheme and agenda . They are their own gravity,
and everything They suction in—what’s yours is mine—because
They can !! Is how corrupted the ability to see
what has been hauled, dripping blood, into the light . The rumor of a lie
become the entrenched belief, to name visible what, without them
, would never have been Progress . The multitude of broken lives
tucked between the bookends—Was and
Is . Today is just like yesterday, and the day before that, all over again
         . Our blind hope
                                   -like praying, wanting and wishing
                                                                              outside the gaudy casino
of the Dream . They smoldering denial of guilt and remorse, while faking
happiness, is the Amerikkkan way—the dead and the dying, separate but 
. Is the villain the only person who cannot see it happening





? . . . are They who view themselves as demi-gods
, despite all life joined by one beating heart . most of what
comes to the surface is divisive, the carrion crows of anxiety and doubt
and fear—the solutions made mute, or roiled to endless debate
, as in the difference between smoldering and wildfire
depends on what’s burning
. We
, post-MLK
, once the dandelion´s open face of hope, as We burned and burned
and burned
                  . now, the spook of a nation
                  become an abacus of gunshot
                                                                 -splayed bodies
and the everyday echoes of enraged grief, like pigeons defecate
a wintery landscape of shit 
. They rooted themselves in an expanse that was never theirs
. decided
when how much of what
would be allocated to whom
the way it’s always been, our stricken/through We
                                           , lost in software translation
                                           . our formatting
                                           rendered wrongly by alternate browsers
; from our cell-phones
scrolled a simmering rage, the breaking news reports
and the repetition of grief happening somewhere else
—overheard on the television in the other room
—the gunsmoke of tribulation, and sorrow moaned a Lawd Jesus, no
hair-pulled wail of anguish . is an isolated incident
, like the Trump downplayed landfall
of a viral pandemic—merely an aberration
, a statistical anomaly of no consequence
sanctified by guest expert speculation, because
it is part of an ongoing investigation
                                                          , an [es]scapegoat clause
                                      braiding a narrative of blamelessness
. is the hiss of circular rhetoric
conjugating the path of least resistance, a shamelessness
that is something learned, or something
so sinful sowed
                         . We are a non-violent umbrage—something
epigenetic—pointing fingers at the hate
that made hate hateful, an anger deeper than the scars
refuse to see
, our invisible Immanence 
, like the hereditary trait of an ominous arc of clotted gray sky
, congealing a conglomerate of hurricane wind-blown, leaden rain
. They are the nothing nowhere politics, and weird science
, like salt thrown over a left shoulder to keep the Devil at bay
. each grain a second on the clock, the tick-tock
-ticking of the ecological game of roulette
that has wounded the planet to teetering, downsized the threat
of global warming and a 6th extinction
to the redundant prayers of mind-wash religion, deceiving
hope to blindly follow along
, and proselytizing the His-story-cal Messiah from myth
like soon faded receipts from the corner mom and pops
. the Anthropocene era is a neglected temple in decline
, in hindsight, is the common sense
that survival comes with certain obligations 
. but They puppeteer
, and We all parrot
an inevitable repetition of exploit and dominate
. to prove They are something better than, biding their time
until We all inexorably expire . until the earth
exterminates its crumpled-up tragedies
. . . in the festering fuckery of Empire, the lack of empathy
in They hollow hearts, like a cacophony of siren shrills
that catastrophe the margins
in which We stir ancestral . The mainstream rationale, in which
We personify a subspecies (Ursus arctos horribilis) classified
, and shaped by, the narrative optics 
(re : visionists re : envisioning a higher ground
) as if to eliminate His-story-cal pretense from the Past
and obscure the lethal face of hate, duct tape them   /those people
talking critical race theory   , and us still face down in the mud
. They excuses, and
                                public PR clarifications, as divisively banal
                                as the spokesperson repetition of the isolated incident
                                , a Lawd Jesus, no !! hair-pulled wail of grief
, and our lungs given up the ghost . the gunshot
-splayed thug/nigga   /criminal
                                                 , media
a wild flowering of shit in the middle of the street
, to appease the bigoted insensibilities, and assumptions
that We are weeds, that need to be pulled   , with extreme prejudice
. this unholy atmosphere of acquiescence and denial . ( the non-
violent protests, the petitions and the ballot boxes
.) our nihilism breaking bread with the wolf  
, repeating everything, only sometimes worked in the past
, and expecting a different outcome  
, despite the same results   
over and over
and over again—now so deep in the hole
                            ,air had to be pumped in
, like futile acts of auto-erotic asphyxiation   
/ : I . Can’t . Breathe !!   and repeat  
like the dog-tired muscle of the tongue
shushed silent inside a vacuum of frustration, and hopelessness
. joy is unbearable without tragedy, the entwined
                                                         prostheses of happiness
                                                         and electrically charged suffering
                                                                           tangled and untangled           
                                                                                 as a forest of flesh
                                                                                    . one part begins
                                                   just as the other ends, the subtle ache
                                                                                           of humanity
                                              forming an endless loop . all our dreams
                                become tumescent—the raised fist of Patti Smith
                                            People Have the Power   , living out loud
                                            !! like Amerikkka been dissed—on repeat
                                                                                       . such holiness
                is flame given free reign vs . hope become the soggy cereal
                   in the political insanity for breakfast—the neediness, and
                                                                         aggressive competition
   that drives our disillusionment to work—9 to 5—the trudge
                       of assimilation full-nelsoned our throats to submission
                                                                                  . We are reminded
                             that resistance is futile—a rubber bullet to the head
                                        as if suicide absconded to avoid persecution
—while traps are set to prevent dissent, the blatant lies accrued
into the vast unsaid, and the conscience
, now, too well adjusted
to a profoundly separate and [un]equal society
. did you ever believe you knew something to be a lie
? but were unable to find the courage to confront it
? They re-envisioning
of His-story
become a blatant dismissal of whiplash stigmata
, a negation of keloid/ -mettled scars
. the ratcheting anger is an I.E.D primed to kaboom, a stop
-motion blooming into the Midas/-ocracy of a capitalist global-I
. the schemes of premeditation—pillaging what They peripheral  
wide-angle view—enflaming the festering wound
infected with the penniless fear of never having nothing                
, while gleaning a society to obsolescence
. the social networks of Twitter, and re-tweet stupidity
, become a digital talisman of guest-expert media speculations
scabbed over with bigotry—just a sliver of truth
—that divides the national soul, a/ massed a scurrying
of ants to panic, trapped frantic, within a Diamond matchbox
They cyborg indifference to the suffering of Others



[The Looming Violence Of Famine]


. i clutch my limited-edition Camel humidor
filled with retread “re-rolls”  
recycled in trepidation of inevitable nicotine famine
. i watch cracks of locomotive determination
tentacle across the seismic skew of sidewalks 
. the weeds of willful dissent     
wending their way from hairline cracks
, are a persistence
willing to bite its tongue to spite its nose 
like the evolution of apartheid
delineating the ups and downs of my life
, the horizontal skewed sideways
from the vertical ascent of my theoretical desires
, my recycled euphoria, hoping for the best, but
preparing for the worst
. the political apparatus does not bemoan broken bones or gunshot-
splayed bodies, is violence  
poisoning every inhalation of oxygen
, the casual violence when We give ourselves to impulse
, is violence to ourselves—suicide
poised like a spear at our throats, is violence towards one another 
. the defining trait of humanity, our empathy, eroded to alkali scattered
-dust to the hems of society . is violence 
towards the future, raping our world
, will eventually kill our children
                                                     , grandchildren, & great
                                                     -/ grandchildren
. . . the They we view as demi-gods
, despite all life joined by one beating heart 
. did you ever believe you knew something to be a lie
? but were unable to find the courage to confront it




[The seemingly unrelated thoughts that clamor 24/7 through a Poet's mind
He cogitates the reality that status quo denies in lieu of the Dream]


? The plastic tamper
-proof seal and child
-proof plastic cap
on plastic bottles of opioids . The military grade 
                                                                               / nuclear bomb
-proof plastic packaging
of consumer products Made in China cheap . the petro
                                                                         -liters of plastic
                                                                         twisted into kilotons of strangle
, how do you turn poison into medicine, that in turn
, becomes a poison that addicts
? About a week before Sylvia Plath committed suicide
, an acquaintance offered me the card of a psychologist, whom she claimed
had worked wonders for Sylvia
, which led me to ironically theorize
that every poet is a loaded pistol
. Anyone, who can make people think for themselves, is dangerous
, is the bitter medicine
waiting to be spooned into the herd poisoning of the masses, or
                                                                                                  the quid pro quo
of the Oval Office, the lunatic solutions, like the Trump supporter's idea
to help the homeless
navigate an uncaring society
                                   is the MAGA red/white/
and Blue/tooth that would fit in their ear, and
when they nonsensical gibberish-ed to themselves
                                             , they would look like
all the other shiny gadget
-addicted, inconsiderate, and morally challenged cell
                                                                                    -phone idiots
                                                           , posturing their self
                                                           -importance in public
. We now pause for a public service announcement
. . . 1960 Nuclear bomb drill
—the schoolchildren, who once a month, hide under their desks
. . . 2022 Active shooter drill
—the schoolchildren, who once a month, hide in a storage closet
. . . and now back to our regularly programmed stations
. The traditional cast in a teen horror movie
/ : The two beautiful, physically symmetrical, and horny
white couples, plus
white sidekick gay male BFF, or
the closeted lesbian BFF, who has a real crush
                                                                 on the good girl
, who unbeknownst to her, invited her ass-hole boyfriend
. The politically correct Other (i.e., The Black male, or female
.) The Magic Negro tryn’ to persuade white folks to WeShallOvercome
, who is the first to die
                                    , or survives the horror
, only to be imprisoned
for daring to survive the slaughter of white folks
. The Asian-American nerd boy stuck on Scarlett Johansson, or
Asian-American girl savant hooked into tech
. The caste off, socially inept
forever foreign, that no one sees, until their cell-phones don't work
. The Che Guevara-esque Chicano
 with all the mota/ : the euphoric dreams of a gringo-free future
. The physically disabled genius (most often
a really hot female
in a wheelchair) who is, ingeniously
, in slapstick fashion
, dismembered, decapitated, and/or disemboweled
. All of these typecast idiots, on spring break
to an isolated cabin in an obscure backwoods county
, populated by morally, intellectually, and
socially corrupted degenerates
, where their cell-phones can't get a signal
, unless they can obstacle-course run the two-mile gauntlet
between the cabin and
the trap-infested hill, while being pursued by the off-screen monster
. . . All of which
is exactly like bringing non-violence to a protest march (They with
the guns, and them without), or as Amerikkkan Karen
as the distraught meth ho
who called the cops when the dopeman ripped her off





. Have you ever done a thing so much, you learned how to do it
without thinking
I used to put my faith in worship, the huddled prey
                                                               , palms raised in the air
, reciting prayers of prostration despite God’s averted eyes
—so close I could smell the burnt metallic
copper on his breath—my footprint in his, but had to focus
                                                                           to find myself
. I used to believe in love, my heart the headlong ecstasy
                      of a raging river thundering across a needle’s point
—my confidence at risk
                             , before the dilution of my precious singularity
. I used to believe in democracy, that all men
                                                            were created equal
                                                                       , indivisible
in our engorged Empire, beating our drums and saluting
a flag with no star in its constellation for me
. I used to believe patience + opportunity equaled success, a life
made more demeaning
and echoing a double-edged dichotomy
, an expected unexpected final corruption to come—my indecision
, a rabbit stunned in the high beams of deception
. I used to believe in fairy tales, lulled to sleep
with adult cautionary fables/ : alabaster princesses in distress
                                                                , gallant knights
in shining armor, and the archetypical wicked stepmothers, if they
had their druthers . A remote, glistening aloofness
clutching at honor and nobility, text-book
                                                   into happily-ever-after days
. I used to believe in happiness, as a birthright
, but then came the day I had to let go my childish ways
. I believe
the homeless diaspora is proof that God does not exist 
just beyond arm’s reach, but as a dim, receding silhouette
                                                                             in the darkness
/ : all-mighty deaf, dumb and blind, the static dissonance
of indifference in absentia, but pretending to be something else
within the proselytized margins of religious submission
; the US of intolerance, like a willful child’s
pouting tantrum, assimilated us hesitant to chuck the yoke
that is fitted in increments of everyday frustration and routine
—sanctifying the ambitions of our bottomless appetites
with a coolness like a murderer’s confession
, so, We can fit in with the other ducks 
. Our final, regimented submission 
                                      conforming us
                                      to the dead weight of oppressed
, and forcing us to submit to what is feared, because
We couldn’t negotiate
the fine line between optimism and stupidity
, no matter who, or when
                                         , suicidal Jesus Saves
                                         under neon skid-row lights
. There’s always been (and always will be) ghosts in the machine
, an anxious moan in the wind, that sounds like every desire’s hope
hovering at the edges of every furtive moment
like braided steel cable, vibrating
within the onslaught of a freezing downpour
. . . less than 3% between human and ape gives us Einstein, Dr. Cornel West,

the Rev. Dr. MLK . . . Dick “Chislin” Cheney, Baby Bush and D****d McT***p
. On the continent of sorrows
Leviathan smiles onto a sunlit prison become a gilded cage
                                       , where every fear is a fear of, and our neediness
is a pidgin pleading in a whore’s crack-pipe tongue
                                                     , a vulgar audacity treading rice paper
. I used to believe
in the pyroclastic flow of ‘sivilization, about a thousand miles
a day, reminiscent of Roman roads to murder, rape and pillage
—a world designed to keep us away from Them, the frantic, security
                                                                               -minded fear
                                                                               behind concrete walls
, bullet-proof glass, steel bars and corrugated barriers—the boundaries
and borders of irreconcilable difference, like radio stations
fading in and out of static
. and always the foreigner, who delineates the unease
They feel, the good as dead
dying that is sanctified by the letter of the law—670 miles
of Minuteman paramilitary bigotry—the looming shadow
become a seismic root upheaval  
of concrete buckling society—the cornered rats
hissed into a crouch of bared teeth and bad intention
                                                                                    ; the cacophony
of material greed become religion—the Big Box parking
-lot priests, wielding holy spirit abundance and brimstone reward cards   
, and our incendiary children, like chambered bullets, exploded
inadvertently through the windshields of speeding, sudden
-stopped dreams
, rocketed into sunlight that blinds as much as oblivion—the Titanic
, in that inarticulate moment too spontaneous to have a name
, and if you wish to leave a message, please press 1 , or wait for the tone



[The System, or The Politics of Dancing]


. . . How?   does one work within the system
to change the system
that makes the rules that one must follow
to remain a/part of the system
whose sole purpose
is to perpetuate the system   [entangle the cog within the machine]   like
the slave cannot destroy the master’s house
with the master’s tools



henry 7. reneau, jr. does not Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. It is not that he is scared of change, or stuck fast in the past; instead, he has learned from experience that the crack pipe kills. His work is published in Superstition Review, TriQuarterly, Poets Reading the News, Prairie Schooner, Zone 3 and Rigorous. His work has also been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He lives on the land that Amerikkkan mythology wants the world to believe was solely discovered, tamed, and ‘sivilized by white people.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, May 11, 2023 - 20:28