Gregory Corso

Here you will find the Long Poem The American Way of poet Gregory Corso

The American Way

I am a great American 
I am almost nationalistic about it! 
I love America like a madness! 
But I am afraid to return to America 
I'm even afraid to go into the American Express? 

They are frankensteining Christ in America
in their Sunday campaigns 
They are putting the fear of Christ in America
under their tents in their Sunday campaigns 
They are driving old ladies mad with Christ in America 
They are televising the gift of healing and the fear of hell
in America under their tents in their Sunday
They are leaving their tents and are bringing their Christ
to the stadiums of America in their Sunday
They are asking for a full house an all get out
for their Christ in the stadiums of America 
They are getting them in their Sunday and Saturday 
They are asking them to come forward and fall on their 
because they are all guilty and they are coming 
in guilt and are falling on their knees weeping their 
begging to be saved O Lord O Lord in their Monday 
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday 
and Sunday campaigns 

It is a time in which no man is extremely wondrous 
It is a time in which rock stupidity
outsteps the 5th Column as the sole enemy in America 
It is a time in which ignorance is a good Ameri-cun 
ignorance is excused only where it is so
it is not so in America 
Man is not guilty Christ is not to be feared 
I am telling you the American Way is a hideous monster
eating Christ making Him into Oreos and Dr. Pepper
the sacrament of its foul mouth 
I am telling you the devil is impersonating Christ in America 
America's educators & preachers are the mental-dictators
of false intelligence they will not allow America
to be smart
they will only allow death to make America smart 
Educators & communicators are the lackeys of the 
American Way 
They enslave the minds of the young
and the young are willing slaves (but not for long)
because who is to doubt the American Way
is not the way? 

The duty of these educators is no different 
than the duty of a factory foreman 
Replica production make all the young think alike
dress alike believe alike do alike 
Togetherness this is the American Way 
The few great educators in America are weak & helpless 
They abide and so uphold the American Way 
Wars have seen such men they who despised things about them 
but did nothing and they are the most dangerous 
Dangerous because their intelligence is not denied
and so give faith to the young
who rightfully believe in their intelligence 
Smoke this cigarette doctors smoke this cigarette
and doctors know 
Educators know but they dare not speak their know 
The victory that is man is made sad in this fix 
Youth can only know the victory of being born
all else is stemmed until death be the final victory
and a merciful one at that 
If America falls it will be the blame of its educators 
preachers communicators alike 
America today is America's greatest threat 
We are old when we are young 
America is always new the world is always new 
The meaning of the world is birth not death 
Growth gone in the wrong direction 
The true direction grows ever young 
In this direction what grows grows old 
A strange mistake a strange and sad mistake
for it has grown into an old thing
while all else around it is new 
Rockets will not make it any younger? 
And what made America decide to grow? 
I do not know I can only hold it to the strangeness in man 
And America has grown into the American Way? 
To be young is to be ever purposeful limitless 
To grow is to know limit purposelessness 
Each age is a new age 
How outrageous it is that something old and sad
from the pre-age incorporates each new age? 
Do I say the Declaration of Independence is old? 
Yes I say what was good for 1789 is not good for 1960 
It was right and new to say all men were created equal 
because it was a light then 
But today it is tragic to say it 
today it should be fact? 
Man has been on earth a long time 
One would think with his mania for growth
he would, by now, have outgrown such things as
constitutions manifestos codes commandments
that he could well live in the world without them
and know instinctively how to live and be
?for what is being but the facility to love? 

Was not that the true goal of growth, love? 
Was not that Christ? 
But man is strange and grows where he will
and chalks it all up to Fate whatever be? 
America rings with such strangeness 
It has grown into something strange and
the American is good example of this mad growth 
The boy man big baby meat
as though the womb were turned backwards
giving birth to an old man 
The v