God is everywhere, God is in Zion
not far from here, God is not letting
your children gang out with the children
of 'atheists' or 'doubters'; God is a fighter
in enclaves of the passive, God is the free
market, God is an extended warranty
on a sports utility vehicle that will
go anywhere; God is camouflage;
God is cheap electricity, cheap gas,
cheap clothing, cheap food, cheap
entertainment, God, if not renewable,
is making gestures in that direction,
God is expandible, miniaturised,
out on X-Box, digitalized and in stereo,
or hand-made as solid as a rock, God
is pro-life, pro-strength, pro-family,
pro-space and pro-martial arts.
God is everywhere.
John Kinsella's poem America is very much in the mould of Blake's visionary poem America, A Prophecy but unlike Blake, Kinsella does not express himself in allegorical terms but delivers a trenchant, uncompromising and direct denunciation of the world's unchallenged superpower. In what Peter Porter describes in his superb introduction as a 'finely annotated and sculpted tirade', Kinsella expresses his extreme disillusionment with the country in which he has been living on and off since the turn of the century, a disillusionment felt all the more keenly because he is Australian. This is an extraordinary work, a highly political and hard-hitting commentary on contemporary America presented not as documentary but in poetry, and all the more powerful for that.
Published December 2005