Note: this is a key poem of Fox's autobiography,
"Lost in America: The Charred Lord's Anthem to the Wall", planned for 2013.

Lost in America 

 Lost in America with very few clues
To tell you which is the right way to choose
What can you do to steer the right course
To lead you to that nation’s source
Where so many spirits seem to belong
Singing the words of their national song
Standing together in every way
Beneath the flag they hang each day? 

How did they come to sound like one
All of those peoples under the sun
So many colours and different creeds
So many tongues to meet their needs
So much interest in winning through
Fighting each corner and the middle too
Their wagons rolling all over the range
Where they were able to wreak their change? 

They tore up the land with mighty deeds
Split it asunder and sowed their seeds
Where in their ground they rooted and grew

Reaping the fruits for the very few

Slaving all of their days and all of their nights

Losing sight of those human rights

Writ by their fathers in those famous days

When all of the land was set ablaze.


And through this haze and heat of hate

They saw a vision of their state

Rising independent of their King

When they’d no longer kiss his ring

But take division by the throat

And give themselves the right to vote

To keep their land with brand new laws

And not pay tax without good cause.


And didn’t that prophet bring it out

What all the blood could bring about

For as the sun returns each day

Almost perfect in its way

From east to west its light was shed

Bathing this land in bloody red

Till darkness fell and ruled by right

And bled the people purest white.


Yes white pure white those thirteen angels stood

Nary a blemish of black to blacken their good

Yet even thus bereaved of light

They put the black boy out of sight

For it was free men that they meant

Whose rights they said were heaven sent

But obscured by clouds their angel’s eyes

Saw only Albion ghostly ride the skies.


Thus we freed us from our past

With new found rules so finely cast

And danced liked shadows in the fire

While all before us would transpire

Ghosts extended by the words we breathed

Distilled as spirits in a future weaved

Where the past could seem to live

And in this present comfort give.


But what comfort did we find

When that wound we tried to bind

With words so weighed and widely praised

That all our hopes were truly raised?

But as that fire took hold again

It seared our soul with mark of Cain

Whose pain forever grips our heart

From which that hurt can never part.


Yet in this state still deeply riven

Its open wound quite unforgiven

They fought their way out to the West

To wrest the land they liked there best

From the tribes who took it first

And though they fought and did their worst

They fell like buffaloe beneath the guns

That blazed across those killing runs.


Just as before the redskins fell

As if a plague had come from hell

To wipe them from their earthly place

Replacing red with white man’s face,

But as the paleface drained their blood

Another breed was born in mud

And life was breathed in those that bled

So they could rise up from the dead.


Now they live and fight in court

Joining in the nation’s sport

To score their points as in a game

That lays the blame to win their claim

Upon a state that took the lands

They took themselves from other hands

Or was there really no one there

But wolf or lion or grizzly bear?


Perhaps the air was full of birds

That swirled above the buffaloe herds

And swooped to see her swollen streams

That teemed with fish beyond all dreams

And cleanly washed the purest gold

That all those waters could not hold

But told the tale that gold was free

In their whispers to the sea.


And as that story crossed the waves

So came Spanish steel to dig their graves

To steal the gold in their King’s name

Until newcomers jumped their claim

And made their stand where cottonwoods grew

Their roots in waters from the desert dew

Till they kept those golden sands

And took its treasures in their hands.


They’ve all gone west those settlers now

Cowboys and injuns have taken their bow

Who can tell what damage was done

In those ways that the west was won

During the days it wasn’t thought wrong

For all of the land to belong to the strong

Hadn’t it lain there empty and bare

Waiting the white man’s heavy share?


So with long knives and iron horse

Human nature took its course

Until this nation state was built

Without the slightest sense of guilt

For it was made in nature’s name

Where the fittest won the game

Then made the rules above the board

In the name of their good Lord.


So as they viewed their holy visions

They could make their cruel decisions

When with death they surely diced

Gambling on the name of Christ

To inspire their cause with God

That he would raise his mighty rod

To light them through all time and tide

And fight for freedom on their side.


Beneath the light her fairness shed

She brought the poor and those in dread

And as they massed upon her shores

Cast against those golden doors

So she handed out her grace

By giving portions for each race

That would stop all future rifts

Forgetting that they all had gifts.


Broken from their homes in fear

All those folks had landed here

With their gods and with their woes

Running from their deadly foes

Here they fought to find their place

In the arms of their new race

And then to keep it safe and sound

Fought modern wars to hold their ground.


But while they fought their gods took hold

Turning death into pure gold

That got them keys to heaven’s door

So they could profit ever more

As if the way to Paradise

Was on the back of sacrifice

That gives itself to godly powers

Who milk such kindness ‘til it sours.


With every god came wealthy prophets

Committed to their healthy profits

Then they built their towers high

To make their office scrape the sky

And as each holy block was built

So they filled the land with guilt

And all the people herded in

As if their freedom was a sin.


But with so many peoples and so many gods

No wonder the races were always at odds

When towering yell or summoning bell

Told unbelievers they were headed for hell

And so many gods seemed to grow on trees

Or called on the world to crawl on its knees

Or seemed to inhabit intellectual space

Somewhat remote from this earthly place.


With so many gods apparently one

And so many races to be won

What could be done to stop holy strife

Stripping this land of all common life

Leaving it bloody and bitterly split

Each faction fighting for its little bit?

What could they do but convert god to Faith

So all their religions could feel really safe.


Somehow or other it all worked out

Creating a nation with almighty clout

Having absolute faith in great big bombs

Blasting their foes into ready made tombs

Putting their troubles to sleep beneath blooms

Nurtured by waters of far away tears

That flow through the world for endless years

To form into futures flooded with fears.


For in the anguish of that darkest hour

America produced its industrial power

To fight with the English its greatest strength

Lending and leasing to its uttermost length

Then taking its chance to get the whole lot

It reached right over and took the pot

But thrashed the fascists to the end

As if to help a special friend.


How can you know the final cost

In a world that’s all criss crossed

By invisible signs that fly through the face

Of all that we know of human space

Where soft as silk our web is spun

To ensure we’re number one

In this new world where we aspire

To leave our caves of steel and fire.


In this new world we set the pace

To ensure we win the race

Crawling through the new terrain

With no frontier but our brain

Like an insect we are found

Spinning all the globe around

Binding all that we can find

With the threads we have in mind.


Yet across a peaceful sea the sun has found its way

To light that inner kingdom with its fiery ray

There the dragon curls and bides its bright red flame

While tigers sit and play its game

By trading rights they all conspire

Their tribute to its holding fire

For in the dragon’s mouth there lies

A tongue of flame to lick the prize.


Yes freedom raised its burning flag

Upon whose smoke the people gag

And blindly staring through their tears

Are moved to silence by their fears

While sinuous tongues of burning fire

Find out deserts of dread desire

Where gods of old close all the doors

To inspire new holy wars.


But now the flag wraps up the past

To make it all seem right at last

In this new age the past is changed

To suit the way we’re now arranged

As if the world’s all peace and light

Flags are furled no need for might

But when they’re told a threat’s in sight

Still the people vote to fight.


Surely it shows how America cares

For this is how America fares

Plumbing the paradox of peace through wars

Playing the line of opinion scores

Fashioning frenzies to feed on goods

Managing masses in consuming moods

By having its ways of making you think

Just  a click away from that final link.

So here you are in America lost
Wondering what on earth it has cost
To cover her face with furrows and cuts
Just to extend her endless gluts
Surely the splits and the painful scars
Are part of the price we pay to be stars
Loading the world with wonderful wares
Making sure it’s just fair shares.


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