america, these smokey deep orange sunrises

 

these flames of forests burning, smoke of trees homes dreams lives dying

first responder sirens all night wailing, pandemic still taking

flames of blame burning, smoke of conspiracies whirling

a 4k oled screen trying to flash, in a cloud of fucking ash

 

pushed along, carried and spread by wind raining white hot embers and sparks

pushed along, carried and spread by humans being human and moving

cuz they had places they needed to be, faces they needed to see, a life they needed to be

on planes, ships, buses, cars, bicycles, feet, finger tips, on a cough, by a sneeze

pushed along, carried and spread by desktops, laptops and tv phones, on anything with a screen

 

all all all of our billions of beautiful screens

and all that power to see anything anything anything

but we choose to see only only only

what we want to see

if that’s the sorting algorithm, here’s the philosophy

if disinformation streams in high definition

what definition is the information

when the rumors and lies are delivered for free

does the truth cost too much to see

 

america, these dusty halos hazing out the sun

 

centuries ago, what we once could not name or explain

we ascribed to a god above

but now, confirmation bias spreads like a virus

so a digital edge gets caught up in our heads

this can’t see a human

being human

just a race

just a tribe

of our own assuming

for some algorithm’s amusement

so now, what we don’t want to deal with, refuse to see

we push away into conspiracy

just turn away saying get the fuck away from me

 

pandemic dna from 7000 miles away

wildfire smoke from 1400 miles away

a deepfake video produced in a country far away

but the mistrust and bloodshed these create is right here

between you and me

between the united states of all of us

distracting blame games, backfiring false flags

the social media shit talking, the boasts, the braying

the open threats made

they flash on our hi-def screens

inches from our face

 

america, these smokey deep red sunsets

 

these emptied out downtowns hurting, a family’s empty storefront burning

helicopters all night circling, particles of a virus swirling

words of blame burning, smoke of conspiracies churning

a gigapixel camera trying to flash, through a rain of fucking ash

 

when i see the sun rising darker and hazier than normal

over the minneapolis skyline as i’m driving

the work truck east down 394 these autumn mornings

when i see the sun falling darker and blurrier than normal

down into the minneapolis skyline as i’m biking

across the franklin avenue bridge these autumn evenings

i try to imagine the burning forests of america

or maybe it’s just me caught in the burning forests of my mind

i’ll meet you there, outside these fucking selfie frames

find me there too, at that place beyond disinformation’s games

and they, they are there, very much alive despite our shit talking

despite their own hard earned scars of surviving

and all of us, we can trip out and push away

or we can turn around unafraid to stay and face the news

beyond these smoking screens of fear

what’s smoke and signal is clear