America at Play

I took the underlined sections of this “found poem” from a recent “sporting goods” advertisement in our local newspaper. The rest of the words are mine. In the Big 5 Sporting Goods ads, the items change a little from week to week, but not much.

I propose that the discussion about the recent violence in the United States might include how casually we use the tools and language of violence in our culture and how making money plays a big part.


America at Play (from a Big 5 Sporting Goods ad)


Winchester .45 pistol ammo,  one hundred rounds, 

for forty-nine, ninety-nine! For your cutting needs a

Stiff Kiss Semi or Non-Serrated Knife!  For the kids

the Silent Cat Pellet Air Rifle or the Bullet Speed-Skates.

On sale, American Eagle 9mm Luger Ammo, 

one hundred rounds for twenty-nine, ninety-nine! 

And from The Marines, the Few, the Proud,

a Tactical Folding Knife! For you militia fans

we feature the Barricade Tactical Backpack,

the Smith & Wesson Commando Watch,

the XLA Shooting Bipod, and we’ve got

the best price on the Stealth Cam p18 Scouting Camera!

You hunters will enjoy a 12-gauge pistol-grip pump shotgun!

To make sure you get that trophy we offer

the Exacta 12-GA double-ought buckshot shells, box of ten,

that you can use in your new

The Marines, the Few, the Proud Tactical Pump Shotgun

perfect for your hunting needs!


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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

5 thoughts on “America at Play”

  1. Oh, how I agree with your proposal, and how I wish we could come to Discussion without swinging fists — or worse — at each other. How many times can a heart break? How do we heal? Why have we accepted even the most casual violences into our everyday lives? Why can we not transform the idols of Violence and Anger and Hate into idols of Love and Compassion and Empathy? Why are the calm and measured voices ignored and considered weak? Too many questions, too few answers…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you said it so well. for me one of the craziest aspects of the sale of lethal products at the local strip mall is that no one seems to think anything of it. and the armaments sold go way beyond what is needed for hunting. anyone wanting to arm a militia would find that easy at the “sporting goods store”. it’s as american as…

      thanks for reading my stuff and for your insight.


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