Amazon

Secular religions are born when people delegate their right to exist to an outside agent. In these modern times that could be an online retailer or the world’s richest human being. I took the bus downtown one night to see the new “Amazon Spheres,” three giant globular terrariums that had just been built next to a 60 story black tower building. I wrote a poem about it and somebody said “that should be a song.” So I sang it. The song had holes in it where instruments would go. Jessica Lurie showed up in town with her saxophone to play the Moisture Festival, and I said, “want to play on this?” She did, and it was just right.

we live in a boomtown
metropolis
where success
is a weapon of war
some people live in
spectacular mansions
others can’t afford to live
anywhere anymore

but Bezos has the money
he’s got all that money
more than a hundred billion dollars in his pants
way down in his pants

they built a shiny new temple to
themselves downtown
people genuflect
as they pass
artificial sunlight
and climate control
so they can colonize the jungle
behind a pain of glass

and because Bezos has the money
he’s got all that money
clutching in the fingers of his hand
he’s a rich man

Amazon
you don’t have the right to use that name
Amazon
it is a nation and a people
Amazon
one of the world’s greatest rivers
Amazon
it is the lungs of the planet

and we can barely breath
anymore

we gather together
to see what is to be done
we know the risks we take
are perilous
we sharpen up our wits
for the days ahead to come
somebody has to
and it might as well be us

because we have the history
we know what we are doing
and we will not just disappear
we’re gonna stay right here

Amazon
you don’t have the right to use that name
Amazon
it is a nation and a people
Amazon
one of the world’s greatest rivers
Amazon
it is the lungs of the planet

and this is our planet
and it is not for sale