The Ugly American In Liverpool

In Liverpool.
Thursday, September 14, 2000
I am standing on a street corner, watching
The Ugly American
Nearly ripped off by a petty thief trying to sell him expired double AA batteries from 1996
Whom he kept telling him, “no.”
A gruff answer startles him as he threatens to knock
The Ugly American’s block off,
That is until his boy-decoy says,
“C’mon! Let’s get outta here! We’ll go find us another sucker to play with.”

In slum, glum grey sad-eyed Liverpool
Where eyes lay upon eyes of The Ugly American, who do not bother to say hi, but watch what he will buy, that is if he does at all
Even the cab driver looks at The Ugly American funny
Until he hands over his money
Only then does the cabbie wish him goodnight

In Liverpool,
Hum-drum, poorly depressed Liverpool,
Where even the smallest of men try to snatch the dreams of those who dare to rise
Beyond the façade of lonely
Starkness,
But barely
Gives hope for a better tomorrow
Today

By Charles Bernstein