Certificate Of Compliance

The smog test took about 2 minutes

but 20 to find

and cost $19 for a

Certificate of Compliance

which enables me to pay $172

for an Oregon registration.


I’ll pay anything to be compliant

I’m an American, red white and blue


strapped down to the tablet

carried through to the reclining chair

catastrophe is unnecessary

and so bothersome with sirens and flashing lights

with orders and directions

and a lower number on my bank statement

which is no longer Bank of America

no longer red white and blue

but starred and striped all the same

for there is no real escaping America



that’s why I’m compliant

and have a certificate to prove it

that cost $19 and 22 minutes, 37 if you count the drive home

47 if you count the cold pizza I ate in my car afterward–

feeling all too compliant

having no time to cook something better–

in the parking lot for the local grocery store

that has a section of the drinks aisle called “NEW AGE DRINKS”


We need to be subtly derogatory towards drinks that are not red white and blue,

not Coke or Pepsi,

not owned by the 3 corporations who own

all drinks in the other sections

we can’t forget to be Americans!

Or perhaps New Seasons meant New Age as a compliment

to those of us who read labels

and choose organic cane sugar

over high fructose corn syrup

sometimes with confidence and pride

other times being unsure there’s really a difference.


All I know is I’m compliant

and I have a Certificate of Compliance

from my smog test

if anyone doubts me.


Outside New Seasons, petitioners ask me to sign

to keep fluoride out of our drinking water.

I tell them I already did

because fluoride increases our compliance,

sedating us into submission

just like those things in the “real” non-New Age drinks

but I’ve already been compliant,

now it’s time for some rebellion


if that’s still a possibility

now that we’re all, everywhere, Americans

with the same pharmaceuticals in our drinking water,

the same GMO corn in our Coke and Pepsi

the same GMO beets in our cane sugar,

but perhaps something different in our NEW AGE DRINKS,

our only option for non-compliance

at the grocery store…


We could go off grid and be less compliant than New Age perhaps,

DIY and all that

tumbling down the bullet hole

creativity is our only weapon

crashing like waves

personal touch

is soon to be the only true way to be non-compliant

as the divide between compliant Americans

and rebellious uniqueness becomes wider

yet the distinctions are vague so long as we

don’t know

where things are coming from

or why…

vague as long as I have to pay for a smog test

with no option to question why

or what it does

or whether it’s necessary,

‘less I’d like to spend further time listening compliantly.


Compliance is a drug like any other-

it’s addictive and withdrawal looks lonely and scary

giving up my car looks cold, unsafe and exhausting…so I readily comply.


I don’t want to be one of those non-compliant people again-not in America.

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