A Drive from South Bend to Indy

Paul Goettlich 14 Dec 1997

A drive from South Bend to Indy
Janis Joplin singin’ on the radio
It hits me and I write.
Three hours are gone in a flash
Now it’s your turn to see what grabbed me

Your fields are all strip malls
and meadows dug deep for gravel
Waste covered mounds bumpin’ at the soot
The trees are all chipped and
nature’s entangled in power lines
Mighty diesels linked bumper-to-bumper
sendin’ a black spidery ribbon of soot
linkin’ all noses

Water’s all poisoned
Air’s full of gases and dust
Paved areas approach 50%
the rest is open animal waste cesspools and
Combustion Coal Waste

Your food I can’t eat
poison
fake
irradiated
colored
Industrial sludge laced with
pesticides and hydrogenated fat

Your air makes me choke
foul
smoky
gaseous
Ethanol plants
Factory farms
ash cans smolderin’ day & night
burns my eyes and nose
drives me crazy

Your water barely drinkable
atrazine
DDT
PCB
Dioxin
Factory Farm runoff
Industrial waste
Toxic, Heavy, and Radioactive

Your trees . . .
GONE

I cry as I write yet I see no awareness around me.
What does it take to get you mad Indiana?
When will you come alive and
not lie submissively on your back?
The clock is runnin’ and time’s almost up.

Soon all will be Kokomo
from one end of the state to the other
N-E-S-W Kokomo
Everybody drivin’ Lincolns
and gaggin’ all the way to Indy
You’re trashing the environment in exchange for endless strip malls that don’t even satisfy ones basic needs.

• Steak n’ Shake
• Ruby Tuesday’s
• Uhaul
• Coca Cola
• McDonalds
• Applebee’s
• Taco Bell
• Olive Garden
• Arby’s
• Burger King
• La-Z-Boy
• Naked Furniture
• Little Caesar’s
• Red Lobster
• T.G.I.Friday’s
• Blimpies
• A&W
• Lone Star
• Long John Silvers
• Papa John’s
• Schlotzsky’s
• Subway
• White Castle
• Motel 6
• Ramada Inn
• CITGO
• Shell
• Econolodge
• Discovery Zone
• Staples
• Bob Evans
• KFC
• Waffle House
• Kenny Rogers Roasters
• Lowes
• OutBack
• . . .

Note: I wrote this on the steering wheel while on one of my drives from South Bend, Indiana to Indianapolis, Indiana for a board meeting at a nonprofit there. I emailed this to the governor and head of the environmental regulator (IDEM).

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