The ‘Merican Ego: “Diary of a Serial Killer”

On October 23rd at the first fall creative writing forum, I had the pleasure of hearing Raechel Segal read the following poem. I remember thinking to myself, “This would be a good poem to use if I were writing a paper on the anti-intellectual perils that come with American nationalism.” The issues that her speaker confronts — or refrains from confronting — are very layered, and the speaker’s inability to go beyond himself, a clear lack of empathy, suggests that there is a profound relationship between nationalism and egotistical individuals. Explore the psychology of John, who’s last name is Fletch (not Oliver), in Raechel Segal’s “Diary of a Serial Killer.”

Diary of a Serial Killer

Raechel Segal

FedEx or UPS?

I guess, I will patronize

UPS ‘cause I’m a ‘Merican.

Not the John Stewart, Colbert,

Cynical kind. I gotta

Different kind of mind.

.

.

I’m proud of my country, the

Red, white, and Bourbon.  

.

.

I let ‘em use their guns,

Flex their guns,

Wear their guns in

Their pants.

.

.

Is that a gun in your pocket, or

Are you just glad to see me?

I’m excited to see me.

My name is John. Last name is not Oliver.

My name is John. Last name is Fletch.

I am a ‘Merican.

.

.

I don’t oppress.

I don’t upset.

But I don’t like

Civil unrest from those groups that’s always fighting.

You know, the small ones?

.

.

What’s that?

Oh, yes, “marginalized groups.”

Yeah, I heard of them.

I respect them.

I too chew tacos from Taco Bell!

.

.

May we rest and may we find, in our true minds, the dignity of…I did not smoke a bowl last night. I did NOT smoke a bowl last night.

.

.

My name is John. Last name is not Oliver.

My name is John. Last name is Fletch.

Goodnight.

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