August 19, 2016

Poetry Friday--"The Collusion"

I'm sure you've heard that "all poetry is political." I don't know about all, but at this time of year, in this particular year, it's hard to keep the political out! So, let this be a warning: if you're not interested in politics, or in my political views, then stop reading now. I'll give you time to think about it by directing you to the Poetry Friday Round-Up being held at Dori Reads. Spend some time there, and if you're up for my political rants, then by all means come back!

Here there be Rantings!

"Meerwunder vnd seltzame Thier" [ca. 1544], courtesy Wikimedia.

Okay, you're here willingly, so let's get on with it. In April, PBS NewsHour ran a story on Ocean Vuong, who had recently published, Night Sky with Exit Wounds. The piece titled, "Ocean Vuong on why reading poetry is political," has to do with Vuong, his background, politics, and his poetry.
"The reading of poetry is in itself an act of political resistance to the mainstream," he said. "Particularly in this election cycle, where there is this great anxiety for certainty. What is your position? What is your stance? Why are you flip-flopping? There’s an anxiety of certainty and power and boldness...But poetry acknowledges the true complexity of what it means to be human, which is that nothing is ever that certain."
Not that I needed permission, but it's nice to know that others think poetry and political angst go together.

To say that I am disturbed by this year's presidential race is, of course, an understatement. I cannot contemplate the justification for running Mr. Trump as a candidate, and I sure can't consider that people in their right minds would vote for the man. I'm of the opinion that he is throwing every potentially disqualifying line out there in hopes that one will stick and get him thrown out of the race (or get people to jump off the Trump bandwagon). He only wanted to prove a point, but now the game has gotten out of hand. He has created an audience for his brand of rhetoric and the audience will not let him loose. It's all about the show! Entertain me! Entertain me! I'll be laughing and cheering as the country goes down the tubes!

So, with the prospect of the inmates actually running the asylum, and a Trump presidency a possibility, I was compelled to write the following:
The Collusion

I

The flimflam man stands
before us and can't go
from a capital letter to
ending punctuation without
multiple em dashes and canned
word hash in between.

There is no intellectual
depth to the man or his
communication. Fortunately,
his preferred form of written
message is mercifully short
though bluebird flighty.


II

We have been raised on tv or
social media and have long ago
internalized the simple rule of
repetition--repeat often,
loudly, and with conviction.

The pronouncements have been
made a quadrillion times, so
we know them to be true.
Plus, our hearing is sharp.
Our ears are perked for the dog
whistles that are meant for us.

Lord (the Christian one) knows
we needn't tax our rapidly
shrinking brains by giving
thought to consequences.

(Aren't we against taxes?)

III

Take the expression, "Idle hands
are the devil's workshop."
Substitute minds for hands
and you've defined 2016--the year
when the collusion of politics
and the devil is a fait accompli.

IV

The all too literal end
waits to be written overnight
November 8-9, 2016.

©, Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

I don't generally write my poems in sections, but I sensed there needed to be a bit of space between the thoughts. I agree with Mr. Vuong,
"...I think the practice of poetry teaches us that silence and emptiness and space in general is actually quite potent."

Cover of Time magazine, August 22, 2016.

Hang in there, American friends! And, for our friends in other countries, please know that there are those of us who are going to try to do right by the country and the world. If the unthinkable happens, then I beg of you to let me sleep on your couch, as soon as I can book a flight out of here!

22 comments:

  1. "canned word hash" is my favorite. :-)

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    1. That's exactly what it is, too--canned, and a chopped up mess of words!

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  2. Yes, I think lower taxes would be great, along with a slew of other things, like mindful candidates who actually say something that will help me feel good about the future for the grandchildren. I would say that I continue to have great hope that this nightmare will soon be gone. Glad you posted!

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  3. Here's hoping and voting against the crazy and the literal end. It is so unreal. I could go on, but you said it all. Thank you!

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    1. And thanks to you, Julianne for commenting!

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  4. Hear! Hear! Well done....I love a good quote that leads to a poem. And, I quite agree that the inmates have taken over this cycle. Well done. Maybe your friend would have a friend with a bit of couch for me if the unthinkable happens?

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    1. I have an ex-patriot friend who lives in Ireland. Maybe she can keep us apprised of the Irish rental unit availability.

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  5. Great poem. How can a billionaire pay no taxes when my hubby and I pay a third of our wages? I believe in lower taxes, but for people struggling paycheck to paycheck. Not for wealthy billionaires who breathe rarified air and sit on gold leaf chairs.

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  6. Spot on, Diane! Thanks for putting into words what I have such trouble processing.

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    1. We all do. My co-workers and I discuss the American public endlessly--why they seem to go against their own best interests for a bit of crass entertainment.

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  7. I'm not particularly political. I don't like election years. Listening to political candidates (both/all of them) makes my skin crawl. I hate the name calling and the character smearing that has become our political process. The polarization that seems to worsen with each election year makes me saddest.

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    1. Yes it does. Social media has brought like-minded people together and it gives them validation. That leads to demonization of those who think differently. Where and when will it end?

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  8. We hope against hope for a reasonable outcome. And we also make Plan B. We're with you wherever you land!

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  9. Bravo, Diane...the flimflam man is a nightmare indeed, one we seemingly must endure. Let's hope sense prevails in November.

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    1. Dr. King always seems to have said something that will cover our present situations: "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."

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  10. I'm with you. The whole thing makes me ill. I admire the fact that you were able to focus on it long enough and with enough sharpness of wit and word choice to write this poem. I just about can't stand to even look at the train wreck.

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    1. Every day I say to myself, "I've got to stop reading about politics." Then I end up saying, "But, if I don't keep on top of it, I'll only have myself to blame."

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  11. Oh my, Diane, you've spoken for so many of us with this poem. If only it weren't all true! I love your line: "his preferred form of written/ message is mercifully short/ though bluebird flighty" is hilarious. We've become a Twitter-nation - ack! =)

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    1. Have you seen the comparisons of the tweets coming from the Android and iPhone devices? The Android tweets are pure trump-talk. The Android is the man's own device. The iPhone is the campaign team's device. (He won't use an iPhone because he is boycotting Apple. However, Mr. T. still retains $3 million in Apple stock.) ;-)

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