File this poem I wrote in the ’90s under “The more things change…” I wrote, published, and performed in a number of different odd places in the ’80s and ’90s but I’m especially proud that thanks to my friend Robert Herzog, this ended up posted on a bulletin board at Malcolm X College here in Chicago. A poem that doesn’t get torn down or defaced on a bulletin board is something for a struggling peoples’ poet to be proud of… with due respect to Rik Mayall, R.I.P. OK, here’s the damn poem. More of a blurb for a missing manifesto than a poem. Whatever. Reductio Ad Absurdum.
CONTRACT WITH AMERICA
Unplug the public machine.
Keep my golf-cart clean.
Sweat-shops and jail the poor.
March or die.
Jesus is our C.E.O.
In God we Trust.
The bottom line:
I got mine.
- Donald Trump “I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians.”
- Don Trump, Jr. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”
- Eric Trump: “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
Which is worse? : a) The United States electorate promoted a pathological liar to the Presidency b) The President’s dishonesty, even by an established standard of half-truths and rampant dishonesty, takes political falsehoods to garish new levels c) RE: The Art of Lying, President Trump displays a frightening level of incompetence even in an area where he devotes a tremendous amount of time and effort. d) People still believe him e) All the Above
Howl some more, asshole
The best minds of my generation were never made.
Starved in Africa. Killed by mercenaries in Latin America.
made them unnecessary,
The surviving children of the scam-o-rama
of doom and gloom,
slapped by an invisible backhand into the marketplace:
looking for temp-to-permanent employment,
waiting for a bigger piece
of the pyramid scheme,
bargain rates for famine, plague,
chic designer executioner’s hood,
this Best Possible World
where poetry, philosophy,
and Mom’s decorative wax banana
have minimum connection
to every game-show host who will never ask:
how insane should we be,
that the world is made rotten by pimps?”
Gorsuch has been nominated to the Supreme Court. Republican politicians throughout the 2016 election cycle emphasized repeatedly the importance of stacking the Supreme Court. Progressives were divided by the Bernie vs Hillary drama and the decades-long Hillary is the wicked witch narrative. The Most. Qualified. Ever. message strained an already shaky credulity and, again, played into the Republican message by making it a battle about defining Hillary Clinton as a person or defining Donald Trump as a person or defining the respective supporters as people rather than the concrete consequences of one side winning versus the other.
I respect protest politics. I started in protest politics. My Change.org petition to block Trump nominees is one demonstration that I still engage in protest politics, but there is no substitute for winning elections.
I’ll repeat now what I posted on my Facebook immediately after the General Election: Don’t Mourn — Organize.
Organize to win elections. Keep fighting. Surrender is not an option.
I give thanks to people on Change.org for taking the time to sign my petition. Signing a petition was the first political act of my adult life. Attending a rally followed that. Then, volunteering on a campaign…
Today I am one of four newly elected Democratic Trustees of Vernon Township. Republican front groups controlled Vernon Township for the last 40 years. They ran and won unopposed 4 years ago. The Vernon Township Democrats held a caucus in January. 15 people were there and four of us got nominated as Trustee candidates. From that 15 we grew into an organization of over 2000 voters. We are rebuilding the Democratic party from the ground up. My advice to all the people who signed the petition or anyone who is wise enough to care about the fate of democracy is do the same… volunteer for a campaign… run for office… be the change you are waiting for…
The definition of irony: guys who wave the confederate battle flag questioning my patriotism or my concern with the national security of the United States.
“The poor man’s conscience is clear; yet he is ashamed… He feels himself out of the sight of others, groping in the dark. Mankind takes no notice of him. He rambles and wanders unheeded. In the midst of a crowd, at church, in the market… he is in as much obscurity as he would be in a garret or a cellar. He is not disapproved, censured, or reproached; he is only not seen… To be wholly overlooked, and to know it, are intolerable. If Crusoe on his island had the library of Alexandria, and a certainty that he should never again see the face of man, would he ever open a volume?” —John Adams, Discourses on Davila, from Hannah Arendt.