Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tough times

For both defensive (I don't want to catch anything else) and charitable (if I'm still contagious, I don't want to spread what I have) reasons I'm skipping tonight's local democratic caucus.  Flu season would seem to be yet another reason to postpone caucuses at this time of year, or, if we need something to do in February besides trading Valentines and complaining about the length and depth of Minnesota winters, we could move up the filing deadline to just prior to the caucus date. I'm kind of disheartened to see that my house district is rated leaning republican by +7, although my state senator is being sued by the feds for non-payment of a loan. Since I'm finding it more and more challenging to distinguish between democratic and republican politicians (both seem only too willing to slop at the corporate trough, forget who their constituencies really are, and the democrats keep looking for ways to sell out labor and / or the environment), I checked into the Green Party caucus locations. In my congressional district (8), I'd have to move onto the Range or to Duluth to attend. To top it all off, Rick Nolan (Inc. - D) is behind his republican challenger in fundraising. For long-time progressive political junkies, this has not been a great week. At least I'm not in Utah. Georgeous country, no matter how awe inspiring, needs to be located somewhere civilized for me to really appreciate it. Utah doesn't cut it. Minnesota, however, is reported as being notably less liberal than its reputation. At least I can still hope to make out better than Charlie Brown on Valentine's Day (at least until the day after Valentine's). I have made major progress on organizing a bunch of books on my new shelves. Photos when done. William Meredith must have spent a fair amount of time with politicians.

red osier dogwood leafing out
late March 2013 - when 2014?        © harrington


By William Meredith 

Tonight Hazard’s father and stepmother are having
jazz for McGovern. In the old game-room
the old liberals listen as the quintet builds
crazy houses out of skin and brass, crumbling
the house of decorum, everybody likes that.

For decades they have paid for the refurbishing
of America and they have not got their money’s worth.
Now they listen, hopeful,
to the hard rock for McGovern.

The ceiling in this palace needs fixing,
the chalky blue paint is like an old heaven
but there are holes and flaking.
They had movies here when grandpa was solvent.

Hazard desires his wife, the way people
on the trains to the death camps were seized
by irrational lust. She is the youngest woman
in the room, he would like to be in bed
with her now, he would like to be president.

He has not been to his studio
in four days, he asks the bartender,
a college boy with a ponytail, for more gin.
He stands in the doorway. Forsythia and lilac
have overgrown the porch, there is the rich
smell of wood-rot. What twenty years will do
to untended shrubbery and America and Hazard.