Friday, October 28, 2016

Casting a spell of imagination

The ghosts of Summer past are leaving us, floating through the air today, National Chocolate Day, the day on which I learned just how limited my imagination is. Never in my life had the possibility occurred to me that plants might be farming humans. Doesn't that put a dent in your hubris, making humans the equivalent of aphids farming for some ants?

Spirits of Halloween past
Spirits of Halloween past
Photo by J. Harrington

Speaking of hubris, do you suppose it would help if we moved election day (much) further from Halloween? I'm wondering if the nearness of evil spirits is what accounts for so much of the insanity we seem to experience each election season, which now approaches year round. That may or may not support moving the actual election from near Halloween. Of course, we've the early voting season has grown by weeks or months. This can't be good for us in the long run. Imagine a perpetual campaign with year-round voting. We could have that with the Internet of things. Perpetual elections and referenda! Wouldn't that be wonderful!

In case you can't tell, I'll be very glad when my email in-box and TV broadcasts are no longer full of campaign literature. It's gotten really spooky and has become a lot like Chinese water torture, or maybe closer to waterboarding.

The Tragic Condition of the Statue of Liberty

By Bernadette Mayer

                                      A collaboration with Emma Lazarus

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Give me your gentrificatees of the Lower East Side including all the well-heeled young Europeans who’ll take apartments without leases
Give me your landlords, give me your cooperators
Give me the guys who sell the food and the computers to the public schools in District One
Give me the IRS-FBI-CIA men who don’t take election day off
Give me the certain members of the school board & give me the district superintendent
Give me all the greedy members of both american & foreign capitalist religious sects
Give me the parents of the punk people
Give me the guy who puts those stickers in the Rice Krispies
Give me the doctor who thinks his time is more valuable than mine and my daughter’s & the time of all the other non-doctors in this world
Give me the mayor, his mansion, and the president & his white house
Give me the cops who laugh and sneer at meetings where they demonstrate the new uses of mace and robots instead of the old murder against people who are being evicted
Give me the landlord’s sleazy lawyers and the deal-making judges in housing court & give me the landlord’s arsonist
Give me the known & unknown big important rich guys who now bank on our quaint neighborhood
Give me, forgive me, the writers who have already or want to write bestsellers in this country
Together we will go to restore Ellis Island, ravaged for years by wind, weather and vandals
I was surprised and saddened when I heard that the Statue of Liberty was in such a serious state of disrepair & I want to help
This is the most generous contribution I can afford.


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