Fan Letter

Our NaPoWriMo challenge today is to write a fan letter. I’ve chosen to do this in the form of an ode to a certain famous blonde-haired, orange-skinned businessman and quasi-politician. The identity of the narrator may be a bit of a mystery until the sixth or seventh stanza.

Odes come in three basic types, and infinite permutations thereof. This doesn’t fit the classic rhyme schemes, so I’d have to say it falls in the category of the “Irregular Ode.” I kind of like the concept of being irregular, and it certainly fits the subject matter.

 

Oh, blonde delight, you thrill me when you speak

Your fake hair in a Fibonacci screw

Upswept there by hot air that blew

Your voice so gruff when in a fit of pique

And nothing that you say makes any sense

To thoughtful brains and ears, you seem so dense

Comedians love you, and the “common man”

But they’re the only ones who really do

Save trophy wife and kids who work for you

And, of course, the mental giants of the Klan

But still you thrill me and I think you know

Why I follow and encourage you so

You know my name but say it in a murmur

Your mind swirls with delusion and denial

You’re puzzled: why’s this journey such a trial?

You thought we could not lose, but now you wonder

If Lucifer and Mammon are enough

Perhaps your flagging campaign needs to get tough

Surely if you threaten to leave the GOP

They will back down and let you win

But your exit could compel a campaign flop

And rob the happy flush from your orange skin

I’ll still be behind you, all the way

But be careful not to fall too far

When you misstep, I’ll step out of the fray

I won’t wish on a falling star

 

 

 

 

 

Rumors of War

This haiku (or is it a senryu?) is a response to a poetry prompt on Twitter, but more importantly it is a response to a distressing news report of the brutalization and humiliation of non-Russians in Crimea.

~~~
rumors of war
masked mercenaries
sadists, still unwitting pawns
~~~
Please continue to pray for peace in the Ukraine.

A Valentine

This is a valentine for the Euromaidan protesters, who are advocating for independence and self-determination as they suffer from frigid weather and  a repressive government. It is for the fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, workers and retirees, teachers and students, artists and musicians, and the clergy who are ministering to them amidst the cold and violence.

keeping vigil
winter’s night
Euromaidan

fires blaze
winter’s fight
Euromaidan

prayers raised
winter’s light
Euromaidan

For an interesting but painful summary of recent developments, including photos of both the beauty and the violence, you may wish to read this Agence France Presse blog post by Stuart Williams, entitled “Fire, ice and blood on the streets of Kiev.”

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Playing the Percentages

17% and losing out…

A week ago, I posted a rant about the lack of positive activity — or indeed any signs of intelligent life — in our U.S. Congress. Most Americans disapprove of the job that Congress is doing, as evidenced by the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Only 17% approve or have no opinion, one way or the other. I had some theories about who these mysterious 17% might be, among them comedians, Congressional spouses and SuperPACs.

16% and staying in…

Yikes. Anthony Weiner.  He can’t keep his private parts private. He can’t even keep his private chats private, because his sexting partners seem to like the publicity that nudeness and lewdness bestows. Now a Quinnipiac University poll of New York city residents reveals that only 16% would vote for Weiner. This was less-than-gracefully followed by the resignation of his campaign manager, a tell-all interview with a former intern, and an expletive-laced conversation between his communications director and ABC news. Wow. Way to do damage control.

Hmmm…17%, 16%…too close to be a coincidence?

I think we have found the intersection of the mathematical sets of “I don’t give a damn” and “What’s wrong with taking a picture of your junk?”

I knew 7th grade math class would come in handy some day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For actual information on these sad, sad topics, click on the following links:

“Weiner drops to fourth in NYC mayoral poll,” Catalina Camia, USA Today, July 29, 2013

“NBC/WSJ poll: Faith in DC hits a low; 83 percent disapprove of Congress,” Mark Murray, NBC News

“More bad news for Weiner,” Kevin Liptak, CNN, July 29, 2013

Cynical much?

lost, soulless

he makes a grab for power

but it’s just out of reach

 he remains weak

mindless, venal

 in other words

politician

gehörnter Boss

Yes, I tend to be cynical. I’m not alone. Yesterday, the results of a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll were released, showing that 83% of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing. This is reported to be an all-time “high” in our contempt for Congress’ effectiveness, or lack thereof.

What surprises me more than the 83% disapproval rating, is the remaining 17% of respondents, who apparently either approve (!?!) or have no opinion on Congress’ collective screw-ups. Who are these people? My first thought was that they are isolated from society and completely cut-off from all forms of news. Perhaps they are bold, independent self-sufficiency experts who raise their own food, sew their own clothing by hand, never communicate with others, refrain from trade with the outside world, and do not require jobs, money, education, transportation or health care. But these mythical cave-dwellers would not have phones and, therefore, would not be included in the poll.

The only conclusion I can draw is that there really are people who participate in American society who do NOT disapprove of the job Congress is doing. Really? These must be people who are:

a) blinded by love (i.e., the politicians’ spouses, lovers, children, parents)

b) dependent on Congress for their livelihood (Congressional staff, campaign staff, lobbyists, special interest groups)

c) comedians (or should I include them in category b, above?)

d) journalists and commentators who agree with the current Congressional majority (they probably belong to category b, as well)

e) too rich to care

Or perhaps they just didn’t understand the question. I think there’s a basic flaw in polling by phone, i.e., assuming that we have a representative sample of the American population when, in fact, we are only drawing from that portion of population that still answers phone calls from unknown numbers and is willing to provide personal information to strangers.

I’m pretty sure the real number is closer to 100%.