When the news is not enough on Election Day

Nov 6, 2012 by

(for ‘Write Like a Son of a Bitch Month’)

Two poems written on an uneasy election day in America because the news has too many sharp edges. | Douglas Imbrogno

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So, it’s like this. I simply
cannot concentrate. These
elections, these big ones,
are like hinges on
trapdoors. They can drop
a country

far down. Or (a
better hinge) lift
it up, steps on a
ladder, to reach
the higher fruit
to share with those
who’ve not yet

But, you know, when politics
lies, über alles, it’s when the
paucity, the measly power of
meaning, of metaphor
ellision, synecdoche, of
alliteration and synonym

are revealed. Just a flapping
amid the flapping, a wind-blown
shutter banging in a gale-force
wind. We bleeding hearts, we
who knit words as talisman
against the coming of
the horseback horde out
of the dark and empty steppes

really, we do not believe we
have much power. Except
to clean up after the village
is gone. But is it true? We may
write the history of flame, the
biography of our bereavement

and maybe lift a hand to feel
the way the wind blows. Because,
after all, the wind does not vote.
Just passes through,
riffling like wind-blown leaves,
the hair of of everyone who thinks
with hands and word: I have a
part in all of this.

Whether we do, whether we
don’t, still I’d rather fold this paper
into a boat, a tiny paper boat,
set it sailing on the rough
and choppy waters. Because,

after all, all tidal waves cease,
ebb and flow away back out
to the still center of the ocean,
where my boat may sail onward
to another sunny beach,
where it may wash ashore.
And in the sunlight, dry and
speak a mild blessing to someone
who has need for one.

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Oh, I forgot.
I am supposed to be hating someone
just about right

I always forget
the memos. Though, in truth,
I am still mad at Mary, I
suppose, for all those years
she beamed daggers and lasers,
eye-wise and in words,
my way, her boss. Across
the hedge of our joint
cubicles. Not mad, so
much as still wary.

Like that, we do not let go
even if we think we’re
hate-free, a new &
improved version of

being as this is a


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