Wednesday, December 31, 2008


In two ought ought nine should I
Join the Y
Organize my office
Get manicures
Be kind and good
Learn computer skills
Attend concerts
Tithe more often
Keep up the files and
Drop all bad habits
Complete a writing project
Buy new clothes and
Grow vegetables
Sweep the garage
Mend and iron
Finally hang those curtains and
Buy a decent wardrobe;
Or, should I
Watch more TV
Enjoy more sweets
Doze more often
In my chair
Read best sellers
Pet the dog
Watch Looney Toons
Dispute overcharges
Indulge in sarcasm, self-pity,
Worry about the wretched of the earth
Write little fragments to mulch
Into old diaries and newsclips
archives and recent pics
all swirling to
Joyce-ian mix
Then fall out of touch
With so much
Pray always and
Laugh at the future?
Well I say, Why
Not do it all, I say, Let
The wild rumpus commence.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Thing with Feathers

After all the primaries, after all the general campaigning, after the thrill of Obam-election, I have finally begun to read "The Audacity of Hope," Barack Obama's book about policy and politicians. Oh my, is it ever good.

Of course it was published an aeon ago--2006--but foresees our recessional woes. Obama had timely economic concerns, even then, and everything he writes is like a dream come true. It's like oneself thinking on a stimulant, i.e., clear, perfectly logical, wonderfully expressed. How we like to think we think.

Obama's dialectical approach ("keeping in mind that..." "on the other hand....") and self-deprecatory anecdotes make him a great conversationalist in print. Case in point: when taking advantage of the congressional prerogative of flying on a private jet, "He [the flight attendant] asked if I was comfortable. I was." Then later he decides he really should fly commercial. "A kid spilled orange juice on my shoes." But on the commercial flight he talks w/ a constituent about his health care problems, which remind him of his purpose and calling.

Oh, I just hope Obama can manage to lead us aright.

My fear is that ingrained greed culture, the media, and Republicans will start taking hope apart, plucking feather after feather until the whole thing can't even fly any more. The other day CNN showed the CEO of Merrill Lynch trying to give himself a ten million dollar bonus. Then we heard about the Governor of Illinois trying to sell Obama's seat. This a.m., right-winger Bill Bennett showed he turned in his pickaxe for a filleting device, "Oh, I hope this won't hurt his presidency; oh he's my president too..."

Whatever happens, in reading "The Audacity..." I realize that at this time in this day Obama is our best hope.


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
-- Emily Dickinson