Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Sticker

You're goddamn right I voted.

And, Scantron and all, I was proud of that sucker.

In honor, I copy here a few lines from Mark Craver's poem "Alexandria as Center of the Universe."

"The world itself lets dogs be dogs and I saw genius
in that. But when the work as done the instant faded in

a rush of pedestrians, in the water running past me
in Alexandria, in the concrete and bricks making up
the town. Was this enough? To love the ugly world

is to find yourself at its center and to let it be
enough; to refuse to be saddened by it; to let it end.
That's where it all started for me: at the end."

Perhaps not perfect for the moment, but enough.

Monday, November 3, 2008

24 Hours

It can't go the other way. We can't go back.

We can't.

Because fuck that.

Because, let's face it, your heart and your mind both say that it's right.

Because I just re-re-re-read The Road and there's no way I'm allowing the world to become a song for what once was rather than a song for what, if we're lucky, could be.

Because like Joe Henry says, "This was my country / This was my song / Somewhere in the middle there / Though it started badly / And it's ending wrong." And the ending, you know, doesn't have to mean the end.

Because you betcha.

Because I have a family.

Because when is the last time you wanted, I mean really wanted, to listen to a State of the Union address?

Because Wallace Stevens wrote, "Have it your way / The world is ugly / And the people are sad." And while I'll never write enough about that poem, I won't write more at the moment other than to say it's November, leaves fall, empty branches dance against the sky, and you -- as the poem, of course, insists -- don't have to see the world as ugly and sad. It's a choice.

Because it's not going to fix everything, or even a lot of things, and it's not going to radically change the system, and it's not going to erase the debt, and it's not going to rebalance what is so desperately out of whack, and it's not going to bring back the dead, and it's not going to cast out all the darkness, and it's sure as hell no guarantee of happily ever after, but it might just make us want to be a little smarter, a little more thoughtful, a little more willing to deliberate, a litle more willing to think, to think, and to think. And, no, that's not a lot. But it is something.