Friday, January 20, 2017

Inaugural Day Blues

Like many Americans, I don't like the idea of President Trump, so I'm boycotting the Inaugural Day ceremonies, which, admittedly, I would have done even had Clinton won the election.  Truth be told, I've boycotted inaugurations pretty much my entire life, though I can't say it's had any effect on the body politic. Seems rather futile, if you want to know the truth, whatever I do.

Given the biblical levels of doom that some predict a Trump presidency will bring about, it's kind of hard to figure how many of these apocalyptic prophets maintain it’s unfair to dub Clinton a weak candidate.  After all, they argue, she received nearly three million more votes than Trump, who received assists from the Russians, the FBI, the CIA, the BBC, B.B. King & Doris Day, among others, including Matt Busby, all of which is, as of yet, conjecture.

For what it's worth, I’ve long advocated for the popular vote—living in a decidedly red state makes my vote virtually worthless—but I wonder how many Democrats would be in favor of dumping the electoral college system if Clinton had won. I don’t recall hearing an uproar about its unfairness before the election. It's also worth noting that if you subtracted the roughly 4.5 million vote surplus that Clinton received in two states, California & New York, she would have lost the popular vote, too. This very scenario-- in which one or two big states skew election results in the national popular vote system--is often used, in part, as justification for the electoral college. Nevertheless, I still favor the popular vote: one person equals one vote, wherever you live, is the way I see it. 

It's almost funny, if it weren't for the horrific specter of a Trump presidency, to hear Clintonites register complaints about election fraud after they delighted in portraying Sanders supporters as poor sports & whiny conspiracy-theorist whackjobs for saying the primaries were rigged. Further, for Democrats to call the general election illegitimate due to foreign interference--considering the overt influence that America has exerted on other countries, such as Honduras, Libya and Ukraine during President Obama's administration--is Trump-level rich, especially when the alleged Russian interference consists of leaking the Podesta emails, which provide, among other corruption revealed, actual evidence that the DNC helped rig the primaries in favor of Clinton. 

O, irony, is there nothing you can't do?

Excuses & conspiracy theories aside, Clinton managed to squander, in a matter of weeks, a solid double-digit lead in the polls, then lost to a racist, sexist, dimwitted, big-mouthed, egomaniacal billionaire with historically ("unpresidented," if you will) low approval ratings even before he takes office, not to mention a notoriously bad comb-over. To use a sports analogy, it’s like Duke hoops blowing a 30 point halftime lead to Chattahoochee Tech, then blaming it on poor officiating.  No disrespect to Chattahoochee Tech--um, go Eagles!--but that’s textbook weak.

While I applaud the protests & resistance to Trump & his neoliberal agenda, it doesn't mean I ally myself with neoliberal, partisan hacks like Cory Booker, Chuck Schumer, Howard Dean, Clinton, or her regrettable, forgettable VP pick, Tim Whathisname, who quietly gravitates toward his role as a trivia night stumper at pubs nationwide. 

It's not that I don't see any differences between the two corporate parties, but rather that both parties, since they serve the same corporate masters, are demonstratively inadequate. Assuming we survive Trump, my hope is that someday soon we'll begin to see true progressives, rather than the close-your-eyes-&-make-believe variety that the DNC habitually give us, elected to office.  Maybe then I'll shake my Inaugural Day blues. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Newsy Notes

--"Day of Reckoning" Is Here

It's true.  You may read "Day of Reckoning" in Rose Red Review (Issue 19, Winter 2016).  While you're there, you may read, among the many other fine poems in 3Rs, a selection from my collection Walking in Chicago with a Suitcase in My Hand, "The Giraffe," which appeared in a previous Rose Red Review.  Thanks to Larissa Nash.

FYI:  "Day of Reckoning" is a companion piece to "Apocalypse Eve," which appeared a couple years ago in The Legendary. You can find it & other poems by clicking here.

--Love Is All:  A Theory of Everything

I'm also very pleased that "In Love, in Theory" is part of the Love & Ensuing Madness collection published by Rat's Ass Review.  The poem is another example of my tanka chain sonnet (as are those that appeared in The Legendary).  Thanks to Roderick Bates at Rat's Ass Review

--Poetry Aloud

I'm reading at Empire Books in Huntington on Monday, January 16, at 7 p.m.  If you're in the neighborhood, why not drop by?  Thanks to Eliot Parker for arranging the reading.