Tuesday, February 21, 2017

New Poem: I CAN NEVER UNHARDEN YOUR HEART

bridges don’t burn
guards appear at each end
to restrict travel to those
whose friendly faces are instant visas

don’t want to ruin what’s left of life
regretting futures that don’t include me
and, perhaps, never did

Friday, February 17, 2017

New poem: 200 BAD POEMS FOR BILLY COLLINS

'Everybody is born with at least 200 bad poems in them. It's best to get rid of them
by college.' --Billy Collins
hello Billy
you don’t know me
but I read your recent comment
and bundled 200 of my poems,
leaving them at the bottom of your driveway
for potential evaluation

I’m aware of how hard it is
to be accepted by Academia--
particularly when you, Billy Collins,
write poems that are easy
for most people to understand

and, to a lot of poets,
it means you’re not trying hard enough

okay, I get it,
you made that 200 bad poems comment
to keep your credibility
with the poets eternally upset
over how you sell more books
than they ever will

also, there’s that desire for intellectual bragging rights
when you appear onstage with Paul Simon and Aimee Mann
and get super-duper-eager to claim your poems
as existing on an equal plane to their lyrics

so go on, Billy,
keep talking about how elevated you are
and how bad all the beginners are

plus all the self-educated poets
like Adam Driver’s Paterson
(in the movie of the same name )

of course, they’re bad too
because they choose not to publish
or share their art
through accepted channels
with people like you

so, here are my 200 poems
destined to enter your blue recycling can
without even a glance at my cover letter
as you regret your long-ago misstep
of criticizing MFA programs
during one of your book tours,

believing this outburst of candor
about homogenized poetry
led to amateur me
annoying distinguished you

Monday, February 13, 2017

Jim Newell on the Democratic Party leading resistance from behind


From an article on Slate.com: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/cover_story/2017/02/the_democrats_are_leading_the_resistance_from_behind.html


Millions of people marched against Donald Trump the day after he was inaugurated. Republican members of Congress can’t hold town halls without being set upon by protesters hassling them about their agenda or the blind eye they turn to Trump. Resistance groups are gathering massive support online; the ACLU will never want for money again; the courts have blocked Trump’s order restricting travel into the United States. As Republicans put the Affordable Care Act on the chopping block, regular people are mustering a moral language for defending it that Democratic politicians have been loath to employ. Constituents have a powerful ability to find the right defense for something dear to them when someone is trying to take that thing away. Maybe the job of Democrats at the top isn’t to draw up a message in a focus group. Maybe it’s to follow those people on the ground expressing it already.