Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Texas Votes Today

The two party system in America has its big day in Texas, a state normally rendered irrelevant in many primary seasons. So far today, Barack Obama called, followed shortly thereafter by John McCain. I hung up on both of them. If Hillary calls, I'll hang up on her. That goes as well for her big supporter, Rush Limbaugh.

In the last few weeks I've seen President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea in person. And I didn't have to drive over three hours one way to Austin or San Antonio for that rare privilege. But I did have to leave the Angelo State University Writers' Conference to hear Bill's talk. That produced a poem, pretty much a rare event on this blog:

Who’s at the Word Wheel?

Poets freely offered their images of whimsical sublimity
Several weaved theology into their verbal tapestries
Ranging from the Godly to gargoyles, his churchly guardians
Others noted landscapes unusually flat or astoundingly inspirational,
People unusually harsh or profoundly loving
Eyes unbelted in Jeep front seats struggled to hold on as poets spun us around their minds.
I lingered on a particularly scenic metaphor, only to be severely bounced by an oddly shaped juxtaposition in the poet's path

After four wheeling around wide open verbalscapes with inspired poets
I left to hear another word magician, an ex-President
William Jefferson Clinton arrived in a smooth riding limousine, sleek, black, and secure
His vista began wide, with the call for needed change long away on the horizon.
Then Wild Bill galloped past the creek of costly health care, the eroding hill of higher education, and the dry wash of the economy.
Bill hooted and hollered, “If you want these restored, there’s only one choice. Vote for my wife and save my life. Vote for Hillary, please”

The crowd cheered as Wild Bill closed like a carnival barker
“If you love me, you’ll surely love Hillary,
I promise you’ll never be disappointed!”
Sales job done, I pondered the wisdom of holding a politician to his promises.
It didn’t seem like the smartest move.
As our potential elected leaders aren’t known for their truth or justice,
Does that make their failings the American way?

Next up, an interview with a Zoot Suiter
Luis Valdez spoke of pachucas, mythical figures with Superman like features.
But hadn’t I just seen a Superman, an ex-President action hero?
Valdez spoke of myths, Aztec, Mayan, Incan, and Yaqui
He chastised us not to confuse a ritual with myth.
I applied it to my day and decided,
Poets offer their words freely
Politicians may not charge for the seat, but clearly want you and the voting booth to meet,
A ritual that alone does not fulfill the myth of democracy.

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