I don’t keep many mementos at work, but one of the few personal items on my desk is a dollar bill folded into a bow tie the way Aunt Judy taught me to do when I was around 10. It’s a reminder for me that the most mundane subject can be made remarkable if you lavish on it a bit of attention and inventiveness.
Judy died last month, shortly after her brother (my Dad). I always admired her keen interest in the world around her and her commitment to making that world a better place. After college she worked for the Department of Labor in DC, with a particular focus on regulation of child labor. Her own father, my grandfather, had been sent to work in a cotton mill at the age of 6. Her work helped ensure that no longer happens in America.
Of course, if President Cuckoobananas gets elected, those days might come again. Teach your children origami now – a cottage industry craft might come in handy.
I wanted to experiment with self-promotion of the poem on my last blog, Romneyreagan. It was turned down by the only online journal I thought might be interested in it, and the clock was ticking on its timeliness. So I registered with Buzzfeed and posted it: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mcleanmary/romney-poetry-7udh
In theory, it goes onto the live feed and the editors pick up anything interesting. I think. I couldn’t actually figure out where in blue blazes the live feed was, and then before long it all disappeared anyway as Storm Sandy took out the main server. Cute poems about politics were clearly pretty low on everyone’s agenda this past week.
Still, maybe if I write something in future that really has a chance of tapping into the zeitgeist it might be worth a go. Any tips from people more tech-savvy than me?
A fellow poet commented today that my blog has been silent for a while. I’m amazed and delighted anyone noticed, but in case I’ve disappointed anyone else out there….
Blame Obama. No, I’m not ranting at the lack of government subsidy for my ramblings. I’m chair of the local chapter of Democrats Abroad, so I’ve been busy organizing debate screenings, voter registration drives, and an election night party. And I’ve been on the telephone. Good Lord, have I been on the telephone. The party’s number one priority is that we ring everyone on our mailing list and harass them to get their absentee ballot sorted out. I’ve personally rung over a hundred people so far, many of them twice. They’ve been great –none of them have complained about being bothered at home (with one paranoid exception who thinks the government will track her down), and they’ve mostly been grateful for the reminder. But I’m phone-shy and it’s a peculiar torture for me.
You would think I might be inspired to write some political poetry. People do – New Verse News is full of nothing else, and that’s just the progressive angle. But I’m too cynical to write idealistic pro-Democrat poetry (Don’t be a dope – vote for hope! etc etc) and too idealistic to write attack poems (Ryan’s so common, he / smells worse than Romney…).
No, actually I wouldn’t mind writing a satirical anti-Republican poem if I had any clever ideas for one. But how can I compete against Big Bird? The big guns are already out. My favourite response to that Romney comment was a tweet from Big Bird (supposedly) saying, ‘Today’s episode of Sesame Street is brought to you by the letters F and U.’
Now that’s poetry.