Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Friday, November 7, 2008

Wet Blanket
















All right, I apologize in advance for having written a post-election, wet-blanket poem.

But I know about and contribute modestly to this place called Nativity House in Tacoma. It's basically a place for homeless and otherwise impoverished, jobless people to go during the day--to get something warm to drink and something to eat, and to find something to do--like talk, play checkers, get a bus-pass, maybe get directed to a clinic or a job or whatever. Anyway, the place is always pretty busy, but in the last few months, the clientele has doubled: just one small measure in one medium-sized city of how the mischief of Bush II, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Wachovia, AIG, Exxon, et alia, "trickles" down, in the parlance of Reaganomics.



Now, About the Poor

After the spectacle, what about the poor?
After all that money spent per vote,
what about the poor? Hey,

I saw Cable News Network
create a hologram of a news-
correspondent, which talked
about how her hologram had been
made. Her hologram and how
it was made was news delivered
by the hologram. For Chrissakes,
this is insane. It's stupidity cubed.

I'd rather they'd interviewed
a real poor person for an hour,
with no commercial break--
someone working on the edge
of exhaustion and financial
collapse every day--that
would have been a bigger
surprise than a hologram,
especially if they'd helped
the person find a better job--
real news.

The poor have been trickled
on for a long time. Trickled
is a blend of tricked and tickled,
duplicity and petty cruelty.

Hey, what was that sound?
A kind of rumble, a sort of roar?
After the spectacle,
what about the poor?

Copyright Hans Ostrom 2008
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