Introduction to Misfit 24

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In these uncertain times, and I do believe we are on a precipice in ways this country has never experienced before, we need to reflect upon what exactly our values are and how to protect them.  Clearly our president is either totally clueless, certifiably insane,  a paid Russian agent, or some combination of the previous three choices. Pick as many as apply. We need to stay focused and one of the best ways to do this is to keep creating. Keep reading and keep fighting to keep our minds open and receptive to the truth.

Every day The President issues some kind of harmful, often whimsical in the worst way,  edict that benefits his fellow swamp creatures at the expense of our personal liberty or with far ranging environmental damage. The supposed checks and balances to presidential overreach, the republican dominated congress, does nothing to reign him in. In fact, they enable him .  As he become more empowered, he ups the ante, making new and larger more autocratic pronouncements, thinking no one can prevent him from doing whatever it is he happens to be obsessed with at the moment.  As a mother of a child slain in Santa Fe TX school shooting said, an ex- Army veteran, in reaction to the president’s insistence to speak of armed guards at a school, ignoring her suggestion of unarmed, volunteer, veteran, human life loss prevention officers, and his continually returning to the subject of more arms to prevent violence, “It was like talking to a toddler. “ A sensible adult would agree with her assessment, with one caveat: toddlers are capable of empathy and compassion. 

He is not.

And he cannot tell the truth. 

Which is why we have poets. And why what we say is more important than ever.  Poetry is how we can see the world: the complexities, the nuances, the shades of human behavior and multifarious natures of our fellow Man.   Many years ago I took a writing workshop , basically, for the opportunity to hang out with Ed Sanders, American Book Award winner, 60’s rabble rouser, founder and performer with satiric, quasi- jug/rock/garage/ band, The Fugs.  Ed retained the sense of humor, and political activist spirit, that he demonstrated, literally, when he and Abbie Hoffmann and thousands of others encircled the Pentagon and attempted to levitate it with the force of their collective mental energy.  While this protest failed in its stated objective, it was not from a lack of trying. And it accomplished its real goal, which was to bring attention to what the pentagon was all about: dropping bombs, interfering in a foreign country’s civil war, securing billions of dollars in appropriations, and killing people, including over 50,000 of our own.  So when Ed said, with a tongue in cheek throwaway line, a thought he left incomplete said, “After the nuclear war and there’s nothing left but poetry.....” I took that to heart. We are on the brink of “negotiations” that has our nuclear fate in its hands. The man conducting the talks, our so-called president,  is using the opportunity for self-aggrandizement and as a promotional tour  to lobby for a Nobel Peace Prize.  As if he could win one. Even in an alternate universe....

If you believe his total and utter nonsense, you best be working overtime on your secure, underground, atomic bomb shelter.  I hope the retailers and the builders of these “safe shelters” explain to you how no one survives atomic blasts once the power grids go down, the waters are fouled, the air poisoned, the sun’s rays are blocked from reaching the earth by debris that will make your survival home a well kitted family crypt.  Bring your Nuclear Winter wardrobe because this climate change will be immediate, will last for thousands of years, and no one will be able to deny it.  Fact is, we’ll all be dead.

It’s interesting to consider that Stanley Kubrick’s original ending to “Dr. Strangelove” involved a massive pie fight in the War Room. There are outtakes of Peter Sellers, Kubrick and the other actors with pie on their faces. Even Beckett liked pie fights and silent film comedians such as Buster Keaton and Stan Laurel: deadpan humor and slapstick is the inevitable end of human civilization, he might have said. A massive joke. What Kubrick and Beckett understood was: even if life is all a joke, no one said it was going to be a funny one.

Consider what Orwell meant by Newspeak: Truth is Lies, War is peace.

Consider what the term Fake News really means.

Consider one of the tenets the public relations newspeak debunking of the Mueller probe is that it is expensive. What that statement does not provide is context.(as none of his so-called reasons for stopping the investigation do)  The investigation has cost, roughly, 16 million dollars which is just about one quarter of what it cost us to allow the president his weekly golf vacations.

Until Doomsday happens, there is still poetry. Enjoy it while you can.


Rereading Ed Sanders’ 1968: 50 years after the facts

He has said that every
generation gets to
write its history
so why not the poets...

He was there,
in Chicago,
for the Democratic
with The Fugs

Allen Ginsberg
was there
as well,
and so was
Abbie Hoffman
Jerry Rubin
and thousands of

some who would
become part
of history
just for being there

and getting arrested

Jean Genet
was there,
in a hotel,
The Park where
Mayor Daley’s thugs
beat anti-war
for having the nerve
to express their

on that hot Summer
night, air fogged by
tear gas,

people beaten
with truncheons
and batons


a year a tyrant
would be elected...

50 years later
another tyrant
is president

and he is
slouching off
to Florida to
play golf