Another Stake in the Ground
2016-02-26

by Garrison Somers

 
This Essay Rated CT
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Credit / Blame Garry
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Last Edited 2016-02-26

It is my understanding that Alan Ginsberg wrote a poem for Bernie Sanders. Well, in nothing at all of that same spirit, I present a bit of spoken-word poetry to the current front­runner . . . .

’Twas the spring before election, half the nation was asleep. The newsprint had all faded gray, from ’zines came not a peep; only TV’s mighty all-seeing eye churned twenty-four by seven, and they could turn a toe-dashing to manna tossed from heaven.

Every blip of old stock-ticker was the economy about to blow it; brush­fires in the Cali desert were end of life as we know it. And what on Earth did Kim do today, and how about tomorrow? And when (whoever he was) went missing, not just a shame but purest sorrow!

We tuned in just to see what foul manure could be dredged anew; ’til every hour a body count, each word a quote so true. So when it didn’t rain, it droughted, when it did, it poured.

And that’s the way it was, because America was bored.

Bored, you say? How can that be? There’s so much to be done; in coming up with pastimes, USA is number one! There’s sitcoms to be tivo’d, and there’s three squares to be cooked; then, later, on the World Wide Web, vacations to be booked: comparing air-fares, hotel rooms from seven different sites, to get the bestest possible deal for three days and two nights.

And then we need to walk in place, in the privacy of our own. And then download the ring-app for an absolutely unique tone. And then color what hair we have the brightest shade of pink, so folks will think I’m neon, yes, neon is what they’ll think. Can I be bored? Oh, goodness, no. My world could not be larger! I have the newest smart phone, if I can only find my charger.

And so we scurry like, like . . . little things that when they move, they scurry. And when we’re late, sometimes we give up, and other times we hurry. Everything in our lives seems A-OK, except when we’re told it’s not so. Now, cut to a commercial. See! This is what you ain’t got, so . . . whose fault is that? I just don’t know. It’s certainly not mine (in fact, until you mentioned it, I’d thought everything was fine.)

In the center of the City stood a tower made of stone; its name was Trump; he’d named it, so they’d know it was his own. Perhaps he slept inside it, when he slept I do not know; and what he did with all his time is stay or come or go. Fantastically busy with all the things he liked to do; and offhandedly dismissive of you and you and you. And you.

This fellow in the city tower was a self-made man of note. Don’t believe it? Well, lookee here — check out this book he wrote. It’s chock-a-block with paragraphs, crossed t’s and dotted i’s. And he’d be the first to tell you that it’s how he qualifies. He’d also say his fame, and money of course, are really all that matter; and if not the fattest fat cat, he was indeed one of the fatter. He liked that people asked “how high?” when he uttered the word “jump.” And he wanted the scurriers down below to sigh when they said “Trump.”

He had a wife, a while ago, but dumped her, a more current model to get; that one came and went so fast, but then again tempus fugit. Perhaps he thought of all women as something temporary; and so now he sat up in his tower, alone, aloof and a little scary. And if he’d had the courtesy to go on spending all his wealth on himself, we’d have gone on ignoring him, until some day his health chose a most importune of moments, perhaps left him feeling . . . tired? Then hit him like a ball-peen hammer in the head to let him know “you’re fired.”

For death is something you can’t pay, you cannot ditch or buy off. It comes for each in his own time: no matter what, you die off. Now, some folks dream and when they do, they dream of doing something world-shaking, wake, and shake it off as just another dumb thing. Because for most of us reality rarely includes vainglory. But not for Trump, for if it had we’d tell a different story.

Rather, he awoke one day from slumber full of self-delusion. “I’ll be the President some day,” he said, and yawned at his conclusion. He liked to go on TV, yes, old TV and he were friends. He said whatever was on his mind, never mind making amends.

He said, “I can make it better, for everything here is surely broken.” And how they clapped and howled as each vapidity of his was spoken. It was a hoot, and made him think If I weren’t trying to be POTUS; I could be King . . . or Emperor . . . and let them go on eating lotus.

Why not? he told himself as the days passed and again, aloud, “Why not?” “Why else are we here but to give me what I haven’t already got?” There was no one around the tower to whisper somewhat pensive; that this line of thinking might be considered by some offensive. For working hard was not its own reward, indeed he’d changed that to your working hard is his reward (see how I rearranged that?)

And the already angry ones listened to him and yet no one found him sordid. The TV followed him around and broadcast all they recorded. It was all quite noisy and fun and harmed no one at all, of course. And anyway, season was not the real election, for better or for worse. They were but words, not sticks and stones, so no one was hurt, ’tis true. And of course, no one knows this better than than an English Major, or a Nazi, or a Jew.

So the Trump basked in popular polls, and his vitriol he spouted; and the more serious candidates strutted, fretted, and/or pouted. They didn’t ask him kindly shut up, get off the stage, or quit; didn’t call him on his wildest claims, say that he was full of shit. And maybe he got elected in the end, or maybe he’s right now serving; in any case you always get the government you’re deserving.