Thursday, October 25, 2012

FormForAll: Because 12 political fliers in your mail was not enough today (or how many forests have to die to elect a president) ~ a villain-elle

bathroom, Bedford, VA


"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention, which in different ages & countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual: and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty."
 — George Washington, September 19, 1796 (on political parties)

"The beginning is Nigh!" (or near)
'The end,' overused, is seldom true
so says the great sidewalk seer

in rat nipped overcoat & nested beard
causing quite the hulla-ba-loo
"The beginning is Nigh! (or near)

No Christmas for many this year
on December 21, the rent comes due"
so says the great sidewalk seer

Everyone assumes, he's drunk & on welfare
"Why should we Believe, when said by you,
'The beginning is Nigh! (or near)'?"

To a cop's Tazer, he's fell'd like a deer
dribbling drool as they judge him cuckoo
"So," says the great sidewalk seer

To the polls they run with cheer
out the same window our humanity flew
the beginning being nigh, or near
so says the great sidewalk seer.

Over at dVerse Poets, Sam has us writing villanelles, a bunch of rhyming and repeated lines...maybe it was the repeated lines that got me thinking politics...or maybe all the people willing to sell out whatever they believe in, or say whatever they need to, to win an election, the comments full of acid, racism, retard(i hate that word)...like these things won't lead to further division which is just what we need right now...i digress, so i wrote one, rather silly, not my best but...you too can try it when the pub opens at 3 pm EST.

73 comments:

Rene Foran said...

You killed this, bro!
Nigh! I say Nigh!

Mary said...

Sometimes the Great Sidewalk Seer knows more than the 'wisest' politician, it seems!! Yikes, a villanelle......you rocked it, Brian.

Daniel said...

Love the quote by G.W., spot on to a real truth that still rings clear and true. Your subsequent piece was spot on too. Loved the passion. Have a great one day.

Colleen said...

Totally agree with Mary's comment above. This leaves me with a sort of chilling feeling.

Dave King said...

I see - maybe "feel" - a connection between this poetic form and the political scene that is its subject. The inevitable recurrence if nothing else - of course, the one is good, the other not. Thought-provoking post.

the walking man said...

I'd write a villain elle in response but instead all i will say is the beginning is nigh but it won't be 12/21 but rather 11/6 because on 11/7 which ever puppet masters wins they start to pull the strings that life the big old anal probe towards the tight sphincter of the population at large.

Laurie Kolp said...

haha... the repeated lines got you thinking about politics... (take out the "n" and you have lies)

manicddaily said...

Brian, maybe not your best but an extremely creditable job. Well done on all fronts. I used to write villanelles quite often, but haven't for bit. We'll see. We do not get all the fliers in NYC, though there's a big focus on fundraising. I am going to work in Florida as a poll monitor for a few days to help keep people from being denied voting rights. K.

Pat Hatt said...

I guess if one needs tp
The fliers give it to them for free
Might be rough though
And great rhyming flow
But the sidewalk seer is a loon
With that dumb mayan crap and the same old end is near tune
Although still be better than those running things
Just throw away the cardboard with the end is near rings

DJan said...

Never heard of this art form before, but it sure does get its message across... :-)

MorningAJ said...

"maybe it was the repeated lines that got me thinking politics"

Brian - even your prose is poetic!

Leslie said...

Ha - now that's the way to handle a Villan elle

Politics are so bewitching...

Maggie May said...

Very poignant....... very true.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Tabor said...

I wish the 6 undecided voters will make up their mind so that the rest of us can get back to a more normal world.

farawayinthesunshine said...

...politics = repeated lines...
agreed

SueAnn Lommler said...

So true...it has always puzzled me as to why everyone is in such a hurry to follow!!??
No thoughts of their own? Or fear?
Hugs
SueAnn

Claudia said...

the title alone could be a poem in itself...LOVE it... and i like how you so cleverly weave the things that we hear on the streets by seemingly crazy folks and how close it is to what the politicians wanna make us believe sometimes...you know..i'm not getting any flyers here in the hotel..and i'm missing all the debates..

Bossy Betty said...

Fantastic!!! And was Georgie Boy ahead of his time or what?

Susan said...

I was so happy after reading the title that the poem was a surprise! Your single poems are as powerful as the family-layered ones! What/where/who is the origin of all the fliers? Where is the taser when it comes to that drivel?

At the Obama office where I am part of the phone bank, I have heard the science: It has been proven (another passive factoid) that if the public can tell us when/where/how they are voting, they will actually vote. The new round of phone calls begins in a few days. Our little local office cannot afford the flyers.

hedgewitch said...

One of the most effective forms for driving a point home, I think, with tha repeating line, and you do fine with it--you know I agree completely, also.

A Cuban In London said...

The repeated lines certainly have that politcal connotation. I think you nailed it with the "No Christmas for many this year". How very true, and how sad.

Greetings from London.

Valerie said...

12 political fliers! That's far too many. And the cost... oh my! Powerful poem, Brian. I agree with Mary about the Great Sidewalk Seer.

Myrna R. said...

That's some's title. The great sidewalk seer may see deeply what the masses overlook.

Politics sure gets out of control - the name calling, the lies. I like the way you highlight that here.

Monkey said...

it's all out of control bro...spot on write :)

Daydreamertoo said...

I hate that word too Brian. It even sounds nasty when it's being spoken.
I for one, will be so pleased to see the end of this election. It's been so long drawn out and dirty. Yes, on both sides, they will promise the moon, until they get elected, then watch them back out on every one of them.
Your poem is (as ever) spot on :)

JANU said...

Politics is always dirty...and the prophecy is clear. It is just wait and watch......from bad to worse or to something better.
Nice take.

lori mcclure said...

Very nice! I know form stifles your creativity sometimes, but this is nicely done. Seems pretty perfect to me. The repetition lends itself well to the topic, and I love this line,

"To the polls they run with cheer."

RMP said...

poor trees...poor great sidewalk seer...

for the beginning to be nigh, must not the end (of something) come?

you killed (with) this villian-elle.

happygirl said...

My telly has become the Great Sidewalk Seer by chanting over and over, "my name is... and I approve this message." The end cannot come soon enough.

Jenny said...

Well written, Brian....the environment is not on the politicians mind...[poor trees] !

Annmarie Pipa said...

some things never change.

Timoteo said...

Yeah...great minds think alike, Brian!

(And that's a chilling quote from The George Man...he called it right from the beginning...how many times do you think he has turned over in his grave?)

Susan Daniels said...

Wow, Brian, you rocked this poem. It fell seamlessly into the villanelle.

Rachel said...

this is such truth...wonderful and timely!

Beachanny said...

It's a very effective form for political commentary, too, I think. I like the way you bring a story into every poem, a place, a set of characters. Your poems are always so much more than the words you use, they are visual, textural, and visceral. As always, well done!

drybottomgirl said...

I had five flyers today. All of which went unread into the garbage. I should have used them to line the cat box later as the litter needs to be changed, but even the cat needs something better than that to pee on! (jk) I'm worn out from everyone''s political agendas. You have to pick a side someone told me. Nope I said I'm going to stand right in the middle.... loved the poem and you never loose your touch ;-)

Buddah Moskowitz said...

If the end of the world is, in fact, nigh, then this is a helluva poem t go out on. Very strong, also image made me literally laugh out loud.

vivinfrance said...

Excellent and heartfelt. I loathe politics and politicians. But what alternative is there? Dictatorship?

Jessica Lynn Lang said...

Very interesting. The side walk seer is cool. The no chirstmas is sad.

Gloria said...

This is anspecial and strong poem and is not strangue I think like you (for this I like your poems) You always make me think anyway honestly I really disapointed about political here are the same, :)

Glenn Buttkus said...

So true, brother, our great minds mined similar gold tonight, and the poetics morphed into politico lanes; nice use of the form, making it your own, yet again. Thanks for the lengthy comment you left on my site. The future is nigh, is now, is upon us; lol.

Ginny Brannan said...

"To the polls they run with cheer
out the same window our humanity flew
the beginning being nigh, or near
so says the great sidewalk seer."

Quite cleverly done Brian, and so in tune with your talent for story-telling. Impressed with your go at this formatted poetry. Nicely penned!

Christi Moon said...

wonderfully wicked villanelle...S5 is a real beauty. spot-on timing for this topic. very much enjoyed this Brian :)

ayala said...

Love the title...so true. So tired of it all...Good write, Brian.

Sue said...

You had me at the title!

=)

FrankandMary said...

Thanks for stimulating my my gray matter, since none of the current Pols do. ~Mary

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Brian,

I'm just popping over from Imperfect Prose's link up. Thanks for letting me peek into your ruminatings... :)

Have a lovely evening from misty MN,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

henry clemmons said...

Politics make for interesting study, but you never know if what your studying is even close to what is what. Liked your poem.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I'll be gad when the 6th has passed.

Semaphore said...

Well, this is about as close as I'll ever see you stick to a formally structured poem! I've seen others on the trail break the structure more than it's broken here. Having said that, what an interesting idea, basing this villanelle on political missives, and the lunacy behind their messages.

Other Mary said...

Excellent! And soooo spot on. I'm still fighting with my villan(elle). Not sure I have 19 lines in me. :(

beckykilsby said...

Those refrains lines definitely ring your point out loud and clear. Fun to see you villanelling brian :)

Anna Montgomery said...

You pick great repeaters, I could hear it as a protest song with wit and kick. I was saying to Mary a while back that I would absolutely vote for a candidate that donated campaign money to causes they believe in instead of television ads (or in your case pamphlets). I have already voted so I am in the blissful phase of having done my part and am ignoring all news of politics for a little while :).

Margaret said...

...the repeated lines that made you start thinking politics (ha ha) John Adams also hated the multi party idea... Interesting post, as usual.

Leovi said...

Yes, every day begins a new life, and is so yesterday.

Cressida de Nova said...

poverty and tasers
go hand in hand..
what's Christmas?
say the have nots.

Fred Rutherford said...

strong write Brian. Really appreciate the depths you pushed the Villanelle to here. Strong. And the title, man, i've been getting so many myself, really get frustrated, I told my dad the other day, I bet they still come days after the election even, it's that inane.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Nicely done!

Zuzana Hansen said...

Dear Brian, as for politics and the way they come across, never understood the nor do I understand the hunger for power. Ultimately all the politicians are the same.;)
Your writing skills are superb, I have no clue how to write poetry.;)
Have a great weekend dear friend.;)
xoxo

Zuzana said...

Oh its was me by the way, the comment above, I posted under my gmail account hehe;)

Vicki Lane said...

Love the Great Sidewalk Seers -- they walk among us.

kkkkaty said...

Clever usage of the form and we will all relax when this important election is over...watch for a message from Warren Buffet on the ballots ...

seacamels said...

Brian,

Enjoyed this work very much; it shows me the value of social protest poetry—something I usually don’t appreciate much, aesthetically. Your villanelle works well with it. (Mind you I have no experience at all with this form.) I also like how you approach sentiment, unafraid. Good stuff.

Alberto

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Yes interesting how the founders of the USA and USSR governors both thoughts 'politics' was wrong. But at least George did not have them shot!

Tara Miller said...

You're always up for a good challenge, my love. I think you did great on the form.

Lots of slingin on both sides of the political parties. glad it will be over soon!

Little Ms Blogger said...

I think it's interesting we both wrote about the annoyance with elections. I was also sparked to write my post by the amount of mailings I got in 2 days...and it was from the same 2 candidates! Geesh....save a tree people!

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I agree--you rock Brian--such a timely write in so many ways!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"To the polls they run with cheer
out the same window our humanity flew
the beginning being nigh, or near
so says the great sidewalk seer."


Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing the image and your very honest, thought-provoking, and poetic words as you write about...politic and politician and their "attics..." this political season.

deedee :)

Steve E said...

Brian!
Me too, I've never liked that word "reetard". Even more do I dislike the words "developmentally disabled". When I can remember them, that is.

I worked with five of them--and more, for five years. 1991-1996. IQ 70 or below. And to me they were Peeps, just that...Peeps. And...they were my friends. In fact, they were not even "they" or "them". They were/are you, me, us...and we shared cameraderie and enjoyed between us a love I have not found before nor since.
Your South Florida Peep Steve sends LOVE and PEACE!

lifeisaroadtrip said...

So glad when it will be over, but a little scared at the same time.

jane hewey said...

You merged with this form. I enjoy your poetry for its contemporary bent, the day to day you bring in, and your exposure of the issues in the moment...political and personal. Old history forms a wonderful shadow in this piece, maybe due to the form's age, and I think you played it out very nicely here.

my heart's love songs said...

{sigh} it's all too depressing!

nice "villain-elle"

Syd said...

The hatred in this race is about race and greed. I am sick of it.