23 January, 2008

Fox Elegy

for Jim Phillips


the curving valley
of the turgid, septic Fox
where once the mallard

water'd w/the deer
& the
dwelt before the Fox

Indian arrived
displaced by the division
of the Beaver Wars

the intervention
of the French an early glimpse
the staid strategy

of the white man, the
capitalists, to divide
then to make extinct

like the Indians
the winding river nearly
flooded completely

w/blood of small game
hunted for sport, those natives
killed for manifest

trappers' blood the bad
deal arguments gone down in
a right bloody mess.


was in a classroom
some town on the river in
the 1960s

called out by students
adopted its moniker
& became The Fox

to catch the dumpers
unawares -- all Errol Flynn.
You were not John Wayne

tho' even some cops
enamored w/the river
& yr.

tipped you off to stings
got away like those ill fish
nobody could eat

carried, dumped gallons
their own acrid sludge back to
their meeting room floors

& rode off, untouched
The community gives back
the next day's headline.


in the summertime
over lunch in Geneva
at a beer garden

on now-cleaner shores
daytrippers get drunk &
ducks in the water

in their devoted
familial processions to
follow its current

lunchers get drunker
return to boats,
spinning for

here, in yr. back yard
nary a glass raised you in
yr. back yard.

05 January, 2008

Thoughts on Iowa's raucous caucus

I watched it on MSNBC, because you can't beat Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann getting all giddy over an election. Today's NY Times actually ran a good review of Matthews' coverage. The man is part wonk, part shaman, part belligerent barfly & I love it.

Earlier in the day, my mom (who is quite the anti-Bush, old-school, union-card-carrying democrat) asked who I thought would win, and I called it exactly as it turned out on both sides. I'm sometimes that good with NFL picks, but have never been with politics. Usually because my heart's on my sleeve.

Mike Huckabee reminds me of Kevin Spacey portraying a xanex-mellowed Richard Nixon.

I'd resigned myself to not really liking any of the candidates. Hillary plays dirty & is too conservative. Edwards talks a good game but something about him is so-o-o-o-o-o-o plastic. Obama doesn't say much (though he says it well). Biden's a loose cannon,. Dodd's smart (albeit too conservative). Richardson seems clueless half the time and Kucinich and Gravel are just plain silly ...

But, I must admit, I was a bit overcome by some sort of very good feeling when Obama won it and did that so handily. I don't think I'd have felt that way were it any of the others, and I don't remember feeling that way about *any* election's outcome -- let alone one small caucus. For a brief moment, maybe I felt good about the U.S. Who knows?

BTW, if you know & love Mark "Mark" Antonelli, it's his birthday today. Spank his arse.