An Evening in Grebovka

Just got back from a poetry reading. As poetry readings go, it was maybe a bit better than average. Maybe 25 or so people (I didn’t count, and it fluctuated a bit) About 10 or 12 people read. The usual mix of good, bad, and unintelligible. There was the poem in Turkish followed by the English translation, about an old man who planted an olive tree because life weighs more than death. I liked that. The best poem of the night, though, I thought was “When the Cleaning Ladies Take Over.” Spoiler alert: it ain’t all pretty. There was one guy who gave a bit of a speech about how great he thought it all was, people coming together and communicating and such. He kind of kept interrupting but he was so positive and enthusiastic that he was an enjoyable part of the evening.

But the best thing about it was the location. We were in the grotto in Grebovka Park. It’s a lovely space, there’s a fountain with a statue in the middle and the water pours down it and there are arches all around the terrace leading to rooms without front walls, and that’s where the stage was. To the sides, there were stairs going up to the balcony above, and above that jagged towers of rock. All very ancient Greek.
Behind us the woods. Above us the moon.

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Election Line Ups

So, you say you want a candidate who can beat Trump? Well, there are two.
Here’s how it breaks down:
If it’s Biden vs. Trump, the election will be about who gropes women more and who commits more gaffes. Of course, Trump is actually worse on both those counts but, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, Trump’s supporters don’t care about his weaknesses. Feminists will have a hard time supporting Biden due to his treatment of Anita Hill, black people will not turn out for him in large numbers, and young people will stay home in droves. Trump will win.
If it’s Harris v. Trump, she will still have to answer to the voters for all her sins as California Attorney General, which are numerous. Tulsi hit her on four of the big ones, and she had no answers. Trump, or his surrogates, will hit her again and again, and she will still have no answers. Trump will win.
If it’s Trump v. Warren, it will be Pocahontas, Pocahontas, Pocahontas the whole time. It’s his stupid joke, his fans love it. Warren will either try to ignore it, which doesn’t work well, or she’ll respond to it which, as we’ve seen, also does not work well. She would have better luck than Biden or Harris at keeping Bernie voters in the fold, but she has no appeal for independents. Trump will win.
Buttigieg is a good speaker but, oh boy, the Republicans will have fun with his name. He is the mayor of a medium-sized city, and not a particularly good mayor at that. The black people of South Bend hate him, so a lot of black people will stay home on election day. Trump will win.
If Corey Booker gets the nomination, Democrats automatically lose two of their biggest issues: corruption, and health care. That’s because Corey Booker is corrupt, and he is very specifically in the debt of the pharmaceutical industry. Trump will win.
If Andrew Yang gets the nomination, you have two wealthy entrepreneurs running against each other. The argument will be about which of them is the more successful. Trump could lose the argument and still win the election, because his fans are impressed with wealth, and the average voter not so much. Turnout will be low. Trump will win.
With any of these candidates, from July to November the Democrats will be using the slogan “Vote for the lesser of two evils.” It’s a shitty slogan, and it does not win elections.

But if either Tulsi or Bernie get the nomination, they can run on health care, raising the minimum wage, forgiving student debt, ending private prisons, ending regime change wars, taxing the rich, and legalizing marijuana, all of which are very popular with the American people. They are both good speakers, and exciting candidates. Turnout would be high, and the Democrats would win.

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Cup of Tea

I’ve been waiting to write this for a while, but today is the day: my latest book of poetry, entitled “Cup of Tea” is published, that is it is available for purchase on Amazon and Kindle. The announcement has been greeted with several likes and hearts and happy faces, at least 5 or 6 so far which is a lot for anything I post, but we’ll see if that translates into sales.
It is true that nobody reads poetry any more, and nobody buys poetry books. Partly that’s because books themselves are going unpurchased and unread, and poetry is about the least successful genre of book.
Women love the romances, grandparents and aunts and uncles buy children’s books, there are still some very nerdy people out there who read sci-fi and fantasy, some people buy detective shit if they’re going to be sitting on a plane for 6 hours, but there is no specific demographic for poetry.
People say it all the time: nobody cares about poetry any more. I think I know why.
On one site where I regularly post my stuff, my book announcement was met by a couple of people saying ‘rhyming poetry? ewww, think I’ll give that a pass,’ and, among all of the people writing poetry today, they are the vast majority. Most current poetry doesn’t rhyme, doesn’t hold to any particular meter, often as not does not make any sense, at least not any that anybody can figure out, and is just filled with depressing images and gratuitous dirty words.
I’m not generally a fan myself. Anyway, my books are different. My poems rhyme, they have meter, they make sense. Buy the book. You’ll see.

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Bernie and the Press

The headline read “Daily Kos Presidential Primary Poll: Corn-Free Edition” and the picture showed the table where the kernel poll – in which everybody over the age of 18 can vote by putting a kernel of corn into a glass jar- was taking place at the Iowa State Fair, and it was pretty obvious that Bernie was kicking butt.
So, I clicked on the article. After opening with a few disparaging remarks about corn and the great state of Iowa, where I’m from, they got to “Here at the Daily Kos we count clicks and not kernels,” as if that’s any better, and they showed the results of their own poll.
They never once mentioned the results of the kernel poll, which I thought was kind of bullshit, because they made it their headline and headline picture.
So, I looked at a couple of other sources, where they did not have Bernie winning the kernel poll either, again in contradiction to the picture. Technically possible, I suppose. Buttigieg’s jar had almost as many kernels as Bernie. You couldn’t actually see Biden’s or Warren’s jars in the photo. But, I suspect they just fiddled the results, because they’re doing that all the time, blatantly now.
Then there was the New York Times reporter, who wrote that ‘Bernie walked around the fairground and didn’t talk to anybody,’ which was obviously not true. His speech drew a bigger crowd than any other candidate. I suppose maybe she meant he didn’t stop and have individual conversations with a lot of people, but I saw a video where he was talking to a reporter, and there was a huge crowd of people walking with them.
It would be nice if we had ethical, unbiased sources for our news, but at least we should have a media which is not flat out lying to us all the time.

But, we don’t.

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Tulsi and the Polls

The DNC and the MSM seem absolutely determined to keep Tulsi Gabbard out of the next debate. First, they raised the requirements. After she got her 65,000 individual donors, spread across the correct number of states, to get into the first debates, and after she knocked Tim Ryan out of the race and totally eviscerated Kamala Harris, they decided to raise the standards again, saying that candidates must poll above 2% in at least four ‘qualifying’ polls, but I guess the DNC determines what is a qualifying poll, and they’ve only had one of them since the debates, both of which ended with Tulsi Gabbard being the candidate most people searched on Google.
Now, there could be a couple different reasons why she was the most searched on Google, admittedly. Not everybody that searched is automatically going to vote for her. It could be they searched because she was a candidate they’d never heard of before, which right there is a sign that the MSM is not doing their job. It could be she was the most searched because she was the best looking woman on the stage, and a lot of people think like that. Or, it could be she was the most searched because people heard what she said, liked it, and wanted to know more about her. That’s why Google suspended her ad account, so that people who googled her wouldn’t see any of her ads, and that’s why she’s suing Google for $50 million.
So, it’s pretty clear that there is some bias against Tulsi among people with serious money and power.
Which brings us to the polls. Why aren’t the polls done on a regular, predictable schedule, by reputable and accountable agencies who aren’t beholden to one party or the other, who publish their numbers and methodology and are totally transparent?
How can they say “You have to break 2% in 4 polls,” and then not have any polls.
And how in the world did people like Amy Klobuchar and Corey Booker qualify? I don’t see any huge, grass-roots movement for them like I see for Tulsi. I don’t see them putting forth any message that would get people excited. Quite honestly, it seems to me that these constantly changing requirements are designed specifically to knock her out of the race.
If Tulsi is not on the next debate stage, and Kamala Harris is, there will be rage.

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A Door

I have a lot of visual artists as friends on my Facebook page, partly because for a while I had a project going where I would use paintings as prompts for my poems, and the page still exists although I haven’t worked at it actively for quite a while. Partly also because I seriously admire people who can paint, or draw, or sculpt, because those are things I’m not good at. I also have an admiration which borders on reverence for musicians, for the same reason.
So, this morning I saw a painting of a door and the artist said this was the 3rd time she’d painted that door, several years apart. My first thought was ‘why?’ but she explained that, saying she ‘saw something different in it every time. It was an old door, to some kind of shed, on a farm, maybe. Peeling paint, some of the wood worn away from the bottom.
I wanted to leave some relevant comment, because I always do, and the best I could come up with was ‘a door is always a metaphor,’ which is true. Doors are portals into hidden spaces, doors get slammed in our faces, doors separate one reality from another, closed doors are what secret deeds get done behind, and then there are the doors of perception.
There are lots of things, like doors, that get used as metaphors for lots of different stuff. Windows, for example. Mirrors. Streams. Trains. Stars. Roads.

You name it, really, everything is a metaphor for something else.

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Jeffrey Epstein is Dead

Nobody is mourning him much. He had an enviable life, if not a good one. He got to fly around on his fancy private plane, live in mansions, eat in the best restaurants, and boink lots of super hot teenage girls.
People I know seem to be of two opinions: either he was murdered in his cell (the best comment I’ve seen was “If you’re surprised by Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide, imagine how surprised HE must have been”), or that he was whisked away to a desert island somewhere, to live out the rest of his life in peace and comfort, like a witness protection program for billionaires.
I doubt we will ever know. Of course, authorities could dispel the desert island notion with a thorough autopsy and a DNA comparison with any living relatives, which would be quite different than they did when Obama “killed” “Osama bin Laden” and just threw the body overboard somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean, because that’s “Islamic tradition.” But, I’m sure they won’t.

Among those who think he was murdered, some are blaming the Clintons, partly because of the extremely long list of people who have committed suicide or accidentally died or been mysteriously murdered (which murders always went unsolved), and some are pointing out that Trump was also a close friend of Jeffrey Epstein, and thus had motive.
I don’t really care. No Clinton will ever hold office again and we’ve got so many more immediate, more important things to condemn Trump on.
So, let’s have a good laugh, let’s have some fun with conspiracy theories, and then let’s get back to talking about how to save the Earth, close the concentration camps, give everybody health care, and make the world a better place for everybody in it.

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