Relashunships r hard

vietnam

Here is a poem written by a really needy girl who banged up her boyfriends car
and made him look like a fool at the dance, and flirted with other guys
in front of him.

Then, pretty understandably, he puts on his backpack and flies off to South East Asia.

She looks at his Facebook feed and sees him having fun with all his buddies.
She is stuck at home with no date and not enough money to go backpacking.
So she gets all “oh why did I do that?” and stuff and writes this poem.
But he is in Vietnam so he never gets it, and basically she is dumped.
I don’t think he even texted her.

The moral of this story is:
1.  If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.
2.  Make love, not war.
3.  Dude, you need to take a poetry appreciation class.

 

 

But You Didn’t: by Merrill Glass
Remember the time you lent me your car and I dented it?
I thought you’d kill me…
But you didn’t.

Remember the time I forgot to tell you the dance was formal,
and you came in jeans?
I thought you’d hate me…
But you didn’t.

Remember the times I’d flirt with other boys
just to make you jealous,
and you were?
I thought you’d drop me…
But you didn’t.

There were plenty of things you did to put up with me,
to keep me happy, to love me,
and there are so many things I wanted to tell you
when you returned from Vietnam…

But you didn’t.

 

 

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War on Poverty

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These days we are used to hearing the USA declare war on unbeatable opponents.  At this stage the USA has lost the War in Vietnam, lost the War on Drugs, lost the War on Terror etc etc etc.

There was a time, back in the 1960’s when the USA was motivated to declare a more positive kind of warfare.  In January 1964 President Lyndon. B. Johnson declared a war on poverty.

More properly it led to the passing of the Economic Opportunity Act.  This built on measures introduced in the “New Deal” by FDR and established many structures that remain in place even today.

Sadly the War on Poverty in the USA was lost.  The republicans got into power and steadily eroded the foundations of the US Welfare State.  Wealth has increasingly shifted into the hands of a smaller and smaller elite of the super-rich.

Happy societies are those that offer the greatest opportunities to the lowest of the low, to enable them and encourage them to rise and better themselves.  Capitalist societies are not designed to deliver widespread contentment.  They are focused on the exploitation of the masses for the gratification of the few.

Purely communist societies have largely failed because they are not able to compete economically with capitalist societies.

Managed economies, be they rooted in Fascism (eg Post War Spain), Socialism (eg Yugoslavia) or in tradition and religion (eg Saudi Arabia) are designed to protect a ruling elite at the expense of reform or progress.  While they can be initially decisive and dynamic they rapidly decline into stagnation.

The best societies are those with a centrist democratic political structure, representative government, rule of law and a market economy.  The very best societies are those with the most educated populations and the strongest female presence in senior industry and political roles.

 

To a Poor Old Woman; by William Carlos Williams

munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

Comforted
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

Changeling

Image

Iarlais (The Changeling); by Louis de Paor (Translated from Irish)

She did as she was told

putting her arms above her head
as I pulled off the tightfitting jumper,
then ran crookedly
on bow legs slipping and
sliding across the wet floor
heading for the bath.

In the blink
of an eye the changeling
took on my daughter’s body
running for all eternity
down a narrow unending road
somewhere in Vietnam
naked as an unlidded eye
without a stitch to protect
her wizened body
from my evil eye
when the camera winked
at her like this.

When she comes back
screaming with pain
the mark of that tortured ghost
is branded on her dripping skin
scalded by the hot water
sweating from my unshuttered eye.

A Changeling is a child who is swapped by the faeries, who steal a beautiful child and leave an ugly and deformed one in its place.  It was a very strong belief in Ireland until quite recently.  It was a kind way to explain the birth of a deformed child or one suffering from Downes Syndrome, Motor Neuron Disease, Spinabifida etc.  There are many tales of boys being dressed up as girls to fool the faeries, and babies being smeared with soot on the face to make them look more ugly.