Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Death of Democracy


Not one thing alone will get us through this. Not outrage, not humor, not art, poetry and music. Not marches, not letter writing and phone calls and e-mail and petitions, not collective action, not collective education. But "all of the above" is a good start.

And so poetry should have its place at the table of Resistance. Looking through Garrison Keillor’s timely collection Good Poems for Hard Times, I found this gem. Imagine Democracy is the "item" and new light shines through the truth of this whimsical poem.

       In Answer to Your Query
                                                  Naomi Lazard
We are sorry to inform you
the item you ordered
is no longer being produced.
It has not gone out of style
nor have people lost interest in it.
In fact, it has become
one of our most desired products.
Its popularity is still growing.
Orders for it come in
at an ever increasing rate.
However, a top-level decision
has caused this product
to be discontinued forever.

Instead of the item you ordered
we are sending you something else.
It is not the same thing,
nor is it a reasonable facsimile.
It is what we have in stock,
the very best we can offer.

If you are not happy
with this substitution
Let us know as soon as possible.
                        As you can imagine
we already have quite an accumulation
of letters such as the one
you may or may not write.
To be totally fair
We respond to these complaints
as they come in.
Yours will be filed accordingly,
answered in its turn.

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