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August 28, 2008

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Tanka (haiku stanza plus two seven-syllable lines) may not be what you have in mind, Sir Bob, but here goes anyway:

August sun too bright:
"O my Eyes," cried Oedipus,
The blind democrat.

So I say to you: free sun-
Glasses for all the people!


Yes, that is what I have in mind. Could you speak these words aloud and bring an audience to its feet? Can you imagine applauding wildly if someone did the same? There is a rhetorical device in an applause line that connects to something very old in us. My uncle farmed in Iowa and raised turkeys. Those turkeys were the best audience I ever had. They would applaud (gobble enthusiastically) at every line I uttered. We humans are much more discriminating.

I applauded (in the privacy of my home) these words last night:

If Senator McCain wants to have a debate
about who has the best temperament and judgement
to be commander in chief,
I am ready to have that debate.

It worked because I knew already knew Part One (John McCain says he can be commander in chief and I cannot) and Part Two (He's wrong).

And it worked because he demonstrated with the line what it takes to be commander in chief.

Time for breakfast.

I agree, Bob: the line about having the right "temperament and judgment" to be commander-in-chief was a bull's eye.

I like McCain's speeches.

His chosen interests and career paths are, of course, far different than those pursued by aspiring performers. McCain's tenor has good qualities, though. His voice is more subtle than overstimulated audiences choose to recognize, but such voices incorporate the word they express, and resonate to good effect.

Sunglasses are readily available from itinerant opticians. Of course, Coppelius also provides Olympia's eyes.

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Radio

I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark
                   

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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This Way Out

THE RULE OF THUMB
by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.

 

 


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