Saturday, 27 October 2012

I voted. We should guarantee that everyone eligible can.

Dropped my ballot, signed and all that. Perhaps more on how I voted in near posts-- (this post counts as the first of the five potential pre-election political posts. I know, waited a while, didn't I?

The thing I want to say here is simple: Voting is great. And it should be guaranteed as a right. Over the last twenty, thirty, years, pundits on all sides of the political spectrum have made comment on low voter turnout, how the young people just don't seem to care, etc. This, I think, gets overplayed as a media-salve to older-skewing demographics who want to feel validated in a kids-these-days stance, but it is a real problem.

Lately, however, many haven't been treating it like a problem, they've been exacerbating the problem with attempts at laws unnecessary at best, devious and racist at worst. Most of the current batch of laws have been sponsored by Republicans, but the idea that this should be a partisan issue is absurd to me. The argument I've heard-- actually heard-- is that 'well, voting technically isn't a right, guaranteed by the constitution.

Which is true. So I say, let's make it one. The right to vote should be extended to all citizens of the U.S. (with possible exceptions for those serving hard time. i'm not writing the resolution here, just putting the idea out there) regardless of race, political affiliation, gender, orientation, religious affiliation, wealth, housing status, education level, job status, etc. Once you hit 18, voting should be a constitutionally guaranteed right, in my mind. I say the right to vote should be in the framework of our countries laws, and voting should be a prioritized right-- accessible and available, as well as allowed. There are countries that legally require the citizenry to vote.

I'm not suggesting that, but I do think that along with freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to bear arms, the right to vote was held in the same legal esteem, more people would vote. And if they didn't? Boo on them-- but there are many people who, despite the fought-and-died-for-right, will never own a gun. never exercise free speech in a meaningful, protected way. But those rights are still there should people choose to exercise them.

Again, recently a lot of liberal folks (I count myself, generally speaking, as a liberal folk, if you want to paint with broad swaths) have painted this as a Dems. vs. Repubs. issue, partly because the voter ID laws were largely being put in place in battleground states that could decide the upcoming election. In this instance, there may be credence to that, but the dialogue could easily flip; I've heard more than one dyed-in-the-wool blue-state liberal sigh that "if only you had to have a degree to vote." This was a lot of expasperated steam-blowing, as it were, during the Bush years. But that's often how bad ideas start, ideas that put an ideology beyond the Democratic (process, not party) ideals on which this country was founded forward.
And I think participating in the democratic process is absolutely core, absolutely essential to who we are, who we've been, and hopefully, who we will be in the future.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The last readings wherein the "2012" piece will be relevant:

November 1st. 7pm, $5. Bellingham, Wa.
Grown-Ass Poets Society @ the Green Frog Tavern
w/ Shane Guthrie.

November 18th. 4pm, free. Seattle, Wa.
Babel/Salvage Showcase @ Hollow Earth Radio.
w/Bryan Edenfield, Terra Leigh Bell, Evan J. Peterson.

December 5th. 7pm, free. Duvall, Wa
Duvall Poetry Night @ The Match Coffee and Wine Bar.
w/Open Mic.

In addition, I will be performing two Christmas-related shows, one dark, one light, but neither will contain the 2012 poem, which is probably the best thing I wrote in 2012. Natch. Or at least the most beloved-in-performance. Hopes are to have the new chapbook, Filthy Jerry's Guide to Parking Lots, available by the 5th of December, if not the 18th of November. Progress on that has been thundering along nicely.

It would be great to see you-- the nebulous, churning, "you"-- at any or all of these readings, if you can make it. The 18th will also be podcasted via the talents and generosity of the fine folks at Hollow Earth Radio. On the 1st I'll be previewing some of the new book, but also giving rousing performances of some of the Swansea Morning Coming Down pieces that, well, I won't be retiring, per say, but will definitely be going away for a while. Three years is a long time to have one (somewhat) hastily assembled chapbook as a calling card, and these poems have served me well. I'll try to do the same in stomping, shouting style at the Green Frog.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

history is written by the man who stays acquainted with the thug who has the biggest sword.

while I definitely have my polititcal leanings (more on that in a few days) and definitely (can) enjoy the joust-y nature of debate, there are ways that, "this is not a game of battleship" notwithstanding, the whole Foreign Policy Debate just made me think about this song:
it doesn't take a lot to make me think of a fotl song, granted, but "civilized people don't fuck bears" notwithstanding, this is one of the angrier, more righteously on-point pieces they've done about world or personal affairs.

Friday, 12 October 2012


Greenwood Lit Crawl.

I will read a series of vignettes, amongst other things.

tomorrow: David and Lindsey Get Married and I am the Pastor.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

There's a Limit

There's a limit,
                            to how cretinous
There's a limit,
                            to how functional
There's a limit,
                            to dancing skills
There's a limit,
                            to the efficacy of pirate costumes
There's a limit,
                            to brave new acquaintances
There's a limit,
                            to practicality of:
                                                           a feather duster,
                                                           a 401K,
                                                           Allen's patience,
                                                           your Hulu queue,
                                                           how long a glance is just-
                                                           how brief a glance can be, before:
                                                                                                                         a slight,
                                                                                                                         an aloofery,
                                                                                                                         a pridewound,
                                                                                                                         a paper mache cat.

How directionless would we be if we all knew how to dance,
but no one had that sticky blue tape to designate the floor?
There are leaves everywhere and people with scarves and that one guy
is too close to all the girls and that one girl has crazy eyes and no clothes
and where, goddammit, is the janitor, someone has to set these things up,
jenga them to death.

Friday, 5 October 2012