Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Toward spring

First Light

This same thin wash of winter light
basted hard wood fen that once stood
silent where I sit watching mornings hem
gather high on the jutting hip of noon.  It
gently scrubbed the stubble field that scored
the old Watch farm, cleared the crumbling
lip of fresh dug cellar, made clapboard blush,
set alight the highest branches of the plane
tree as it gained the roof line by degree, swept
this room with a watery beam that found both
lingerers, tweezing out gauzy strands of dreams, and
the empty chairs of hunters and the hunted,
caressing, on occasion, those who relished
a second cup while waiting for words to swim
into view and scribe an arc to nightfall. 

Charm Offensive, revised

            ““It’s all part of a very well-conceived strategy to change the image of the Koch brothers as dark and plotting oilmen ideologues,” Axelrod said.  Seitel, the public-relations expert, observed, “They’re waging a charm offensive to reset the image of the Kochs from bogeymen shrouded in secrecy to philanthropists who are supporting black colleges and indigent defense.””

Jane Mayer, “New Koch”, The New Yorker, January 25, 2016

Charles Koch led the Howard University “Showtime” Marching Band in a funk-infused rendition of James Browns “Say It Loud-I’m Black and Proud”.  Fans thrilled to Koch’s call-and-response exhortation, “Federal regulation say what?”-“EPA is jank!” 

Low-income Detroit and Chicago residents living in proximity to Koch Industry property used to store large quantities of pet coke, a toxic bi-product of the oil refining process, received hand delivered, adorable Build-A-Bear plush toys dressed as Ludwig von Mises, the 19th century Austrian libertarian economist.   

You Walk!, a Koch funded-initiative to reduce penalties for non-violent felony offenders is being lauded by the Koch Institute for Judicial Reform.  Beneficiaries are automatically enrolled in a 2 day online course to prepare them for new voting requirements for non-white collar ex-felons, an exam modelled on the American Board of Surgery Qualifying, Certification and Recertification Examination.

“Horizontal Fracking the Hundred Acre Wood”, by Charles and David Koch, receives the Caldecott Medal for best picture book.  The coveted award was announced by the American Library Association, recently acquired by Koch Industries.  It’s a heart-warming retelling of the A.A. Milne classic “House At Pooh Corner”.  Beloved characters Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Owl and Rabbit are reimagined as beloved right wing and Libertarian icons Charles Krauthammer, Richard Mellon Scaife, Robert Welch, Jr. and Ayn Rand. 

Sleep Over With Chuck and Dave.  The boys will randomly select a low income household and surprise the struggling occupants by showing up with flannel camp bags, a package of double-stuffed Oreos and signed copies of “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea”, by Paul Ryan.  Chuck will huddle under the blankets with a flashlight and tell horror stories about government overreach.  Dave will fart his rendition of “Money, Cash, Hoes”. 

Charles Koch embarks on a short tour of small venues, coffee shops and hobo villages, bringing his “Woody and Me” review to the masses.  Armed only with a guitar inscribed with the slogan, “This Machine Thrills Fascists”, Charles will perform an updated version of the Woody Guthrie song book.  “This Land Is My Land”, “Heaping Dust Bowl Of Pet Coke”, “Pastures of Plenty, Pipelines of Profit”, and “Do Re Mi Mine, All Mine” top the set list. 

Won’t you be my neighbor?  That’s right, PBS is collaborating with FOX and Koch Infotainment to resurrect “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”.  A cardigan wearing David Koch will preside over a host of neighborhood characters that embody free-market values.  Trolley, a coal burning locomotive will be on hand to transport low-paid, at-will workers to dangerous jobs in unregulated industries.  King Friday XIII harangues viewers with lectures on economics in the Chicago School style, extolling the principals of Friedrich Hayak and Premier Li Keqiang of China.  Queen Sara Saturday-Is-A-Workday, Too, leads sing-a-longs based on inspirational passages from The Fountainhead.  Daniel Striped Tiger, a self-described Democratic Socialist, is on hand to be discredited for espousing single-payer health care, collective bargaining and man-made climate change. 

The Koch’s are trending on Snapchat with amazing videos like “Bag O’ Puppies”, “Have Some Pie”, “Main Street Howdy Doo”, “Beaucoup Boot Straps”, “Science Is Only A Theory”, “Governor Scott Walker: A Song In My Heart, A Dream In My Pocket”, and “Got Lead?:  Flint, Home of ‘Patriot’ Water”.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

What a ride

Durable Medical Equipment

Standard kit; four wheels and a hand
brake, tubular construction in sober
parsons black with a lick
of chrome fittings, she’s low
to the ground and tight
on the turns with a basket
up front, padded kneeler in back,
our Mardis Gras float, I’ll ease her in
behind the Krewe of Mona Lisa and Moon Pie
while you slosh hurricane and wave
to the joyous, drunken throngs.