Do you see what I see?




I'm teaching fiction writing in the spring. These are two books I considered adopting as course texts. Notice a theme here?

Questions: Is this really the first impression we want to give new writers when introducing craft? To suggest that one must be mad or ill to write, that writing is a cure?

A lot's been written about the link between madness and creativity, and about poets of the loco persuasion. But do we, as teachers, really want to perpetuate this connection?

I've found that a good number of my students believe you can't be a writer without the Crazy.
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Robert Giroux on Robert Lowell quoted in Kay Redfield Jamison's Touched with Fire:
Of all our conversations, I remember most vividly [Lowell's] words about the new drug, lithium carbonate, which had such good results [after almost twenty manic attacks and subsequent hospitalizations] and gave him reason to believe he was cured: "It's terrible, Bob, to think that all I've suffered, and all the suffering I've caused, might have arisen from the lack of a little salt in my brain."



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Recently, I've had to remind my poetry students that writing a poem may begin as a kind of turning of a release valve, but the poem is as much a product of inspiration as it is a product of awareness and work. Very rarely does a poem arrive, and to anthropomorphize the work--to talk about "what the poem wants to do" or "what the poem is telling me to do"--is to, in a kind of counter-intuitive way, emphasize product over process, and the thing over the discovery. So dangerous for beginning writers.

There are also students that work really hard on their drafts but end up disliking their poems because they had to put so much work into getting just a few good lines. My response is always the same: "Keep at it."
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I posted this on my Facebook last week, and it received many "likes":
"One must always be aware, to notice -- even though the cost of noticing is to become responsible." - Thylias Moss
This quotation is from a 1994 Wall Street Journal article. More or less a bio piece wrapped around a publishing kerfuffle in which work from her collection Small Congregations was reprinted without permission in an anthology by a major publisher.

Here's another bit of advice from Moss:
"If you're going to call a demon, you have to call it by the right name."
Hard to argue with that.

New Books

Are you aware of Cooper Dillon Books? If not, you should check them out.

Not only are they an upstart, not-in-it-for-the-money small press with serious attitude run by some great folks, they publish some damn fine poems. Last year the published Gary McDowell's They Speak of Fruit, and I just got word this week from Clay Matthews that Cooper Dillon has recently published his latest book, Pretty, Rooster.

Here's how Clay described the new book in his email: "If you like sonnets and love and small towns, roosters, flea-markets and beaters up on blocks, then this thing is built custom for you."

No doubt.

I have yet to purchase my copy and will probably wait to do so until the AWP Bookfair, but if you aren't able to make it to Washington D.C. in February you can get your copy now directly from Cooper Dillon. $14 isn't a lot of money for some new poems by Clay and "fresh comics by Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man) and Micah Farritor (White Picket Fences)."

For more on Clay and his previous work, you might check out my review of his collection Superfecta. Also, here's a poem from the new collection:


Pick-Up

South-side of town and I drive in for some
pizza, beers to go. They do the dirty
eats right on this end. I don’t know what home
means, exactly. I take it at thirty
to mean people, place, real things, some good food.
Good and home, being relative. Also
relative, being relative. The dude
in the booth with bad teeth wants me to know
he’s been moving, washers and dryers, big
stuff mostly. It’s good sometimes to see that
people are getting on with their lives, dig,
that they’re out there living, wading through what
must sometimes feel like home to them, or must
always, cheese and crust, windows, floors, and dust.


Clay Matthews
from Pretty, Rooster












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Click to enlarge! Believe me. It's worth it.
In other book news, Nick Demske, The Poet Laureate of Your Face, has just had his first full-length collection, fittingly titled Nick Demske, published by Fence Books.

I had the joy of getting to know Nick this fall when we both read at University of Alabama ("Roll Tide.") for the Slash Pine Press poetry hikes. He's a great guy, his poems delight and surprise and offend, and so there's really no reason for you not to get this book or check out his poems. Here's a description of the book from Fence's website:
Love poems to the "bad," composed in the idiom of cliché, conceptualized as self-portraits, alive in the historically awesome, presently bankrupt form of the sonnet, these debut poems obsess, as do all dead white men, over big, common social constructs like race, gender, and sexuality. Demske employs himself with yet is repulsed by categorization: Fake and Real. He desensitizes your obscenity-mometer.
Nick's made a video to promote the book's release. It's a kind of book trailer, if you will. So, here's that and a poem. Congratulations, Nick!




Good Touch

            after Walt Disney

This is the most beautiful stool sample I have ever see
N. A stool sampler could search her whole life for a specimen half this perfect.
I can’t taste this food. I can’t feel my legs.
You must feel them for me. You suppository.

The emancipated marionette snips its own strings. This confirms its inab
Ility to move independent. Can you show me on the puppet where
The poetry touched you? Would you like to sample some of our
Finest stool, today? I need an adult. I need an ad

Olescent—a sweater puppeteer shiver me tim
bers. “That poetry touched me,” my virgin ears bleed.
“I was moved by your puppetry,” my bowels fess, ashamed.
The incontinent coprophile wallows in bliss. A pedophile wets the bed. Kiss me like I’m

Still a child, a Real Boy, proclaiming this, the finest stool sample of its kind,
The finest the world has seen since the great sampling of ought nine.


Nick Demske
from Action, Yes, Winter 2010

Poetry, Politics, and Edumacation

The basics of Edumacation:
  • Being able to spell words accurately enough for search engines to provide you with the proper spelling.
  • Being able to ignore long speeches, essays and lectures while appearing engaged.
  • Being able to bullshit through speeches, essays, lectures, and other such nonsense with out adequate preparation.
  • The ability to present your self as an authority on subjects in which you have little knowledge.
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"Calculating the worth of poets and other professors":
First, let me tell you about the least cost-effective professor I know. He's a poet. He's not a wannabe, but the genuine article, an extremely prolific writer and the winner of many awards. In an endowed university position he makes what most people would consider a lot of money, although nothing approaching the salary of a doctor, lawyer or football player.
But he teaches relatively few students. A typical load might be two courses per semester with small classes, perhaps as few as 10 students or up to 25. Sometimes he teaches a "lighter" load, and occasionally he takes a sabbatical.
If he lived in Texas, he's just the sort of professor who might find himself in the crosshairs of a plan that aims to hold college and university professors to better account -- to calculate more accurately their bottom-line contribution to their institutions' financial health.
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Knoxville News Sentinel Letters: "‘Prolific’ no measure to pay poets, professors":
via http://scottpaeth.typepad.com/
Crisp is right about one thing. Things like poetry (which he argues that the government should fund) are difficult to monetize and evaluate according to any measurement of contribution. That’s why their creators shouldn’t be publicly compensated. Many hard working individuals are struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Why should they suffer while poets produce “non-monetized” assets on the taxpayer’s dime?

Crisp forgets who pays his salary. It is the taxpayer, not an infinitely vast pot of gold. In Texas, the people have decided that their tax dollars are better spent on defense, roads, and police departments than on “prolific” award-winning writers. We must exercise caution whenever the government hands out a paycheck. Because this sort of salary isn’t a market commodity, its value is nearly indeterminable. Government funded professors should be compensated according to standards of productivity as concrete and measurable as possible. History’s greatest minds have created art, literature, political treatises, philosophical works and more, motivated by fame and love of knowledge, not a state or federal payroll.
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"How we can pay the poets":
If this newspaper thing hadn't worked out, my backup plan was selling poetry door to door.
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Ashland Daily Tidings: "Poetry and Politics":
Just turn on cable TV news for one minute. If you don't hear someone complaining about politics, you're either deaf or you have incredible peacemaking powers and should run for office yourself.

Other exhibits are all around. But, here and there, you can also see exhibitions of promise for the future of poetry and the future of politics.

Ashland High School students are writing poems.

Southern Oregon University students are registering voters.

And, no matter how much Washington forgets about America or how many Americans forget about Whitman, we can be happy here. We can continue to try to live sustainably, supporting the environment and the artists in it — even if it seems like the rest of the country is slipping toward madness.
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"On In(form)ality: Creative Writing Pedagogy in the Youtube Generation":
It could be that there exists in my youtubed and validation-hungry generation an unprecedentedly weighted dependency, when it comes to our identification as readers and writers, on the affirmation that others have felt the way we have -- prohibitively anxious, like we're nuts, too wounded to go on, plagued by a fairly regular and colossal loss of perspective, etc -- which naturally leads to a question of how that might shape both the (im)maturity of our writing and that of our reading: our goals in both mightn't be loftier than to get reassurance either that we are not insane or that insanity is part of being a good artist. I wonder whether the solace we seek in literature has been somewhat defined and/or substantially changed from that of previous generations by the emergence of a specific culture, one wherein twelve-year-olds with social network profiles have public images that they manage and maintain, not to mention a culturally encouraged acute awareness the concept of "self" in general. I wonder whether the literature we create is influenced by that change, if there has indeed been a shift.
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A Reminder

Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.


William Stafford
from The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems

Links:

The William Stafford Memorial
Friends of William Stafford
William Stafford Archives

Three for Veterans Day


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Shine, Republic

The quality of these trees, green height; of the sky, shining; of water, a clear flow;
      of the rock, hardness
And reticence: each is noble in its quality. The love of freedom has been the quality
      of western man.

There is a stubborn torch that flames from Marathon to Concord, its dangerous
      beauty binding three ages
Into one time; the waves of barbarism and civilization have eclipsed but have
      never quenched it.

For the Greeks the love of beauty, for Rome of ruling; for the present age
      the passionate love of discovery;
But in one noble passion we are one; and Washington, Luther, Tacitus, Eschylus,
      one kind of man.

And you, America, that passion made you. You were not born to prosperity, you
      were born to love freedom.
You did not say “en masse,” you said “independence.” But we cannot have all
      the luxuries and freedom also.

Freedom is poor and laborious; that torch is not safe but hungry, and often requires
      blood for its fuel.
You will tame it against it burn too clearly, you will hood it like a kept hawk, you
      will perch it on the wrist of Caesar.

But keep the tradition, conserve the forms, the observances, keep the spot sore. Be great,
      carve deep your heel-marks.
The states of the next age will no doubt remember you, and edge their love of freedom
      with contempt of luxury.


Robinson Jeffers
from The Selected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers













After the Wilderness

      May 3, 1863

When Clifford wasn’t back to camp by nine,
I went to look among the fields of dead
before we lost him to a common grave.
But I kept tripping over living men
and had to stop and carry them to help
or carry them until they died,
which happened more than once upon my back.
And I got angry with those men because
they kept me from my search and I was out
still stumbling through the churned-up earth at dawn,
stopping to stare into each corpse’s face,
and all the while I was writing in my head
the letter I would have to send our father,
saying Clifford was lost and I had lost him.

I found him bent above a dying squirrel
while trying to revive the little thing.
A battlefield is full of trash like that —
dead birds and squirrels, bits of uniform.
Its belly racked for air. It couldn’t live.
Cliff knew it couldn’t live without a jaw.
When in relief I called his name, he stared,
jumped back, and hissed at me like a startled cat.
I edged up slowly, murmuring “Clifford, Cliff,”
as you might talk to calm a skittery mare,
and then I helped him kill and bury all
the wounded squirrels he’d gathered from the field.
It seemed a game we might have played as boys.
We didn’t bury them all at once, with lime,
the way they do on burial detail,
but scooped a dozen, tiny, separate graves.
When we were done he fell across the graves
and sobbed as though they’d been his unborn sons.
His chest was large — it covered most of them.
I wiped his tears and stroked his matted hair,
and as I hugged him to my chest I saw
he’d wet his pants. We called it Yankee tea.


Andrew Hudgins
from What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets













Sleeping in Dick Cheney's Bed

It's unnerving how comfortable this is:
NORAD watching over the bedroom, Colorado
mule deer chewing the dawn outside as I dream
I'm wading thigh-high into the North Platte River,
wearing rubber waders, casting a handmade fly
with a whip-like, graceful sling of the line
until I fall back, plunge into the cold rushing
white water, my eyes blurred hard
under the sun's interrogations--Cheney's hands
like a preacher's delivering me deeper into the truth,
with a gasp of air, a flash of light, to be plunged back down
the way he offers midges and blood worms and rusty scuds
to the cloudy river, running 1400 cubic feet per second,
until I cough up the fictional and beg for the heartland's
fluid clarity, salvation, the charity of forgiveness, anything
to unravel the dream and return me back my California bed,
my lover beside me and not this stale man's breath
clinging to the Egyptian cotton sheets, the hanging curtains,
the flaring light of Colorado Springs where Cheney slept
in this very bed, both of us held by the same coiling
box spring, goose down pillows cupping our heads
gently into sleep, the reddening glow of Mars
rising over the horizon, dead skin sloughed off
to coat my own skin at an invisible level, and still--
what does it say about me, that the Pinot Grigio
tasted so good on my tongue, and that
I struggled to be a sergeant tonight,
speaking to the officer corps in a theater
filled with 1600 listening faces--as I spoke
about rape, death, and murder--what does it say about me
that I can return to Cheney's room after midnight,
strip my clothes off to curl in the bed
where he too has slept, the sheets a sublime reprieve
for my tired frame, the night a perfection of sleep.

Brian Turner
from Phantom Noise

Friends like these

Dude: "Friends like these, huh Gary?"
Gary: "That's right, Dude."

A few shout-outs to some friends out there who're throwing rocks and rolling strikes.

First, check out this poem by my friend and University of Tennessee colleague, Charlotte Pence, "Essay on Collective Paranoia" published at Kenyon Review Online. On her blog, Charlotte describes the poem this way:
The poem talks about the American tendency toward hyper-fear—and the excessive attempts to counteract any harm be it on a political scale down to a small scale such as knowing exactly what to eat to prevent cancer, exactly how to prune one’s hedges to thwart thieves, etc. And the footnotes almost serve as a paranoid voice commenting on the poem.
Congrats to Charlotte on the publication and on her forthcoming anthology on songs and poetry.

Next, check out this new poem by Stephanie Kartalopoulos, "Widow," published in the new issue of Waccamaw. Steph's work is showing up all over the place, so make sure you watch for it.

Become their Facebook fan.
Next, if you don't already know the website Whale Sound, I urge your to check it out. The project is run by Nic Sebastian and seeks previously web-published poems submitted by the poets and/or journals in which the poems first appeared. Nic then interprets the poem through a reading which is posted with audio at Whale Sound and made available to the public through the website or through an iTunes podcast. A fantastic project.

Yesterday, I opened Whale Sound and--what a wonderful surprise!--found a poem by a colleague from the old days back in Oregon's MFA Program: Brian Simoneau. And a helluva poem it is. You can click here to listen to Nic Sebastian's reading, and you can also click here to read Brian's poem.

Click the cover to go inside the issue
And, finally, here's a poem I've been meaning to put up on the blog for some time. For several months, really. It's by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum and appears in the Spring 2010 issue of Southern Indiana Review. I also have a poem in the issue and after I received my contributor's copy I encountered Andrew's poem and was immediately struck hard by poem's diction and sound, it's narrative and lyric energy. Solid, solid work. Andrew also runs the site Poem of the Week, so be sure you click that link. Lots of good poetry there. An excellent resource.


Corridor

Drunk, we wound our way up the wind-bent
stilts that rose from the old Marathon Building,
abandoned in the days long after our father’s
fathers milled cotton and women bobbed
their hair— each step skyward reporting
in the hollow iron we ascended. From there
the world swayed with the wind and our tinny echo,
our legs hung out over the lip of the city, scissor-
kicking at the night. From there we could cradle
that city in our palms: the big rigs and V-6s
swinging by on the s-curves of I-40, a pair
of spotlights probing figure-eights in the clouds
over downtown, the projects playing their music
of rebuilt Chevy Novas and catcalls and bass.
When I return home, I pass that water tower.
During the day, it stands. Yielding. Nothing.
At night though, I’ve seen kids climb
that long cold corridor to the celestial, the red
glow of cherries passed back and forth
like a pair of taillights winding their way west
down a late mountain road— pulsing, breaking,
another sharp turn on that half-moon landing—
those above having risen with such ease
above the rooftops and steeples, the switchbacks
of the Cumberland no longer obscured
by hackberries and fog, the dim illuminations
of billboards no longer hovering overhead
like messages from the future. More than once
I’ve thought of returning to that high vantage
point, stood at its base and planned my climb—
daylight not yet flickered out like a bulb, the stars
waiting to tend their signal fires. But I always
turn away and return the way I’ve come.
I already know how darkness folds over us,
the fear that comes with hard wind unbroken
by rain. I already know that city, pressed
like an ember in the amber of its own light
and so certain of its being.

Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum
from Southern Indiana Review, Spring 2010


Andrew also conducted an interview with Robert Wrigley for the Spring 2010 issue of The Missouri Review. There's a snippet posted at the journal's website, and if you can track down a hard copy of the issue, do. The interview is worth the effort.

As an additional teaser, here's one of my favorite exchanges:

MCFADYEN-KETCHUM:
Beautiful Country continues your tradition of mining the natural world for its glory in poems like "County," "Hail Storm in the Mountains" and "Letting Go." But the book also ventures into new territory in pieces like "Exxon" and the title poem that look at the current political, social and economic status of the United States and its people. You've always been a conscientious, politically aware poet, but the poems we've seen before about Vietnam or social/economic imbalances in America typically allude to these issues rather than address them directly—I'm thinking of older poems like "CO," "Peace," "The Overcoat" and "Economics." What's changed?

WRIGLEY:
I'm older, I guess. I've written a lot more. I've experimented and tried to push myself in new directions without abandoning what I've learned. There are poems I simply could not write at twenty-five or thirty-five or probably even fifty. I didn't have the right tools. I was too worried about making mistakes. Last week, in a graduate techniques class, I taught C. K. Williams, and one of the students pronounced, with a kind of awe in her voice, that Williams quite simply had to have "a lot of balls" to write about the things he wrote about, and that's absolutely true. Sometimes it seems to me the lack of nerve is the deadliest affliction a poet can suffer, whether it's dismissing narrative or fretting about the hegemony of power over language or simply finding something so central to the art as a love poem inherently sappy. That's only the case if you don't have the nerve to do it well, to give it all the skill and sweat it deserves, to find the best words and the best order, insofar as you are capable. In a way, nothing's changed except my perspective and, I hope, my abilities. But I have also come to believe that there isn't anything that can't be said, challenged, observed or corrected by a poem. (emphasis added - JJR)

♥ Lowered Expectations ♥

I'm feeling pretty okay about this blog this morning. Woke up to find that it's passed 50K visits. That said, I know it's not a ton of traffic, around 60 unique hits per day, but I'm happy with it. E. and I recently saw the Facebook movie, so I'm well aware what real traffic looks like, but I feel like I've carved a legit pinhole-sized place for myself in cyberspace over the years, and the email I get from people who have found the blog--poets whose work I've posted, readers who've made discoveries, students who've found poems to write about--have made the time worthwhile.
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As of yesterday I've sent my Praise Nothing manuscript to a dozen open-calls and contests, and will probably send to another five by the end of the year.

A week or so ago and via C. Dale's blog, I came across this Post No Ills interview with Carl Phillips regarding the Yale Younger in which Phillips offers the following:
I believe the biggest problem with the majority of manuscripts that are sent out is that the writers themselves know they have not yet put together a manuscript of work that they entirely believe in. They have often been convinced by many of their teachers that they should put the best work up front, hide the lesser work in the middle, then close with a bang. But why submit a manuscript where you feel any of the work is lesser? I recently spoke with a poet who was pleased to have read a book in which five of the poems were wonderful. That isn’t enough, for me. I want everything to be wonderful. There are many who would say I’m expecting too much. But lower expectations are, to my mind, the reason why there are so many unsatisfying books of poems in the world.
Apparently this has been enlightening to some, and I guess I understand that to a degree. It's not often one gets to read the thoughts of a major contest's judge. But, for me, not wanting to submit something that I don't entirely believe in is precisely the reason I've taken so long to send my manuscript out. Lord knows I've got material, but it's not all part of the manuscript. And sure, I dream that my manuscript, like Phillips' first, will get picked up the first time I send it out, but this is just a dream. In the end, what matters is that I do believe in the manuscript, and that I expect the poems to work hard and get the job done. I demand it. It may take some time, but it is ready, finally, and so it's out there.

I know I'm not saying anything new--"believe in your work...blah blah blah"--but are people sending out manuscripts that aren't done? I suppose some send them out just to get a sense of reception, and if the manuscript gets selected, well, that's just gravy. I acknowledge that I was tempted to do so. And, come to think of it, that line of thought may have played a role in why I've been sending out various chapbook manuscripts over the last couple years. But would you really want a not-quite-there manuscript to go to print? Sure, there's a job market consideration that needs to be made. I get that, too. But would it be worth publishing such a manuscript? This is an honest question, not a criticism. And couldn't the publication of such a manuscript come back with sharp teeth when it comes to moving up in the creative writing job world? What exactly is the strategy?

My own approach has been more rhetorical, and I hope it reads that way, that the manuscript order reflects the logic of the larger arguments about Christianity, and about faith and doubt. And even though it's rhetorical, I've also tried to guide rather than direct the reader's experience. That's been the biggest struggle for me as some of you who've seen the various incarnations of Praise Nothing can surely attest.

Have any of you organized your manuscript with best up front, the middle for hiding the bad poems, and using the end for fireworks? Do you agree with Phillips' assessment of the strategy? Or would you characterize such an arrangement another way?

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The Little Epic Against Oblivion Election 2010 Coverage garnered a lot of traffic and email comments. Here's a poem more or less tangentially related.


Feeling Sorry for Myself after the Collapse of Civilization


I . . . I guess it’ll be okay, all of those winged, man-headed bulls
guarding the temple precinct. Or the avenue

of sphinxes and zodiacal complaints from the ziggurat. Or

the fire altar to Ahura-Mazda and its feathered priests stiff
in their embroidered robes shuffling

through the gold dust and rose petals. It’ll be okay when
King Sargon II and his son

Ashurbanipal the Cruel, with their identical crimped beards
and tiny parasols tilted over their heads by chanting slaves,

compel us to walk in rigid procession down to the riverbank
to cheer the obsidian knives and the slow

murder of captives. Or that morning after the latest debacle

when they have us down at the beach to flog
the disobedient ocean with chains. And I’m okay figuring out

the new calendar, I guess. The new heroes and headdresses . . .

In any case, money’s always money, you know, and a guy’s
got to eat. So I’ll mumble along to the new

songs. I’ll take my duties and instructions
off the side of the obelisk. I’ll kneel and anthropomorphize

things pitiless and dead. Things such as holy crocodiles and
elephants’ skulls, both the setting sun

and the waxing moon, and whatever shadows either casts.


Michael Derrick Hudson
Georgia Review, Fall 2009

Election Night 2010 -- Insights & Analysis


Good evening, and welcome to our Little Epic Against Oblivion coverage of Election Night 2010.

The results are pouring in, so let us go live now to our political correspondant on the ground, William Butler Yeats.

Bill, what's the word where you are? What's happening in the polls and what is the mood of the electorate as you see it?
The intellect of man is forced to choose
Perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.
When all that story's finished, what's the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.






I see. So do you see the likely change in the House as indicative of the public rejecting the Obama agenda of Big Government, health care reform, and increased taxes? What can the public expect from a new Republican majority in the House?










A starlit or a moonlit dome disdains
All that man is,
All mere complexities,
The fury and the mire of human veins.











Okay...?














The years like great black oxen tread the world,
And God the herdsman goads them on behind,
And I am broken by their passing feet.












An interesting bit of analysis, but let's try to keep it non-partisan. What policies do you think the Republicans will enact in the next two years, and how will this election impact the 2012 Presidential Election?

John Boehner, the man most likely to become the House's next Speaker, has been quoted as telling the Tea Party, "I will never let you down."

How will the House be able to reconcile the debt ceiling and the Bush tax cuts without serious cuts to spending and entitlements?






Nor dread nor hope attend
A dying animal;
A man awaits his end
Dreading and hoping all.










Can you elaborate on that, Bill? Give us some of your inside-Washington insight. What are you seeing from your vantage point? Tell me what I don't know.










He knows death to the bone -
Man has created death.

All changed, changed utterly
A terrible beauty is born.









That's fine, Bill. And when this is all over, how will you finally unwind? It certainly has been a long election cycle. Heh heh.










Now that my ladder's gone
I must lie down where all the ladders start,
In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.











I see. Well, er, thank you William Butler Yeats, for those insights. No one offers political insider views quite like you.

Well, on behalf of W.B. Yeats and all of us at Against Oblivion, thank you for watching, and good night.

Stay tuned for a check of tomorrow's weather and a truly heartwarming examination of what happens when a cute mutt of a dog catches a frisbee in a city park and the man who threw the frisbee...O to hell with it!

Who needs a drink? Bill? You with me?