MAP #157-1 Theme: Election Day

1. At The Convention by Deena Hardin

At the convention,

the radio proudly announces,

a committee has been called-

a committee to study something important,

to cause important changes-

a committee made up of the common man:

social worker, teacher's aid, AIDS case worker.

Workers.

None of these people earn

enough money to be important,

to study important things,

to cause important changes.

At the convention,

the radio proudly announces

one of politics' great myths.

© Deena Hardin

2. One Man, One Vote Blues by Xennia Gittoes-Singh

Ron Reagan was elected President

before I got to vote

yes . . . this was in California

no . . . all of us ain’t dopes

I should have gotten to the polls earlier

however my job got in the way

I just can’t seem to cancel my bills

if I don’t work for pay

there’s no way that I wouldn’t go

I couldn’t be a no show

too many ancestors fought and died

for me to stay at home and hide

so I pulled into the polling place

the church lights brightened my face

when I heard the announcement on the radio,

Ron Reagun is President, I said “oh no, should I go

this can’t be true

how can this be

how could America decide this

without me

the polls weren’t closed

in California yet

can’t we get our ballots in the boxes

before you leaders start cashing in your bets

is this a democracy

what happened to one man one vote

are we speakin’ the same language here or

did I just get off a spaceship or boat

and this electoral college thing

which ,really sweeties, no one understands

does it let you tell voters before the polls are closed

that Ron Reagun is their elected man?

so I went into the polling site

seething and mad as hell

announcing loudly so that all could hear

something in our government smells

pinch me but aren’t you voters right here

preparing to cast your ballots just like me

why is Ron Reagun grinning and

announcing he is President, on TV

now here comes Bush Jr.

with quazillions in his treasure chest

he bought himself an election, baby

money, honey beats all the rest

for no matter how hard

his opponents may run

we all know for Bush Jr.

this race has been won

now don’t you dare say

that I am crass, cynical or snide

if this election process really worked

it would fill me with so much pride

please read my lips, I must reiterate

you see it’s just no joke

Ron Reagun was elected President

before I got to vote

© 2000 Xennia Gittoes- Singh

3. Love America - Vote! By Ingeborg Carsten-Miller

Come on, you all,

you, People of this Country,

use this your power

to build anew - undo the wrong

if wrong you see.

Come on, you all,

you , People of this Country.

What wrong there is

is yours from another day.

You put it there.

Come on, you all,

you, People of this Country,

Take hold of it,

of all your rights.

The future is your own decision.

Come on, you all,

People of this Country:

It is your future and your children's.

You are so fortunate.

Love America - vote!

© Ingeborg Carsten-Miller (from INGEBORG AT L'ENFANT PLAZA)

4. First Tuesday in November by Hilbert H. Turner, Jr.

From where I am I see

No police dogs or fire hoses

No poll tax or grandfather clause

No sheriffs standing tall with shotguns

No hooded horsemen with torches

No corpses in earthen dams

No physical obstacle other than distance

What excuse do I really have not to vote?

© Hilbert Turner, Jr.

5. Gum Control by Jimmy Jazz

Down with the GOP

Down with the GOP

A parking lot

(across the street & down 3 blocks from the San Diego convention center)

has been

set aside for protesters

of the republican national convention

sounds so planned

and canned--like ready to be filmed,

like “You can protest here in front of this brick wall, if the guys with

rifles bother you, blindfolds will be provided,

and cigarettes compliments of

Phillip-Morris, Any

Last Meal

requests are at this time denied

due to funding cuts in the head start program.

All protesters will take buses to the parking lot

(as not to stop up traffic)

No flash photography

Conspicuous port-a-potties will be provided

No gum chewing

as problems at past protests

have stemmed from irresponsible gum owners

this gum control

will not be part of the official GOP platform

as Bazooka lobbyists

donate too much money.

© 2000 Jimmy Jazz

6. Flower Petals Lay At Your Feet by LeVan Hawkins

I have tried to defend your behavior

But the truth is you've disappointed me.

You were the pied piper leading budding youths on a mission.

Your words were sunshine, a soothing glow on our faces.

Mother warned me to trust no man -

Only God.

Still, I believed.

Still, I trusted.

Still, I followed.

I didn't realize that you were Blanche DuBois acting out your neurotic fantasies-

Holding the world up to standards you yourself couldn't keep.

I, too, have depended upon the kindness of strangers

I would have understood had you told me your declarations were merely affirmations

And that you were on the long, long road to recovery.

Instead you gave me sunshine and I bloomed magnificently -

I believed. I trusted. I followed.

I joined the others and waited eagerly for that light with so much promise.

It never came.

Flowers need nourishment -

You fed us cynicism and disguised it as compromise.

Flowers need sunshine -

You left us in darkness.

You plucked us from the vine and used us as a centerpiece.

You held our delicate blooms roughly in your hands

And now -

Flower petals lay at your feet.

They are not the remnants of a wonderful life.

They are ashes from dead dreams.

They are memories of innocent voices stilled.

You will take a broom and send us away.

But our trusting faces will haunt you

Until your dying day.

© LeVan D. Hawkins

7. untitled by Sharla Clos

Many will come today

to vote America's fate

and whether for four or for eight

many will have come far too late

And many will claim

if only I would have known

what was yet to come

if I would not have been blinded

by the two party vote

if I could have seen

then I could still dream

But now all are jailed

by the fate of the chosen few

having had selected from only one or two

when their choices yet were many

those silenced in debate

to keep truths secret

to keep alive hate

For many have returned with answers to questions

in that some religions aren't religions

in that women have no right to choose murder

others say we won't go to war

but we need to be ready when it comes

so we shall continue shopping and supplying

arms and guns

So where is the freedom in this land of the free

if all the Candidates we can not see

what has happened to Freedom of Speech

when justice is silenced

and jokes are all that prevail

in the way of candidates

Yes, these are hard times for us all and

soon too we will see

that no matter which one should win

we are the ones who will lose in the end

in this home of the brave and the land of

the free.

© Sharla Clos

8. Election Night Flashback by Dancing Bear

She sits behinds you in the back seat

and plays with a flap of loose upholstery

as you tell her you're sorry, but it's for the best.

You're a drunk and a discontented rich-boy

who's only known how to spend daddy's money

on fast highs. You explain as she sobs

and stares out the window through another Texas

night speeding by, how she's not to talk to anyone

about it or your father will cut you off.

Crossing fingers you hold the steering wheel and

pray she appreciates the extra padding in the envelope.

You don't love her, but you go with her to make sure

she doesn't chicken-out-- that the job gets done.

The doctor's an old friend of the family; he knows

the value of discretion. You may be a drunk,

but you believe _political_ suicide is a bigger sin.

You can't marry a girl who out-snorts you,

out-drinks you, yet doesn't take the pill.

She's doesn't know from pillbox hats, couldn't

carry YSL, looks terrible in pink, and gray.

She's not First Lady material.



© Dancing Bear

9. People's Choice by Stazja

Election day.

A politician strolls

with henchmen at

a polling place,

mingling with the masses

when a prophet passes,

on his way to greener pastures.

"Penny for your thoughts?"

the politician asks,

shiny copper Lincoln penny,

emblem of an honest man,

offered by a glad hand,

charisma on parade.

The prophet shields his eyes

from blinding flash of

camera-ready campaign smile,

answers, "Sir, I am

the people's voice.

My thoughts are free,

they don't concern

the 'people's choice,'"

and walks away.

Cloying lackey hurries

to the politician's aid,

assures him not to worry,

nothing free is

worth a penny

anyway.

© 1997 stazja