Sensing My Dismay at the Election Results, My Wife’s Dog Presses Against Me

keep-off

 

Sensing My Dismay at the Election Results, My Wife’s Dog Presses Against Me

And when I roll over, my toe finds a hole in the not
inexpensive 400 thread count percale sheet and rips

down its length, and I wonder if I should extend this
metaphor to include walls and the unbearable weight

of societal collapse, or hatred with small hands and
minds or faces like pale disks of whitewashed emptiness

glaring at my friends, or, well, my wife and I, across
the restaurant’s laminate booths or the potholed street

by the bus stop. I recall the woman’s sneer and hushed
commentary that afternoon, and though I wanted to

correct her mistaken assumption (hey, lady, I’m not
Hispanic) and redirect her bigotry to the correct ethnicity,

I chose instead to smile and wave goodbye, to drive to
the polls and cast my ballot, one drop in that dark bucket

of nothingness, floating alone, perhaps to coalesce with
others and attain some sense of parity and belonging,

or to remain outcast, bewildered, wondering how this
could be, what’s happened to us, my home, our country.

real-patriots

 

 

115 thoughts on “Sensing My Dismay at the Election Results, My Wife’s Dog Presses Against Me

  1. This has never been more apt: “One drop in that dark bucket of nothingness…” Glad to have your company and that of so many others I admire and embrace during this difficult time, Bob. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Robert, I enjoyed your poem. However, it made me want to state that perhaps as progressives, we have perhaps become too soft, too naive, too insulated, and too delusional about the world we live in. That is not a pessimistic statement but rather a statement that we need to get off our butts, stop complaining, and actually start becoming more active in agenda promotion. More participation in small elections, more willingness to talk to and engage with people who share a contrary viewpoint, pushing for greater critical thinking in public education, etc. Leigh and I watched the latest SNL episode and their skit about living in the Bubble is very apt. It would be nice to live in an environment free from hostility in any form, where people actually use their brains when thinking about the issues rather than letting their bellies try to make rational decisions for them (I kept hearing in the news about how people were relying on their guts to decide what and whom to vote for – which infuriated me to no end). I will stop my rant.
    Let me end with once more saying that I did enjoy your poem (Leigh recommended I read it). I felt I could empathize with so much of it. And it was fantastic that you utilized the Sagan quote!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Randy, you’ll find no argument here. I think you’re correct – we’ve become complacent and must get offf our butts and actively participate. Anything less, and, well, we’ve seen the results.

      Like

    • We live in troubling times. I fear for those less fortunate. Oh, these things still happen. I’m frequently mistaken for Hispanic or even Native American, but am almost never recognized for the half-Japanese being that I am. It’s almost amusing at times. In this particular case, the elderly bigot in a small town Texas restaurant did not like seeing a “Mexican” having lunch with a white woman (my wife), and commented on it. I mostly feel welcome wherever I go, but there are those “special” occasions…

      Like

  3. Wonderfully said. I know it was surreal the first few days after… I was in a daze, but found that many women my age and older would smile and offer a funny comment here and there in the store or on the sidewalk… which never, hardly ever, happens. And I found myself doing the same. We ignored everyone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It is great, to see poets not shying away from politics but using their voices instead, to create fantastic poetry like you. It was a disturbing read (in a good way if that makes sense – disturbing as I am thinking of the German election next year) and I couldn’t stop.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great poem on an awful subject. I am not surprised at what has been happening, although disappointed. I grew up in this country and am a veteran but I always knew the emperor was naked. Sooner or later propaganda fails and the true face is revealed. Ask the Russians. I like the Dagan quote but Franklon is also appropritae/ “we must all hang togethr or we will surely all hang separately”.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Between 1942 – 46, the USA rounded up nearly 120,000 completely and utterly patriotic citizens and forcibly removed them from their homes: forcing them to live in camps/stables for the “crime” of having Japanese parents or grandparents. THIRTY EIGHT years later, Prez Jimmy Carter finally opened and investigation into “whether the camps had been justified”… ONLY after intense pressure from the Japanese American Citizens League. Then, EIGHT YEARS AFTER THAT, Reagan finally signed into law the Civil Liberties Act which finally/formally apologized for the openly racist internment (“race prejudice”) and reparated over 1.6 billion dollars to the interned/heirs. 46 YEARS after internment it was FINALLY a crime to have been interned for being named Tanaka.

    And having a President Elect who ran on a campaign of xenophobia is a surprise? Donald Trump is EXACTLY what America “is” at its core.

    1. Nothing has happened to your home and your country. You are just getting to see it from the perspective of interned Japanese 70 years ago.

    2. All the social progress made has been real, but it will remain mostly cosmetic until the essential nature of the American soul changes from one of fear to one of wisdom. You are now seeing America with her makeup off.

    3. But here is the good news. RIGT NOW Is a GREAT moment in America. Here is a GOLDEN opportunity to finally be rid of this core nonsense once and for all if you stand up and HOLD Trump accountable politically.

    4. The Republican and Democratic brands are RUINED.

    5. Trump is a lone wolf in sheep’s clothing who can ONLY reap power through his policies and cronies. He has NO idea what he is doing. USE THAT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE and be relentless. Hold him accountable for EVERYTHING.. He is already making concessions like a scared kid at recess.

    6. BATTLE him in municipal affairs, PHONE your local and state officials, and get involved in grassroots politicking.

    7. WHO REPLACES (OR DOESN’T REPLACE) TRUMP in 2020 will be the new beginning or the TRUE END of the American dream… if YOU don’t fight.

    8. HOLD TRUMP TO ACCOUNT FOR HIS BEHAVIOUR AND WORDS. Protesting and crying is bullshit. Changing policy and politicking him off his feet will have him off his game and ready to concede on any issue worth saving from his stupidity.

    ALREADY this orange chickensh*t of a man is backing off most of his campaign promises.

    Here is your golden chance to burn his Presidency to the ground through non-violent, pacifist, cunning political strategy where it REALLY counts: in the courtrooms and civl rights foundations and city halls and county/municipal campaigns, and state senates and boards of directors and so on. America is NOT finished now, she is ready to really make a come back and be who she can be. Election 2020 will really be the END if Trump normalizes US politics to his personality.

    Good luck!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for chiming in, Daniel. Yes, having a racist, xenophobic, misogynist elected to the Presidency is a surprise, despite all our crimes (the outrage over the possibility of our political process having been hacked is amusing, in light of this country’s long history of meddling in the afffairs of other countries), despite, yes, the unconstitutional and racist incarceration of citizens seventy-plus years ago, and despite the lack of progress in civil rights (and civility). I thought we had risen above that muck (perhaps by only a few inches), that we knew better than to elect someone whose playbook was designed in 1930s Nazi Germany. I was wrong.

      And you are correct – now is the time to get involved, to call our representatives (many of whom seem to have forgotten what that word means), to affect change in whatever ways we can, at local and national levels. The next few years will be challenging.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Republicans/Donald Trump have the taken the corridors of power. The REAL test is not Trump’s presidency… it is what decent progressive Americans of all kinds do next. If THEY don’t step up, Trump will have proven himself 100% correct about the impotence/corruption of “Liberalism”, “progressives”, and “the media”, and 2020 will be the real end of the classic American Dream. The New American Trump Dream is waiting to be normalized. A lack of non-violent, cunning progressive political strategy will ENSURE this “New Trumpianity”.

        Only 50% of eligible American voters showed up to vote in 2016. Trump WAS powerless until any number of these people said “Meh!” and took a nap on their couch..

        Nightmares only happen when people are asleep…

        Liked by 1 person

          • There have been so many Americans who have been awake, many who have been asleep, and many who for one reason or the other cant tell the difference… just like in any other country in the world.

            The key to this ‘sleep” is whether it is an anaesthetic sleep: if Americans have anaesthetized themselves or not. Becoming soporific is to avoid the pain of disillusionment for some, or to willfully cease consciously registering what they don;t want to believe, what threatens their worldview. There are many “Liberals/progressives” who are soporifically numb BY CHOICE to the fact that straight white males are not categorically racist, misogynistic, power mongers. There are very many “Republicans/conservatives” who have anaesthetized themselves BY CHOICE to the plight of disenfranchised ethnic minorities because they feel more comfortable seeing these people as a threat to their own wealth/power rather than fellow Americans who are rightfully concerned about being left behind economically.

            Our true enemies in the world are hate and greed and selfishness, yet humans pre-medicate by seeking what confirms their own biases, then huffing the surgical anaesthetic of “certainty” so they can imagine themselves right and just and safe and justified.

            Trump’s presidency makes so people sad, and others happy. The ONLY question is: are WE ALL willing to put down the anaesthetic and act with just political consciousness?

            There are only two things we have to do: wake up yourself,and encourage others to do the same. To worry about if there will be a mass shift in consciousness is a waste of time because you have NO control over the entirety of the output of the billions of people on the planet with free will.

            Can America be at its best? yes.
            Can America become a fascist police state? Yes.
            Can America prevent WWIII through diplomacy? Yes.
            Cam America start WWIII? Yes.

            Our job is to make sure that WE are ‘woke’ and non-violently politicking to wake others. That is all a man can do, and must do. If our fellow brothers and sisters go off and destroy the world without our ‘permission’ it is not a sign that “we” have failed”. It is a sign that there was at least ONE or TWO of us that remained just and good while other did not.

            I personally sleep very very very comfortably at night knowing that I have done my part truly to the best of my abilities, and have done/will keep on doing my best to convince others to join me in making peace, recycling, caring for the homeless/poor, and so on… and if other don’t act towards this goal it is on their heads not mine.

            I am awake… and will accept the consequences of being awake….

            Liked by 1 person

            • Case in point:

              Democrat Symone Sanders has stated on CNN in the last couple of days that:

              1. “We don’t need white people leading the Democratic Party right now.”
              2. “Oh my goodness, poor white people…” in response to a white man being beaten up by black people and having his car stolen because they just assumed he was a Trump supporter.

              Having a cosmetic change to the DNC as a solution? Symone Sanders is deluded.

              White people just being categorically being painted as “the problem” in BOTH the GOP (‘alt-rght”) and the Dems (“white people shouldn’t/mustn’t…”) solves NOTHING and just creates the SAME Emotional Collectivism the fascistic GOPers thrive on. There is no reasoning with emotion. DNC Emotional Collectivism is NO different than RNC Emotional Collectivism. BOTH are equally thoughtless and capable of putting evil into power.

              So the Dems self-assumed moral high ground over Trump’s nonsense is imaginary. Millions of multi-ethnic Dems/progressives/Liberals, AND EVEN many self professed GOPers voted for a WHITE woman in 2016 and when they lost whiteness becomes suspect? Proof that there are Dems asleep to some growing strains of fascistic “social justice”, just as there are Trump supporters asleep to their fascist anti-Liberalism. Lena Dunham cracking wise about the “necessary extinction” of the straight white male is just more politically soporific nonsense that FEEDS the RIGHT. This is why I speak of cunning political strategy and not Emotional Collectivism. “why can’t we just get rid of straight whites?” is no different than “all Muslims should register…”

              Trump built that cello and Symone Sanders openly played it, thinking her sonata would be the “moral” one.

              Emotional Collectivism is sleep… and both Dems/GOPers are sleepwalking.

              Liked by 1 person

                • But this actually is a golden time for at least the Democrats, for example, to wake up to this reality and put a QUALIFIED candidate in. And because Hillary won the popular vote it shows that people were willing to vote for experience and intent.

                  If the Dems capitalize on this and stop all the “crying wolf’ they will have the BEST shot they have had in a long time to bring in the ethnically, gender/transgender/sexuality, and religiously diverse QUALIFIED candidates they dream of. Bill Maher was right. The Dems/Libs cried “Wolf!” over George Bush/Romney starting the Apocalypse, they numbed the GOP to Trump. Trump, in my opinion is a selfish pig, BUT crying wolf over him too is KILLING the Dems brand even further… because it makes the Dems look like hysterical children. and makes the GOP (including those who resist Trump within the party) like “adults” in comparison.

                  I look forward to seeing/celebrating the first qualified black transgendered Jewish POTUS once the Dems stop sobbing like infants and get back to work.

                  And imagine the kind of unparalleled standing of the USA in the world when they elect the first qualified atheist POTUS, someone who is not beholden to Bronze Age era reasoning on 21st century social issues?

                  America is only as f*cked as it chooses to be: and Dem histrionics will be a key metric if they don’t stop wailing. The GOP for all their multiple flaws are getting on with business. The Dems better wake up soon and get at it as well.

                  Like

            • I don’t think I could find any comfort in having done my part if the world crumbles around me. But I will be active, and I will try to awaken those who haven’t bothered to open their eyes, if only because I don’t see what other course I can take.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Totally understandable moral stance… BUT it becomes an issue of control. If you and were the only two in the world who are fighting for a clean environment, social justice, and equality for religion and “the rest of the planet” exterminated everything via pollution and global nuclear war….because two people CAN’T stop the 7.5 billion people currently occupying the planet. This fact means I cease worrying about what I can’t control and fixing what I can, and encouraging others to join me.

                Where my own moral outrage kicks in is how many innocent children or disenfranchised people who dream and hope of a bright future have their dreams crushed by the boorish pigs who don;t at all about anyone else’s environment and social security.: how many innocent children have been harmed by the two legged animals amongst us. That is worth the rage… but then for me personally I go back to the position that if Man is destined to be extinct due to stupidity and brute cruelty… how many future generations of sweet children will never have to suffer if we are long gone? Fact: human populations are as of NOW wayy too large to be sustainable any longer. All the recycling in the world is irrelevant if there are 16 billion people on the planet, and no spaces to grow un-polluted food or fish from an non-toxic ocean.

                I refuse to worry about what is beyond my control and take 10000% responsible for EVERYTHING that is.

                Like

  7. Reblogged this on sharin' His love and commented:
    Awesome! Thanks for taking us along with your thinking and letting us know the despair so many of us have felt lately is certainly not unique.

    Like you, I decided to write, instead of floundering around, wallowing in depressive thoughts like I had been doing for weeks.

    Yesterday, seeing the memoriam in the San Francisco Chronicle, I couldn’t help but write about these beautiful people who burned to death. It tore out my heart, visiting the photos of the faces of strangers, yet feeling we had become one somehow. I know you probably understand that feeling.

    I think, in spite of the doomsday feeling that I have, and apparently others are having, maybe we can all join in the fight for clarity, beauty, and grace that has to emerge to set at least a few things right in our world.

    Please visit us at IfWeThePeople.com . Our blog is new, barely 2 weeks old, but came about from a dream I had, one in which I was overwhelmingly called to do something that would hopefully make a difference for our country. Would love it if you were a contributor there and also at sharinHislove.wordpress.com. Thanks for listening.

    Be blessed.

    Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Sensing My Dismay at the Election Results, My Wife’s Dog Presses Against Me – sharin' His love

  9. I’m finally catching up on others’ blogs, Robert, and this post really stays with me. May I have your permission to reblog it at some point? I am grappling with the idea of compassion and listening, in the post-election weeks, as a way out of this chasm of bitter anger.

    Liked by 1 person

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