Did Mitt Win?

October 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Did Mittens win? I kept trying to watch the debate “objectively,” which I think I’m somewhat more able to do now than in the past, and while I was as disappointed as everyone else that Obama didn’t nail Mitt even when he had huge openings, Mitt came across as a slick salesman. I could see someone thinking that he might have the managerial skills to get the economy going but at the same time not being able to believe a word he’s saying. Obama didn’t fight. There’s no question about that, and it’s frustrating, but I think it will play better with women than with men.

Barry’s just not capable of looking at his opponent and saying, “You’re lying.” He almost did, a few times—had a wry comment about one of Mitt’s endless inconsistencies—but he always ran right over it, not pausing, not emphasizing. He should use humor more, since he’ll never be comfortable with in-your-face anger.

I don’t think it matters, though. It was necessary for Romney to have some kind of win or the pundits would start dissing Obama for no reason at all, just out of boredom. This sets Mittens up to fall again. His hallucinatory denials will work well in TV ads split screen with him saying just the opposite. What I’m mostly curious about is how this “win” will loosen Mitt up into making another serious gaffe. I expect that to be the ultimate result of the debate—he’ll become too aggressive and too confident. The Onion has a funny piece about Romney coming from a long line of Presidential losers and, privileged as he may be, I think he’s better as a challenger than as the putative winner. We’ll see.

I also think many people don’t process debates as win or lose. They hear things that matter to them, or don’t hear things that matter, and the rest is irrelevant. They can agree that someone won, without that affecting their opinion–and I’m talking about undecided voters. Romney was Ronald Reagan Barbie and I felt a fleeting affection for him, as one does for those undignified dolls…and that’s winning?

That said, I don’t think Romney has a killer instinct. He’s just a bright boy, did his prep and is a smooth liar. He’s convinced himself that lying has no moral weight. It’s interesting because I do think he has a moral code. I’m just not sure what it consists of.

Autumn Begins in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.

Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.

–James Wright

Veep Shriek

August 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

NYT photo

Romney’s VP choice got me interested in the campaign again. There was never any question who’d I’d vote for or that I’d vote, and don’t have any money to spare, but now I think I’ll send some anyway. Five, ten bucks, whatever. Just because I’d like to contribute to one more ad against the job zombie and his baby Ayn Randist. I had a friend in college who insisted I read Rand, and being someone who will read just about anything, I did. I still wish I hadn’t. You know? It’s like wishing you hadn’t watched quite so many GWB speeches.

This picture says it all. My first glance at it brought up the image of a gay horror flick: I Married a Monster, told from dual POVs: one night of energetic and deeply tiresome sex ends with Ryan biting Romney’s head off, the next night vice versa.


I’m in a writing mood: coming out of a ferocious 3-day depression that managed to topple my optimistic husband off his perch, feeling horny, homicidal and supremely unamused by the low comedy of my life. I have a sick headache and no energy, but that’s kid stuff. I can work on my poems all afternoon (that’s where the homicidal feeling comes in handy. There’s nothing a poem likes so much as a bit of primal savagery.)

I closed this blog a couple of weeks ago for several discrete reasons, one of them being that the sorts of things I write don’t seem “professional,” and my work is such that strangers Google me. But my husband, when he was talking me down from my crisis, reminded me that worrying too much about being professional can kill you. He didn’t say this; it was his hands on my back that reminded me; it was his utter insistence that I should talk about whatever I want to talk about, no matter who, it bothers (including him) and no matter that it might bother me two weeks or years later.

I’ve been worse to Charles than to anyone—in my opinion—but he said however much I hurt him it won’t reach as high as the happiness I’ve given him. I was humbled by that and struggled to believe it, because I’ve never felt that way. I love and forgive easily, but it’s not because I was given (or achieved) happiness, it’s because I wasn’t (didn’t), and I know what that does to the heart.

I dreamed Friday night that I found us a new place to live in a Brooklyn that never was: a classically beautiful room overlooking a French Impressionist sea in a house owned by a sharp & clever but motherly woman who had her own publishing biz. I moved my stuff in then took Charles to see it with a dog in my lap—Jeff from my childhood. Jeff was very old but had the flexibility and beauty of a puppy. A good sign, right? The dream ended with the realization that there was no room in the new home for a kitty litter box.

My inner shrink says: no room for shit!

But where does it go?

Littlefoot 19 (This is the Bird Hour)

This is the bird hour, peony blossoms falling bigger than wren hearts
On the cutting border’s railroad ties,
Sparrows and other feathery things
Homing from one hedge to the next,
late May, gnat-floating evening.

Is love stronger than unlove?
Only the unloved know.
And the mockingbird, whose heart is cloned and colorless.

And who’s this tiny chirper,
lost in the loose leaves of the weeping cherry tree?
His song is not more than three feet off the ground, and singular,
And going nowhere.
Listen. It sounds a lot like you, hermane.
It sounds like me.

Charles Wright

Where Am I?

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