Tuesday, August 24, 2004

(7 sonnets) What's the Question?


RHETORICAL VERSE /
SEVEN (software-verifiable) SHAKESPEAREAN-FORM SONNETS
and ONE HAIKU



{ACS.134_01} WHAT QUESTION ARE THEY ASKING?

Who will get
{ACS.134_02} two hundred thousand dollars?
That is all.
{ACS.134_03} The answer is Keith Boykin, I would bet.
{ACS.134_04} (Though surely he could somehow
drop the ball.)

{ACS.134_05} How does THE STORY that's most pleasing end?
{ACS.134_06} "America" will choose a gay black man
{ACS.134_07} or two white women with a straight/gay blend
{ACS.134_08} for president. I'd bet the Chrissy-plan ...

{ACS.134_09} ... is team up Witter/Gephardt versus Keith
{ACS.134_10} who'd prob'bly pick Malia for V.P.
{ACS.134_11} Whichever wins, the story lays a wreath
{ACS.134_12} on "in the White House gays will never be."

{ACS.134_13} A STORY that is nice enough to tell.
{ACS.134_14} Yet still, against "the bullshit" we rebel.

{ACS.135_01} WHAT QUESTIONS did they promise to address?
{ACS.135_02} Good question. Since that's not how PR works,
{ACS.135_03} which seeks to leave brain patterns
motionless --
{ACS.135_04} affirm some preexisting nods and smirks.

{ACS.135_05} TRUE QUESTIONS can make people
"think too much."
{ACS.135_06} Though polling questions are designed to keep
{ACS.135_07} all thinking in the normal rabbit hutch,
{ACS.135_08} a true one can make revolution leap ...

{ACS.135_09} ... out of a bunny hole. And who knows what
{ACS.135_10} will happen if those Bunnies all run loose.
{ACS.135_11} You can't assume they'll choose
the standard plot,
{ACS.135_12} but rather a brand new one ... with more juice.

{ACS.135_13} Remember Bunnies don't like politics,
{ACS.135_14} but do enjoy expressing pans and picks.


{ACS.136_01} WHAT QUESTIONS should have AmCan asked?
Let's vote.
{ACS.136_02} Vote on which questions to be asked?
Sounds good.
{ACS.136_03} BEFORE THE TOWN HALL dress, a petticoat
{ACS.136_04} should have been put on first.
Ask where each stood ...

{ACS.136_05} ... on what they thought their purpose was
that day
{ACS.136_06} in coming to that public space. To what?
{ACS.136_07} No, we have never seen one start that way.
{ACS.136_08} About the public mind we don't know squat.

{ACS.136_09} "TOWN HALLS" are now just
venues for "debate"
{ACS.136_10} by "higher folks," while silent people view
{ACS.136_11} the spectacle. And if it's not too late
{ACS.136_12} when they are finished yapping, they'll let you ...

{ACS.136_13} ... line up to spit one question at the stage.
{ACS.136_14} That ritual defines the people's cage.



{ACS.137_01} THE BUNNIES OF THE REVOLUTION ask
{ACS.137_02} who asks which questions will be asked and who
{ACS.137_03} would rather go outside where there's a cask
{ACS.137_04} of Bunny Beer and shots of mountain dew?

{ACS.137_05} That's not a bad idea. Propriety
{ACS.137_06} needs loosening if we are too explore
{ACS.137_07} beyond the same ol' same ol'. Be more free
{ACS.137_08} of social fears. Leave them outside the door ...

{ACS.137_09} ... when we come back inside.
Assume the drinks
{ACS.137_10} can take the blame if we say "something wrong."
{ACS.137_11} "Blame Bunny Beer!" we chant,
and each one winks
{ACS.137_12} at every other eye. Now ring the gong.

{ACS.137_13} THIS TOWN HALL MEETING of another kind
{ACS.137_14} does not begin in front but from behind.

{ACS.138_01} "WHO HAS A QUESTION framed
in lim'rick form?"
{ACS.138_02} The Bunnies giggle -- they just made that rule
{ACS.138_03} to make the people think beyond the norm,
{ACS.138_04} outside the lines we kept inside in school.

{ACS.138_05} A bunch of drunken versifying might
{ACS.138_06} not seem the most effective way to start
{ACS.138_07} a Town Hall meeting. And you might be right.
{ACS.138_08} Depends on what "effective" means. The art ...

{ACS.138_09} ... of public conversation has been lost.
{ACS.138_10} And we must find a new way to debate.
{ACS.138_11} The still stones of our rituals are mossed.
{ACS.138_12} The Bunnies, meanwhile,
tattoo Boykin's pate ...

{ACS.138_13} ... with "VOTE FOR BOKE"
while Keith's too drunk to care.
{ACS.138_14} Tomorrow he'll decide to grow some hair.


{ACS.139_01} Some limericks are spoken, then they rank
{ACS.139_02} their interest in which path to pursue.
{ACS.139_03} AN ORATOR who's drunk, her mind is blank,
{ACS.139_04} is suddenly inspired and a few ...

{ACS.139_05} ... brief comments fill the air and lift a thought
{ACS.139_06} unspoken heretofore. Does it make sense?
{ACS.139_07} Then all the thumbslides everybody brought
{ACS.139_08} are slid. Do they applaud or do they wince?...

{ACS.139_09} ... how many and how much we see the score.
{ACS.139_10} Should she continue, or another speak?
{ACS.139_11} Change to a new direction, or hear more?
{ACS.139_12} What happens if all rankings hit the peak ...

{ACS.139_13} ... of common int'rest? Just one thing is clear:
{ACS.139_14} We must experiment ... and drink more beer.


{ACS.140_01} THE BUNNIES OF THE REVOLUTION smile
{ACS.140_02} and nudge the empty cask back up the hill.
{ACS.140_03} The people head back home, not single file
{ACS.140_04} but rather as they choose. The Bunnies' still ...

{ACS.140_05} ... is slowly boiling down another batch.
{ACS.140_06} The Necessary Angel flys back up
{ACS.140_07} to Heaven having lent her wings to catch
{ACS.140_08} the best that people said. She'd filled a cup ...

{ACS.140_09} ... with what was said, most beautif'lly and adds
{ACS.140_10} it to the bunny brew. The evening air
{ACS.140_11} is sweetened by the steam. Each Bunny pads
{ACS.140_12} their mattress, goes to sleep without a care.

{ACS.140_13} And BOKE thanks God for bunnies as he prays.
{ACS.140_14} The Angel whispers: "Smile.
Just two more days."

# # #


HAIKU CODA

MEANWHILE in Athens

"the people" were not happy

and the judges budged.