Ah. Poor Alice

Poem by: James Gagiikwe

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A lite look at the 2008 US elections

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Submitted: January 06, 2008

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Submitted: January 06, 2008

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Ah. Poor Alice


Here I stand upon
this globe,
half way round the world –
as far from America as one can go
without swinging the rest of the way round again.

Distance gives perspective,
and of course - feeds ignorance.
So please forgive my
political innocence
of contemporary American
mass culture, its politics and the like.

Mediated by the media,
where perception substitutes
for substance,
and ‘image’ is the only thing,
Monday-morning quarterbacks
pontificate on minutiae
and miss the important things.
[Like honesty, character
and values]
So here I stand bemused,
ill-informed and cynical
of America’s quadrennial insanity.

For here is poor America,
like Alice in Wonderland it seems,
told by its presidential hopefuls,
‘swallow this’ –
‘eat this’ –
‘drink this’ –
And of course - you do.
And money flows like sewage,
covering all the land
with a stinking sludge of unreality,
buying votes from every hand.

An what do you get in exchange
for this national pre-nomination psychosis?
Mediocrities –
Criminals –
Jingoists –
Megalomaniacs –
Incompetents –
The best that money can buy.

And bought they are –
by special interest groups
who have only their own interests
forefront in their minds.

American democracy?
Plutocracy by far!

An old saying goes,
‘one swallow does not a summer make’ –
So, as America rushes blindly
towards its mid-summer
conventions of discontent,
all the caucusing and primaries
are but hoopla
for the main event.
Do not be deceived by who leads now,
or generating the Big ‘Mo’,
for momentum is not substance,
nor capacity or skill
to lead a country so diverse;
and so wounded by its selfishness.

Ever true and always –
the last shall be first and the first shall be last –
when all the votes are in.
And as the old poem goes –
‘There will be no joy in Mudville’,
when your favourite candidate
has struck out.

So pardon my distant cynicism,
I am not overawed,
while your nominating process
remains patently so flawed.
I know that you’ll elect a
Millard Fillmore,
Richard Nixon,
Calvin Coolidge –
or God help you –
another Bush
or Regan –
to lead you
where your consumptive
materialism and
corporate greed desire.

Ah. Poor Alice –
Down the rabbit hole again.



James Gagiikwe © 2008


© Copyright 2016 James Gagiikwe. All rights reserved.

Ah. Poor Alice

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Genre: Editorial and Opinion

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Genre: Editorial and Opinion

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A lite look at the 2008 US elections
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