Random Thoughts for October: Scary Times

SCOTUS

  • These days, there is nothing United about the States of America. No surprise, given ours is a god of irony.
  • It is dangerous reading the newspapers, indeed. If you believe in freedom of the press (the First and Foremost Amendment), you put your money where your mouth is and subscribe to a newspaper or two. Then, for the sake of your health, you try not to read it.
  • Innocent until proven guilty. I’ll grant Judge Kavanaugh that. Repeat after me: It’s an important precept.
  • That said, the question of sexual assault aside, putting rabid partisans on the Supreme Court makes it anything-but. Supreme, I mean. First the presidency, then the Congress, and now the highest court in the land. The Baron de Montesquieu and his lovely separation of powers (complete with checks and balances) is rolling in his grave as, above ground, it all goes unchecked and unbalanced. Just. Like. That.
  • If you look up “hypocrisy” in the dictionary, you’ll likely see a picture of that lizard, Mitch McConnell, the man who led the dereliction of duties to advise and consent when President Obama sent Merrick Garland’s name to the Senate for SCOTUS.
  • Oh, those foolhardy Founding Fathers! They never guessed that they would have to include a time line for Senators doing their jobs. They just assumed they’d do it.
  • Think again, Madison.
  • Merriam-Webster’s word-of-the-day today is “gloaming” (twilight, dusk). Great word. Just don’t use it in a poem, where it’s greatness, like Britain’s, has been established.
  • What a delight, having to wait for an interlibrary loan of a new poetry book. Elbowing over the big boys on the wait list? Ada Limón’s  The Carrying.
  • Is there a better poster child for the wealth of minority voices enjoying success in poetry than Danez Smith’s battle cry in the wilderness of America, Don’t Call Us Dead?
  • I am no fan of Halloween, so sue me. Little kids at the door, proud parents watching as they say, “Trick or treat!”? All well and good. But 14-year-olds grubbing for sugar? God spare us. And deliver us November 1st sooner rather than later.
  • Susan Collins of Maine is not a swing vote is not an independent voice is not a senator of interest. She is merely another rank-and-file Trump Party vote, knee and jerk.
  • All hail Lisa Murkowski who Alaska, who nailed it: “…in my view [Judge Brett Kavanaugh] is not the right man for the court at this time.” Not a party hack, but a conscience considering each case as it comes up — just as you’d like to see on the court.
  • Maybe Ms. Murkowski should be the one donning robes, then?
  • The proverbial “they” say it might flirt with 80 degrees Fahrenheit in New England this coming week. “O hushed October morning mild,” as Robert Frost would say (and did, in his poem “October”).
  • These are salad days for many poetry journals. Don’t credit chicory or chives, however. Credit reading fees, more and more the salad dressing of choice in the impoverished world of poetry.
  • (“Impoverished” referring to the poets, not the poetry journals, of course.)
  • More from the God of Irony: People pay $13 a month (even months where they don’t shop) to amazon.com for “free shipping.” P. T. and Barnum would be proud.
  • What’s more, if you try to get 2-day free shipping for a food item on amazon, you have a surprise coming: shipping. Unless you join “Prime Pantry” for another $13 a month.
  • Oh, that clever Jeff Bezos. Small wonder he invokes the envy (and petty hatred) of the Electoral College President!
  • I finally did it: I purchased a big collection of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • Just started Richard Powers’ The Overstory, a tree-hugger’s book if ever there was one. Hope I’m not barking up the wrong tree.
  • Being a fan of both the Boston Red Sox and Ben Franklin’s, I earlied-to-bed while the bedding was good last night, Sox up on the  Yankees 5-0. Turns out, I saved a few fingernails. The final score: 5-4. Just like an upcoming Supreme Court I know.
  • Happy October, people. If you’re in a spot where leaves turn instead of Senators, enjoy the colors!

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