Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Perfect Storm

January 20 2009

The Perfect Storm

A Fond Farewell to the 43rd President of the United States

This is truth and reconciliation day
I got up to watch the inauguration at eight
This morning and felt the tension of eight years of anxious
Worry evaporate from my neural matrix storage
Eight years of wasted wars, eight years of official
Statements distorting the truth, and hastily-awarded
Contracts, and secret compacts, and danger-courting
And total incompetence, coupled with amazing sources
Of confidence, such as the conservative base supporting
This is a day for healing and faith-restoring
Obama even commissioned an award-winning scholar
A poet of great worth, to perform that ancient service
Of composing a piece of occasional verse
To celebrate his inauguration with ornate words
Now there’s an honest day’s work
But this? I can’t even say his name – it hurts!
I guess now I know my place on this earth
Not the herald of great heroes who deserve our respect
No, more like the chronicler of regret
The reminder of those we’d prefer to forget
Is there no alcoholic remedy to erase
Recovered alcoholics from your memory banks?
No cure for bitterness in a time for giving thanks?
Guilty tyrant, thy offense is rank!
It stinks to high heaven! And yet this blank
Expression on your face betrays no hint of angst
Placid incomprehension instead of dripping fangs
Or at least contrition for the dead civilian ranks
It takes a big man to admit mistakes
Well, he still stands on midget legs
But at least we saw growth in all fifty states
When they picked his replacement on election day
Obama’s already been embraced by every nation
His inauguration is finished, and the last administration
Has nothing left for it but victim impact statements

And rest assured, there’s plenty of eloquent critics
Ready and willing to give them hell every minute
And never let them settle into a quiet
Respectable retirement; certain individuals
In the legal profession believe there’s sufficient evidence
To see them imprisoned in the federal penal system
For deliberate breeches of the Geneva Convention
Not to even mention the fact that their people listened
In on civilians without judicially seeking permission
But hey, that’s strictly a legal decision
Nothing to do with me; my specialty is lyricism
I would’ve cheered when the impeachment was issued
Sure, but I prefer not to give these people attention
Unless that attention will get them neatly arrested
Or at least convince the electorate to completely reject them
I mean, they certainly don’t need me to accept them
Besides, I’d rather keep it effervescent
The USA has an incredible president
A sensible man, conscientious and intelligent
A person with principles and effortless eloquence
So why am I wasting my intricate syllables
Protesting the criminal offenses of a pathetic
Ex-president, a Crawford, Texas resident
Instead of just adding him to a list of irrelevant
Idiots, and forgetting him, period?

Why? Because my benevolent ex-professor requested it
Better yet, my friend requested it
And when I’m ‘friend requested’ I tend to accept it
Even when it leads to endless unsolicited messages
Such as the ones you’re presently getting peppered with
Not every job is empty of unpleasantness
Someone’s job is to collect effluence
From the sewer system and test it for potential infections
In order to prevent the spread of pestilence
My job is to catalogue the thick-headedness
Of the former Commander-in-Chief of speech impediments
And despite his recent attempts to claim the best intentions
My ambition is to ensure that his name is never mentioned
Again, at least not in the same breath as
Anything inspiring, hopeful, or progressive
Only as a cautionary tale, a haunting presence
For future generations learning important lessons
I can’t imagine a more impressive example
Of how oppression leads directly to rebellion
Or how to weaken a nation’s defenses
And subjugate their safety to political interests
And sell out the public good to private business
I don’t know how he gets 20% in the census
Except to say that some people really are senseless
That’s why I called him a ‘symptom’

But I won’t call him evil; even though
He caused the unnecessary deaths of a lot of people
And his powers of perception were often feeble
(Which isn’t a problem unless you happen to be in control
Of launching rockets and watching the economy grow)
I simply see it as the unchecked growth of the common ego
Bad decisions? We’ve all made them before
Sometimes responsibilities get laid at your door
And there’s even justifications for the waging of war
In certain cases, as a last resort
When your safety is at stake, and for staying the course
And making tough decisions and taking calculated risks
Even if your kids may end up paying for it
What’s the metaphor I’m searching for?
When it comes to personal shortcomings, intelligence
Deficits, hubris, etc, he wasn’t just dirt poor
He was the perfect storm

And now, with the storm clouds lifted
After being pushed to the outer limits by a White House
Filled with cowards and nitwits pretending to represent
The national interest while devouring endless resources
And burning thousands of bridges; after listening
To the countless insipid pronouncements issuing
From beneath those beady eyes and prominent brow ridges
After cringing as they trotted out false witnesses
In support of ever more twisted selfishness
Their military prowess directed at houses and villages
With rushing limbic systems defending their callousness
Driven by apocalyptic visions that sound religious
When really they were just out for riches
Now, with the storm clouds lifted
With the hurricane passed and the base of power shifted
We have to get up off the ground and shake out the splinters
And let go of the anger and the feeling of helplessness
It’s time to finally get down to business
And deal with this world as it is, without bitterness

This isn’t to say that it wasn’t outrageous
We may indeed be at the end of a dark age
In a time of salvation, or just an about-face
But I’m done with foul language, no sour grapes
Let them take him away to pay for his proud ways
Or just leave him alone to live out his days
Either way, he’s nothing without his job title
Except a mascot, a neo-con pop idol
As for the rest of us, let’s just feel the buzz
Like this is Endor after the Death Star self-destructs
Into clouds of dust; give the cowboy his open range
Today my attention is focused on hope and change
On the present path, and on the future instead of the past
Let’s change what we can, and accept what we can’t
And direct our energy into the next president’s tasks

© Baba Brinkman, January 20th 2009

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