Outhouses and Holes We Dig
Back in the day,
Mom and Uncle Tom
went out back in the outhouse
Puncture the earth
Dig a big hole
Set the wood frame over it
When it’s full, throw on dirt
Cover the crap
Dig a new hole
Scott Walker’s Wisconsin
operates using much the same
Puncture the prairie
Extract tar sands
Sell to frackers
Puncture the unions
Extract core values
Sell out labor
Puncture public schools
Extract their funding
Sell out low-income students
Puncture The Wisconsin Idea*
Extract the principles
Cripple our prized universities
Puncture our values
Extract choice and hope
Call it free enterprise
Call it Right to Work (for less)
Dig a big pit
Call it a rabbit hole
Scott the Bunny says,
Follow me down
to a world of fantasy follies
Follow me to Washington
I’ll share my vision
with the whole country
and the world
Yo, Scott, that’s not a rabbit hole
It’s where the outhouse stood
© 2015 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Wrote this a day before Walker’s incredibly awkward press debacle, now making headlines across the US. Roger Green sent me a link; click HERE to see the funniest response by Wisconsinites regarding the “I handled protesters, I can handle ISIS” yuckfest. Clicking HERE for dverse Open Mic!
*From Wikipedia, a reason we moved to Wisconsin was this:
The Wisconsin Idea is the policy developed in the American state of Wisconsin that fosters public universities’ contributions to the state: “to the government in the forms of serving in office, offering advice about public policy, providing information and exercising technical skill, and to the citizens in the forms of doing research directed at solving problems that are important to the state and conducting outreach activities.” A second facet of the philosophy is the effort “to ensure well-constructed legislation aimed at benefiting the greatest number of people.” During the Progressive Era, proponents of the Wisconsin Idea saw the state as “the laboratory for democracy,” resulting in legislation that served as a model for other states and the federal government. Walker proposed changing the wording (I kid you not). According to the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
… the governor made the UW System’s mission to “meet the state’s workforce needs.” He also proposed striking language about public service and improving the human condition, and deleting the phrase: “Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.”
Since he never even graduated college (take that, GWB and your “gentleman’s C” MBA!), he seems to care nothing about the University of Wisconsin, a gem of a college system.
MEANER THAN REAGAN.
DUMBER THEN BUSH.
Now you all understand Wisconsin’s pain. Amy
My dear friend George emailed me a link with recent pictures from The Strand, one of many grand old theatres in our hometown of Binghamton, NY. Those images inspired this poem. Thanks, George!
THE STRAND THEATRE, BINGHAMTON, NY
She was what they used to call A Grande Dame:
Stately, opulent, inspiring awe and delight.
Follow me back in time…
Look up: Tiffany crown.
Look down: Plush carpet.
Look around: Roomy seats, wide stage, velvet curtain, affording itinerant vaudevillians room to slay ‘em with a joke (told 2,380 times from Omaha to Syracuse, but here, heard by fresh ears, rewarded with belly laughs).
Room for dancers to tap sway meringue swing do their thing.
Singers thrived on the Strand’s perfect acoustics.
As with all perfect miracles on earth,
and She, the stately Grande Dame,
found her spacious stage usurped by a screen.
Movies drifted from Keaton to Talmadge
Robert Taylor to Rod Taylor
to Johnny Rodd (“Deep Throat played there;
the Art Theatre was deemed too small,
its floor sticky with patrons’ souvenirs)
Eventually, like even the gamest of girls,
she was abandoned.
Now she’s a shell of her former shined and
shimmering self, laid low by scavengers
and an abortive attempt at plastic surgery.
But within, her heart beats in steady memories.
Echoes of Liberace, who packed the house
(winking at fawning old ladies and
joking about his brother George).
Echoes of Ish Kabibble and Hugh Herbert,
leaving ‘em in stitches.
Echoes of the pit band, all local musicians
earning a decent living doing what they loved.
Echoes of singers whose names are remembered
only by a cloud of witnesses floating in
a plaster-dust atmosphere
or written on peeling wallpaper.
A strand of pearls, unstrung, save in our hearts.
We were challenged at Three Word Wednesday to use the following three words: Absolve, Hiss, and Ridicule. Here’s my take! Amy
VAUDEVILLE (Absolve, Hiss, Ridicule)
Grandpa gave me great treasures
Stories of his vaudeville days
He played clarinet in the house band
when melodramas were the craze
The villain, in handlebar moustache
His entrance greeted by the audience’s hiss
They knew his only goal was to take
a helpless young maiden’s first kiss
Once the play ended on a high note
with the maiden happily married
Out came a comic; if his shtick was tired
They’d ridicule ‘til he was harried
Out came the hook, on came the dancers
with lots of leg, quite beguiling
And thus distracted from former acts
The manager was absolved; they left smiling
© 2010 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil