I got bogged down today writing about “The Body Politic”, a topic that so incenses and ennervates me, I had to take a power nap at 4:30 this afternoon, leaving me still postless at 6:30 p.m.. This is the effect our discourse has on me physically: depression, restlessness, frustration. I know I’m not alone in this — our body politic is sick. We all feel it, red or blue, liberal or conservative. It’s the slow drip of impotence, of continually being stoked into fear, rage, or both. The worst symptom of our disease is a desperate, ginned-up sense that we are each other’s enemies, that we hate our very selves, simply because we have (admittedly big) differences of opinion. But we also have a lot of common interests, ones that our national body is too flu-ridden to breach. With polls taking our god-damned temperature every five minutes, our feverishness is continually reaffirmed; there is no cool cloth on the forehead in sight. It got to me today, but I hope to rally tomorrow.
Now, for something lighter, since I don’t want to fall behind my posting goal by yet another day. Instead of a rant, here’s a little ditty about the fun side of making words appear on the screen. That’s a kind of embodiment, right? I wrote it awhile ago, so it’s a bit of a cheat. But it reminds me that although our politics make life feel surreal and so-very serious these days, there is still fun to be had, pleasure to be taken in inconsequential things.
The blank page is white.
I can fill it, though,
With little dots and scrawls of black
In a Myriad of fonts:
Calibri, Mistral, Ayuthaya, Chancery.
Evoking world travels at the click of a dropdown.
Will one of the Gothics take me to the moors—
Bell, perhaps, with its mournful toll?
Bodoni wears a crumpled hat in the Tuscan sun,
Head nodding after the midday meal, yet oddly delicate:
(His friend Petrucci, the musical one? Also gay.)
Britannic bold has a bosom as deep as a library shelf,
Leading pallid schoolchildren through the British war museum,
The walls shake.
Adobe Hebrew? Clearly reformed.
What of Blackmoor LET, traipsing about the medieval fair,
With his trained falcon, Charlemagne, and multi-pierced lady-fair,
And those lush-sounding girls:
Euphemia, Georgia, Gabriola, Mona Lisa (she’s solid), Constantia, Candara,
And their slightly hipper sisters, Onyx and Tahoma,
Sitting in the window, languid, heavy-lidded, waiting to be chosen
As that square-assed bitch Helvetica gets the job again and again.
Her or Arial (who at least is clean)
Not a single curve on them; go figure.
I told my students, when briefly I had them,
A font-change does NOT count as a revision.
Yet I, too, can feel the pull of sunnier climes: Lithos and Arno
Beckon away from the work at hand, a novel, screenplay,
Or high school essay on how Iago seduces, or Hamlet fails.
Cracked is how I’ll feel writing at two a.m. after
Drinking too much Chicory, when the world sleeps
And all is