Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Still Relishing the Election

From Salon and Garrison Keillor:

"Be happy, dear hearts, and allow yourselves a few more weeks of quiet exultation. It isn't gloating, it's satisfaction at a job well done. ... He was elegant, unaffected, utterly American, and now (Wow) suddenly America is cool. Chicago is cool. Chicago!!! ... The French junior minister for human rights said, "On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes." When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours? Ponder that for a moment. ... It feels good to be cool and all of us can share in that, even sour old right-wingers and embittered blottoheads. Next time you fly to Heathrow and hand your passport to the man with the badge, he's going to see "United States of America" and look up and grin. Even if you worship in the church of Fox, everyone you meet overseas is going to ask you about Obama and you may as well say you voted for him because, my friends, he is your line of credit over there. No need anymore to try to look Canadian. ... Our hero who galloped to victory has inherited a gigantic mess. ... So enjoy the afterglow of the election a while longer. We all walk taller this fall. People in Copenhagen and Stockholm are sending congratulatory e-mails -- imagine! We are being admired by Danes and Swedes! And Chicago becomes the First City. Step aside, San Francisco. Shut up, New York. The Midwest is cool now. The mind reels."

Read it all.
Looking for a Rest Area

I've been driving for hours,
it seems like all my life.
The wheel has become familiar,
I turn it

every so often to avoid the end
of my life, but I'm never sure
it doesn't turn me
by its roundness, as women have

by the space inside them.
What I'm looking for
is a rest area, some place where
the old valentine inside my shirt

can stop contriving romances,
where I can climb out of the thing
that has taken me this far
and stretch myself.

It is dusk, Nebraska,
the only bright lights in this entire state
put their fists in my eyes
as they pass me.

Oh, how easily I can be dazzled--
where is the sign
that will free me, if only for moments,
I keep asking.
Stephen Dunn, from Looking for Holes in the Ceiling. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1974.

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