What Happens When a Poet Becomes Involved with the Democratic Process?


My stomach was void of content.
But my mind was full of thoughts.
I couldn’t afford to eat that morning.
I was glad for such a circumstance.
For as I walked into City Hall
I vomited in my mouth. Thankful
There was nothing solid in the puke
To choke on,
Besides the amount of ideas
Stirring in my mind
Was enough to fill any human void.
I sat next to an old lady
That smelled like baby oil and had wrinkles
Thin as paper. I leaned over and asked her;
“Who’s that guy?”
Referring to an overweight white man,
Enrobed in a blue suit. “That’s Walker’s appointee
To the Rail Commission. He’s here to answer our questions.”
The overweight white man chewed nervously on a piece of gum.
He adjusted his posture
As he did this
His sports coat pulled away from his chest,
Revealing biceps and a belly coated in sweat.
I smiled and thought; ‘poor bastard.’
He began his presentation
Speaking in tongues
To a civilized crowd of scowling ageing hippies.
He attempted to explain how a new rail track
Would be beneficial to the city.
As he continued in a monotone drawl
One of the advisors traveling with him
Began to fall asleep. I yawned, realized
The democratic process
Very, very, very, very
I thought;
‘How many times
Do I need to hear from
Overweight white men
About what’s good for us?
Where’s the outstanding orators
Inciting revolutions
When it came time
For the public to ask their questions,
The ageing hippies stood up
And shouted concerns about
Oil cars,
Children’s safety near the tracks,
Noise ordinances regarding honking trains,
The basic concerns any citizen would have
If they paid attention.
And the overweight white man’s responses
Were diplomatic. There was
No established answers to be found
In the broad wording
Used by the trained lackey.
So… the public hearing came to a close.
I walked by the ageing hippies
Held a fist above my head
To demonstrate solidarity.
I walked out of City Hall
Unclenched my fist
And contemplated what I should eat.
The answer was obvious,
But the question
Was always changing.

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