August 30th, 2006

ozarque figure

Linguistics; stylistics; sf poetry being made; round four...

Let's try this again, please, starting this time from something much closer to Scratch. What you see here is in fact a first draft, and -- except for the times I've submitted a sonnet as an answer on an exam -- this will be the only time I've ever let people see a first-draft poem of mine. Howsomever.... nothing ventured, nothing gained. Here goes, warts and all....

[no title yet, needless to say]

In November of the dreary year 2008,
they had a Presidential election
and nobody came.
In the polling places the voting machines were waiting,
with their attendants;
and nobody came.

CNN sent its journalists searching for voters --
knocking on doors,
bursting into offices,
racing through malls,
stopping people on the streets.
Not asking them "How did that make you feel?",
for once,
asking them "When are you going to go vote?"

And everywhere the answer was the same:
"You put a candidate I can respect on the ballot --
I'll go vote."

By noon the politicians were in a panic;
the Senate was meeting in secret emergency session.
The then-leader of the devastated world demanded legislation
to force the people to vote.
"Use the draft!" he bellowed. "Round them up! Smoke 'em
out of their holes!"
The Supreme Court was hastily convened to consider the question
of whether it was illegal to refuse to vote;
it never had been before --
but then a lot of things were now legal and illegal
that had never been legal or illegal before.

"It won't be everybody," the pundits predicted. "Pretty soon,
people will start turning up.
You know the American people, for heaven's sakes;
they've never been able to agree on a single thing.
It won't be everybody."

Night came, and it was still everybody;
the voting-machine attendants had all gone home,
tired of wasting their time.

"Well," said a pundit
sitting on a panel of pundits:
"It's certainly not as messy as guillotines."