Election Journal (an excerpt)
Every four years, I run for President of the United States. I am currently conducting my eighth campaign. (But don’t vote for me! Vote for Biden-Harris, and play a part in the timely extinguishing of American fascism!)
Jesus opened the door; Nietzsche stepped through.
When my mother-in-law sold her house, I took some of her classic books. One contained two treatises by Charles Darwin: The Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. I love that latter title. Of course, in the 19th century, “descent” meant “lineage,” as in “Lydia is of noble descent.” But the word has largely lost that meaning, and now the title seems to say: “We began as regal pacifist, vegetarian apes, and look what we’ve become — querulous, YouTube-addicted losers, ruled by the bestial Donald J. Trump!”
We live in an Indig Nation: a land where everyone is constantly appalled.
It’s funny how the post office is closed on Sunday, as if every single postal worker were in church.
What’s up with helicopters? What a weird, insectoid, hazardous method of travel! The death of Kobe Bryant in a Sikorsky S-76 should alert everyone to the foolishness of helicopter transport. Why not go back to hot air balloons and dirigibles?
When I am President, I will travel from town to town in a helium balloon, like the Wizard of Oz.
The names of art movements sound like they could be philosophies. “Pointillism,” “Futurism,” “impressionism” sound like “Stoicism,” “idealism,” “existentialism.”
I want a ring in the shape of a snail, because I do everything the way a snail does. I move slowly, almost imperceptibly, but doggedly. In fact, I do not “run” for President. I crawl.
The Mormons wear secret underwear. Orthodox Jews wear a secret hat under their outer hat.
I’m starting a religion where you must wear under-socks.
The price of LSD never rises. A dose costs the same now as it did in 1971. Why is that? Are LSD-dealers altruistic?
The Evangelicals are wrong about the Apocalypse. It’s not a historical event; it’s an inner experience. Approximately 2% of the population are experiencing an Apocalypse at any moment.
Man’s inhumanity to man is balanced by woman’s humanity to woman.
It’s like we’re living through a medieval legend — in particular the legend of the Fisher King (alluded to in T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland). According to Wikipedia:
Versions of the original story vary widely, but he is always wounded in the legs or groin and incapable of standing. All he is able to do is fish in a small boat on the river near his castle, Corbenic, and wait for some noble who might be able to heal him by asking a certain question.
The Fisher King cannot father children, and as a result his kingdom becomes a barren wasteland —which has happened to the USA under Donald J. Trump. Our impotent leader, who sits in his office, “fishing” in the river of Twitter, has brought a plague on our land, which has killed — let me check — 115,773 of our citizens, blighted our economy, and brought the nation to a standstill. If only a “noble” could arrive to heal us!
Everyone knows that the “essential workers” continue functioning — perhaps working harder than ever — under the quarantine, but the completely inessential workers also keep going. People like me, for example. Inactivity doesn’t stop philologists from studying ancient Hungarian grammar, or composers from writing sonatas. In fact, the ranks of the inessential have swelled. How many new novelists now exist?
Jesus loves me and has a plan for my life — but he won’t tell me what the fuck it is!
Do woodpeckers get headaches?
The fact that we don’t know if this is the “modern” era, the “postmodern” era, or the “post-postmodern” era is a sign of what a mess we’re in. How can we solve our problems when we don’t even know when we’re living?
Of all anti-Semitisms, the English is the best: polite, gentle, but deeply cruel.
If you need drugs to get through life, it may be a sign that you have the wrong life.
Many USA “mass shootings,” are actually grandiose, narcissistic, self-promoting suicides.
I don’t regret any of the stupid things I’ve done, but I do regret a few of the “clever” things.
I find it satisfying that the Jewish Messiah will never come. We Jews will wait patiently for our Savior forever.
The sadness of a rainy day is also a kind of happiness.
I have bad news for you. A magic marker works by drawing on ink-saturated absorbent material inside a plastic tube. It’s not magic!
My new Country song: “I’m a First Responder in a Second-Rate Town.”
Sparrow lives in the timely town of Phoenicia, New York. His forthcoming book is Small Happiness & Other Epiphanies (Monkfish).
Poetry and the 2020 election