Matthew Zapruder, Wisconsin

As protection for public employees disintegrates into, well, nothing in many states, a poem by Matthew Zapruder attempts to comment on the state with the heaviest media attention surrounding this issue: Wisconsin.

The poem, posted below, hinges on this admission: "who are we who see / so much evil and try / to stop it and fail..." If poetry reflects the culture of the time, this poem works as a bridge between passivity and activity for a large group of American citizens. In Wisconsin, as well as many other states, the dormant political resolve has been awakened in many people who have begun to take an interest in who holds political power.

Matthew Zapruder's poem is not a call to action, but it is a reflection on current sentiment handled well. The poem ends with "..something / happened people / turned their beautiful / sparkling angry faces up." These are the final lines of the poem, and the "sparkling angry faces" continue outside of it, even if those faces have the real possibility of becoming placid again after a certain amount of time passes...

Poem for Wisconsin

In Milwaukee it is snowing

on the golden statue

of the 1970s television star

whose television house

was in Milwaukee

and also on the Comet Cafe

and on the white museum

the famous Spanish architect

built with a glass

elevator through it

and a room with a button

that when you press it

makes two wings

on the sides of the building

more quickly than you might

imagine mechanically

rise like a clumsy

thoughtful bird

thinking now

I am at last ready

over the lake

that has many moods

to fly but it will not

and people ask

who are we who see

so much evil and try

to stop it and fail

and know we are no longer

for no reason worrying

the terrible governors

are evil or maybe

just mistaken and nothing

can stop them not even

the workers who keep

working even when

it snows on their heads

and on the bridge

that keeps our cars

above the water

for an hour

in northern California

today it snowed

and something

happened people

turned their beautiful

sparkling angry faces up

image source


Eric Your Friend from UMSL | May 24, 2011 at 1:24 PM

This is a great poem about a disturbing trend. The country's apathy towards far right social engineering is scary. Hopefully, Wisconsin and the Congressional Tea Baggers will wake up the same crowd that put Obama in office and we get a little sanity back in D.C.

Nice blog by the way.

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