Here it is, production week at the Real Change. As always, I'm staring at an otherwise blank document with just the words "insert column here " at the top. For some reason those three words usually get me going. But not this month. Time to call upon my lovely and talented muse Cindy, the ancient Muse of Other, AKA Muse of Few Words. As soon as I do, there she is behind me licking what's left of a Hershey's Special Dark from her fingertips, looking over my shoulder as I type.
"So... that's it so far. One paragraph," she says with a sigh. I hear the disappointment in her voice and wonder what she's thinking. Old abandonment issues well up within me. What would I do without a muse? She's leaving me for another editorial board member... I thought... yeah, that's it... probably that Michele "lets find new writers" Marchand. Curse her!. "Too inbred" ,indeed!.
But Cindy ignores my anxiety fit and just says, "OK, I'll walk you through it. First: you need a poem -- right here." (She points at the next patch of blank space.)What about? "The Real Change wants submissions from new writers." Oh yeah, I knew that...
Make a Change!
Or, Hey Look! I Got a New Rhyming Dictionary!
by Copyright Dr. Wes Browning
Steak and eggs every morning?
Steak and rice every noon?
Steak and beans every dinner? -
Then drive a stake, please, through me soon.
Thank God I'm not the only poet that writes within these pages,
for, maybe not right now, but in time you know, by stages,
if I was I'm sure that I'd even cause myself to sicken.
(While surely others all around me would immediately be stricken.)
But its not only poetry or steaks that we're talking about,
those were hypothetical examples.
Don't make me yell and shout it out,
send us your prose and journalistic samples...
"OK, maybe you should leave that now and go on to something else."
But I haven't worked the title in, that was going to be the big refrain, you know - write for the Real Change, let your story make a change! -heh.
"Um-hmm, and you should let your column make a change right now."
Oh, I see what you're saying. You're saying I should bail out of the poem with one of those all-weather non-sequiturs. Sure, people can reread the title, great.
So, speaking of change, how about these lengthening days? And what's with this El Niño business? Is the new millennium marking the end of the world as we know it? Are we all going to be globally-warmed like a collective poodle in a microwave until we all explode and there's no one left to clean up the mess?
"More focus." And what in our daily experience is more focused than a microwave oven, one could ask. "Focus on one change."
One of the latest popular causes on the poverty front as reported from Oregon is that of public funding for doctor assisted suicides by the indigent, wherever doctor assisted suicides are allowed at all.
"Otherwise only the economically advantaged can end their lives with dignity, etc. We must make this service available to all, etc."
I can't resist comment.
I know that assisted suicides are a fine art (as are hangings, they tell me) and that they take a lot of preparation and time. But they have got to be cheaper than extended stays in hospitals hooked up to respirators and IVs and heart-pumps and whatever else's been invented lately. All of which are after all just as sophisticated as killing someone neatly and painlessly. And many of those life-extending technologies are already covered in part by public funding, with the result of being serious drains on public funds, at least in the view of a great many people, including many policy-makers, and many voters.
Does that sound like an important concern? It's just a caution. I don't want to end up having more access to assisted suicide than the rich simply to save them money.
How was that for focus? "Too essayish." So I'll just have to rewrite it, then? "Or you could just add a Limerick. That might be fun."
The One That Got Away
A Limerick I'm sure would be fun,
But I know the one here will not be the one
'cause the one I know will
is that one about Bill -
and Monica, et al, that I haven't begun.
© Dr. Wes Browning: firstname.lastname@example.org Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 (206) 441-3247
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