How kind for you to look in on me. Yes, I snapped awake —
a behavior borne of fateful days and the mind’s midnight murmurs.
But I am okay.
Things are uncertain here, along the courses of this murky earth, as the sun’s unfaithful light will shine on other places. The paths of all our lives are unraveled, as stirred to near-disorder as the roads I barely see beyond my window, curved and folded around the varied, dim hills where all my neighbors sleep.
But you know that by now, Observer, I am sure.
As old as you are, I know you’ve learned to cherish the charted arc of your predictable light.
I know this is an objectively terrible joke, but I’m still proud of it.
I’ve totally got real heartburn, though. (I can only imagine the state of the world has had something to do with that.) And that’s a lot less funny. It’s … also objectively terrible.
I’m never sure if the expression is “Hear! Hear!” or “Hear, Hear!” or … possibly “Hear here!” or whatever. (Go ask a writer.)
But we need to remember that the next product of Trumpism will likely be 10 times smarter than the man for whom the the phenomenon is named.
Give yourself credit.
We still live in a historically perilous time for our Republic. But a big chunk of said peril just departed The White House — The People’s House — this morning.
You did that. You are, among other things, proof that resistances can win.
You were on the right side of history. And you prevailed.
“Arnold’s Departure,” by Philip Freneau
“Mala soluta navis exit alite
Fernes olentem Mævium.”
With evil omens from the harbour sails
The ill-fated barque that worthless Arnold bears,—
God of the southern winds, call up the gales,
And whistle in rude fury round his ears.
With horrid waves insult his vessel’s sides, 5
And may the east wind on a leeward shore
Her cables part, while she in tumult rides,
And shatter into shivers every oar.
And let the north wind to her ruin haste,
With such a rage, as when from mountains high 10
He rends the tall oak with his weighty blast,
And ruin spreads where’er his forces fly.
May not one friendly star that night be seen;
No moon, attendant, dart one glimmering ray,
Nor may she ride on oceans more serene 15
Than Greece, triumphant, found, that stormy day
When angry Pallas spent her rage no more
On vanquish’d Ilium, then in ashes laid,
But turn’d it on the barque that Ajax bore,
Avenging thus her temple, and the maid. 20
When toss’d upon the vast Atlantic main
Your groaning ship the southern gales shall tear,
How will your sailors sweat, and you complain,
And meanly howl to Jove, that will not hear!
But if, at last, upon some winding shore, 25
A prey to hungry cormorants you lie,
A wanton goat to every stormy power,
And a fat lamb, in sacrifice, shall die.
Dedicated to Donald J. Trump’s second impeachment.
“Oh Portius! Is there not some chosen curse,
Some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven,
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man
Who owes his greatness to his country’s ruin?”
— Joseph Addison, Cato: A Tragedy, 1710
Photo credit: “In a construction site’s sidewalk pedestrian tunnel on Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC.” Mike Maguire, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons