Dear Dirty America


To President Obama

November 09
17:07 2012

President Obama speaks at ANOCA

I don’t believe you are a tyrant
like Hitler, Stalin, Caligula, Franco, or Bashar Assad
& I voted for you
preferring that you occupy the presidency
rather than that other brilliant fool—
yes, I think you are a brilliant fool
& I think I’m a brilliant fool, too.

Millions pay attention to you
while almost no one pays attention to me
& you have great authority
while I have only the scant occasional authority
that comes from people appreciating
how I’ve behaved til now, net, to their knowledge.

Many worse people could be occupying your position
but I still consider that you should be following me
if either of us should be following the other.

I listen to people chattering on about you with chagrin
even now that the election campaign is over
& it’s not you & that other brilliant fool
I have to hear about day after day.

But I’m far from achieving
what I believe I should achieve, if possible
so I can’t blame you for your pathetic record
& I appreciate some of what you’ve done, but not much—
yes, the Republicans blocked many of your initiatives
but they block mine & everyone’s, & your party does, too
& so do all sorts of groups & individuals—
men & women, American, foreign, species & specimens—
that’s the environment
in which you & I & everyone will achieve what we achieve—
or fail.

I’ll be wishing you well, as I wish everyone well
whom I believe means well
when they remember not to indulge themselves
as I mean well
when I remember not to indulge myself.

Eric Chaet, The Turnaround Artist, born Chicago, USA, 1945, raised on rough South Side, pre-computer factory, office, & warehouse jobs. Some teaching, some independent self-taught technical consulting. 1974, Old Buzzard of No-Man’s Land, poems, Toronto, Canada. 1977, Solid and Sound, vinyl LP of songs, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, USA.  Mid-80s to mid-90s, silkscreened, hitchhiked, & stapled 1500 cloth posters to utility poles along American highways.  1990, How To Change the World Forever For Better, brief prose philosophy, Greenleaf, Wisconsin, USA; 2nd edition, 1994.  2001, People I Met Hitchhiking On USA Highways, mostly narrative prose, De Pere, Wisconsin, USA.  Lives in Wisconsin, industrialized dairy farms & cows, remnant cheese & paper factories & factory hands & outlaw mammals & birds, post-construction boom, reactionary politics & obsolete machinery, a smattering of professionals & millionaires.  Poems published, over 50 years in many USA states, plus Brazil, Cuba, Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Nepal, India, China, Singapore, Korea, & Taiwan, often in translation. 

You can contact him at the Leave a Reply box on each page of his website, 100 Peculiarly Useful So-Called Poems, <>.

Find Chaet’s book, People I Met Hitchhiking USA Highwaysand read a review written hereSee also, There’s still a little breath in the old American RevolutionOn Job Creationand Stalin.

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