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Barack Poetry
wow we won
got a new leader
knows the Bhagavad Gita
and the Ramayana
Hanuman the Monkey God
is his lucky charm
charisma rational
slightly radical
bright light radiates
emanates from his
SOUL alma would
give my life for
Barack Obama
WE have been to
the mountain top
Secret Service
better step up
because history
has shown that
the conservatives
like to put out contracts
on men of peace
David Shodo Portolano
Santa Fe

Let us take a moment to pause and use whatever capacity we have to understand the movement that much of this nation has undergone. In my way, I thank the neo-cons for forcing me to ask my own questions as to who I am. I’ve decided that, in many ways, I am conservative but, in more ways, I’m pretty liberal in my approaches to life. I do try my best to understand both these elements of my personality within the context of my upbringing and the culture in which I was raised and live.

All of us are now put to the task to honestly ask basic questions about ourselves—what we’re frightened of and whether these fears are real, how we feel about sexuality, morality or bigotry? What in us compels us to such strong emotions?
Hopefully we can conclude that unity is one of the most fundamental emotions, that yesterday’s propaganda of fear is waning, that we can rise above the divide we have suffered through since the ’60s and come to real decisions recognizing our responsibilities to our families and to our world as a whole.

Let the conversation start and let the Atwater/Rovian politics end. For if we as a nation want to believe again in all peoples, we must aspire to greatness as a people of the world with respect for each other’s beliefs and pride in our differences.
Lastly, thank goodness we have a symbol for the next generations who sees our world in the necessary progressive light. We recognize the inevitability of change, and we don’t fight it but, rather, absorb it and learn.
John Cole

And thank you
I want to publicly acknowledge Ironweed Productions and Scott Harrison for envisioning and helping to ensure the realization of NM Youth Unite: Poetry Showcase 2008 at Warehouse 21 on Friday, Nov. 7. For a small theater group like Ironweed to prioritize, care for, and give their own time and valuable resources to elevate youth voices from all over New Mexico shows a remarkably generous spirit and commitment to the well-being and growth of our communities.
Chris Jonas
Director of Program and Operations
Warehouse 21
Santa Fe

Santa Feans hit the bull’s eye by voting in Tom Udall, Ben Ray Luján and, of course, Barack Obama. However, there was a glaring addition to that stellar lineup: Jerome Block Jr. Somehow (I don’t know how) he won the hotly contested Public Regulation Commission’s 3rd District seat over the much more valid Green Party candidate Rick Lass. Both the Reporter and the New Mexican reported Block’s many flagrant campaign violations for months. Block was obviously not fit for public office! So what did the majority of Santa Fe County voters do? Vote him in! Can you believe it? Did these same voters read newspapers or did they have their heads stuck in the sand all this time? Maybe they were just too lazy and simply voted a straight Democratic ticket.

Or perhaps Block’s victory represents something darker: Was he voted in simply because he is Hispanic? Never mind his qualifications. Maybe Anglo Viking guy Rick Lass—probably not a norteño—didn’t have the right skin color or old boy connections for Hispanic-voter tastes. Not a racist issue?—sorry folks—let’s not kid ourselves.

Block’s bizarre victory is a clear example of how uninformed (or worse) citizens make bad voting decisions. We have only to look at the majority of US voters in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections to add to that dubious group.
Jerome Block Jr. is now the fox in the PRC chicken house. We get what we deserve. God help us.
John Lorenzen
Santa Fe

Here’s to you
America is a crazy-quilt nation. I send this open letter to some of the various constituencies that make up this country.
To the African American community: Congratulations. I understand your well-deserved pride in the election results. As a Jew, I know every achievement of a Jewish American has been a triumph in my own heart as well.
To the NRA crowd: If Barack Obama doesn’t take your guns away, will you vote for him in four years? OK, it’s a deal.
To the liberals: Thanks for working so hard. Now, roll up your sleeves and decide where your sacrifice and public service are most needed…and do it!
To the evangelicals: Since you believe your God controls our earthly lives…relax. Obviously God wanted Barack Obama to be our next president. Now work with him as God would want you to.
To the young people: Thank you for getting off your butts, pulling your heads out of your cell phones and voting. That was the first step in taking responsibility for your future
To the vets: We’re in a mess because Bush and McCain believed pressing our military might was the first option. It isn’t. Now our soldiers will not be asked to sacrifice for folly, but only for necessity.
To the Hispanics, Asians, immigrants of all stripes, the disabled, the LGBT et al: Be of good cheer. Your time will come.
To the conservatives: Chill. Obama can’t do any more socialist damage than this conservative administration has all ready done. Maybe, he’ll actually be able to unsocialize those troubled Wall Street firms and banks. Try working with him and put America, not your personal ideology, first.
To the babies: When you grow up, black presidents will be nothing special. Just another ordinary part of life.
To Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage et al: I hope this humbles you a bit. You guys don’t have nearly the power you think you do. History will judge you were a debilitating and negative influence on this country—not because of your ideas, which you are as free as anyone to espouse, but for the potty-mouthed, derogatory and offensive way you expressed those views. You should be ashamed.
To the American people: Thanks for growing up a little.
Paul Glickman
Santa Fe

Deborah Potter is a victims’ advocate in the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, not a public prosecutor [Outtakes, Oct. 29: “Justice Backlog”]. SFR regrets the error.

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