Winter 1998 • Vol. XX No. 1 PoetryJanuary 1, 1998 |

Riffs & Reciprocities

DEMOCRACY Appalling that some people—the mendacious, the uninformed—can vote. Yet worse if they could not. Oddly, the majority does have an intelligence, sleepy-keen, animal-like, most brilliant when injured or wronged. Huey Long, for example, was loved by that animal until it knew to turn. After the votes were in, he said, "The people have spoken, the bastards." And there it was, one of democracy's successes—the loser walking away with a quip, no need for a coup. Every few years the bastards and the good guys get shuffled, redefined. Some, somehow, manage to survive the compromises and levelings of their jobs. We try to forget that they don't dare challenge the country's false pieties, that even the powerful say "God willing" when they mean "if I can." We try to forget that capitalism itself makes more large decisions than any senator with a program or a dream. We go down to the firehouse near the creek on those Tuesdays in November. We sign in. One by one, we the imperfec

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I Was Thinking

By Stephen Dunn

DEMOCRACY Appalling that some people—the mendacious, the uninformed—can vote. Yet worse if they could not. Oddly, the majority does have an intelligence, sleepy-keen, animal-like, most brilliant when injured or wronged. […]

Remaining the Same

By Stephen Dunn

DEMOCRACY Appalling that some people—the mendacious, the uninformed—can vote. Yet worse if they could not. Oddly, the majority does have an intelligence, sleepy-keen, animal-like, most brilliant when injured or wronged. […]

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