exercises in futility

fastidious bubbles

looking to cleanse the world
scrub out the filth
of doubt and disobedience

But they were rebels too once
before becoming comfortable
in anodized aerosol cans

They used to shave their heads
storm out into July nights
membranes shouting for change, elevation
shirking the tyranny of gravity



I’m out here
in here
thinking, finally
that this is no time to be cute
and glib
perhaps instead
it should be an overdue
inventory of sins
of the very real failings
with stark, grim lips
that offer no platitudes
make no excuses

The Obama Doctrine


The partisan attack dogs are pouncing once more. Obama foolishly admitted that no strategy is yet in place to deal with ISIS’s continued cancerous growth in what was once called Iraq. (And he dares to tell us this wearing a tan suit!)

As tired as one becomes of seeing this same politically motived theater (should I add, “barely veiled racist innuendo?”), it is also quite wearying that President Obama has still–after all these years–found no way to rise above the tediousness of it all.

In short, Mr. President, is this the best you’ve got to lead us past these yipping mongrels on the Right? Hope. Choice. Forward.

How, exactly?

Beyond the simple fact of his ethnicity, history is ultimately unlikely to remember Obama as a consequential president–as it must surely acknowledge that his predecessor, for better or worse (much, much worse in this case), was.

What has plagued him most is his desire to pacify all sides, to steer a middle course through every calamity, every controversy. He might as well have come out swinging, fought ruthlessly for a single-payer system, paid a state visit to Tehran, dismantled the Bush education apparatus of NCLB.

His accomplishments seem few and far between, and though that appearance is somewhat deceptive, appearances tend to matter in history’s judgements.

What will his steps to repair America’s reputation abroad matter when the long view of his presidency sees it ending with Iraq in flames, Syria a shambles, and Ukraine on the carving block?

Likewise, will his great stride forward (well, meager and long-overdue step, at least) in health care reform stand out amidst the epic gridlock of an entrenched and recalcitrant Republican majority in the House?

Even now, the “victory” of putting down the terrorist mastermind of 9/11 is forgotten and surely history will think little of this sweeping up act following Bush. Meanwhile, the nasty and brutish extremism that spawned that terrible day festers like an open wound in the very spot where the U.S. of A.¬†was supposed to demonstrate its nation building prowess, creating a quasi-democratic and unquestionably capitalist playground for American interests in the region.

What was Obama to do with so many problems, so many messes not of his making?

One can hardly answer with any certainty now. That, after all, is the kind of question only a great leader can answer.

We seem to be short in that category of late.