Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Going Back to Parochial School Poem--Circa 1956

I know the following poem isn't about politics--but I'm posting it here anyway. Anyone else out there with not-so-fond memories of parochial school???

I wrote the poem for Tricia’s Monday Poetry Stretch - Back to School. My contribution is a wee bit dark. I attended a strict parochial elementary school in the 1950s. It was a drab, depressing place with dark corridors, desks and chairs screwed to the classroom floors, and bathrooms in the building’s damp basement. I became a school phobic...soon after I arrived on my first day of first grade.

Yes, I take the nuns to task in my poem—but I do understand the poor ladies were dealing with classes of approximately fifty children. I can only imagine what their daily lives were like in the convent that stood adjacent to my school. The nuns were often treated as second class citizens—as are most women—by the Catholic Church.

A Back to School Poem
by Elaine Magliaro

Even though the sun seared the sky
on the Tuesday after Labor Day,
I buttoned my stiffly starched blouse

with puffed sleeves and Peter Pan collar…
then slid on the green serge jumper
that pricked my skin with woolly thorns.
Above my heart
the diamond-shaped badge blazed SJS in gold.
I was a student at Saint John’s School—
a good Catholic girl bound up in dogma
who could recite lengthy answers
from the Baltimore catechism by heart,
who never ate meat on Friday,
who went to Mass every day before school during Lent,
who invented sins when forced to confess my transgressions
to a priest in the bowels of our church,
who dared not disobey the nuns.
Oh, the nuns—dark angels of my innocence,
their foreheads wrapped tightly in white wimples,
their bodies draped in layers of black cloth,
their shaved heads covered with veils
that spread out like ravens’ wings when they strode
down the dark corridors of our school.
These were the good sisters of discipline and doctrine
who did their holy best to crush my spirit,
to haunt my dreams,
to wipe the joy and exuberance from my childhood
with talk of Lucifer and mortal sin and eternal damnation.

It was September 4, 1956,
my first day of fifth grade.
Dressed in crisp cotton and scratchy wool,
a large drawstring bag slung over my shoulder,
I trudged off to school under a scorching sun
with a heavy load—
holy books, a metal lunchbox, bad memories—
and a prayer:
Good Lord Jesus,
help me to survive another year
of this parochial purgatory.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Glenn Beck Revisited

It’s been an especially busy summer for me. I’ve spent the past few days packing, shopping, and preparing food for our third trip to Maine on today. I thought I’d repost a poem about Glenn Beck that appeared at Political Verses several months ago. Beck has been in the news a lot lately. He called President Obama a racist on FOX TV recently—and because of that he’s lost several sponsors of his show. Hallelujah! Sometimes good things DO happen.

GEICO Pulls Its Ads from Glenn Beck Show (Huffington Post, August 11, 2009)

Glenn Beck Calling President Obama a Racist on FOX

Dead Beckoning: A Poem about Glenn Beck
By Elaine Magliaro

He’s nuttier than a fruitcake.
He’s as crazy as a loon.
He’s got bats up in his belfry—
And he howls at the moon.

He’s a little low on neurons
And his brain’s stuck in first gear.
This nincompoop Neanderthal
Takes joy spreading fear.

He cries for love of country…
While pondering its doom
With other “prescient” experts
In his fantasized War Room.

He talks about disasters
That might befall our nation
At some dates in the future.
It’s just right wing titillation.

His ratings keep on soaring
And his TV show’s a hit.
Some folks are fascinated
By the rantings of this twit!

He praises folks like Cheney.
Our President? He knocks.
His comrades at the channel—
Chris and Bill O.—think he rocks.

You can watch Beck blaze on cable.
He’s the bright new star at FOX.

Check this out: Glenn Harried Glenn-Lost from The Colbert Show

You can read my original post about Beck here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Poem That Could Have Been Written by Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh blames health care problems on “exercise freaks” (Political Irony: Humor and Hypocrisy from the World of Politics, June 13, 2009)

Who else but Rushbo would claim that folks who exercise are the people putting stress on our health care system? Check out the following video.

Here's a little poem I began writing last month after I first heard Rushbo spouting off about "exercise freaks" on his radio program.

Bah Humbug Exercise: A Poem That Could Have Been Written by Rush Limbaugh
by Elaine Magliaro

Don’t walk. Don’t run. Don’t exercise.
‘Tis better to have flabby thighs.

Indulge your mammoth appetite.
Take pride in mounds of cellulite.

I love my flabby rotund belly
That shakes just like a bowl of jelly.

Give me pork rinds. Give me meat
Ribbed with fat. That’s what I eat!

Give me French fries, donuts, bacon.
Obama, quit your bellyachin’

About us folks that you call “Fatty.”
Go stuff your face with a ten-pound patty!!!

Addendum: Rush has been slimming down in recent months. Maybe he does believe that being overweight isn’t good for one’s health. Check out this brief article: Rush Limbaugh's Weight Loss - Quick and Confusing (From That’s Fit, July 31, 2009).

Saturday, August 1, 2009

POETWEET: William Shatner Recites Sarah Palin's Tweets as Poetry

Here’s a follow-up to Sarah Palin: A Farewell Speech and Poem, my post last Wednesday at Political Verses that included a link to William Shatner performing an excerpt from Sarah Palin’s farewell speech as poetry on the Conan O’Brien Show. On July 29th, Shatner made a return appearance on the show...and recited some of Sarah Palin’s tweets as poetry. Here’s a link to that segment on the Conan O’Brien Show:

Shatner Reads Palin’s Tweets