Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A New New Jerusalem- with sincere apologies to William Blake

And did those hands in ancient times
Build domestic cars and bikes and toys?
Did ancient Magi give baby Jesu rhymes,
Assuring at his manger's side employ? 

And did the countenance divine,
Shine forth in a new dawn's glow,
To promise Cleveland industry
And poverty to Mexico?

Bring to me my forge of burning steel!
Bring to me rhetoric of exploitation!
Amend NAFTA and GATT! O fiery zeal!
Bring to me a chariot made in this nation!

I shall not cease disingenuity,
Nor confess effort as an option,
Until Jerusalem's built on the shores of Erie
And hiring becomes adoption!

UNEMPLOYMENT, n.  A temporary condition of eternal interest to the everlasting demagogue.

20 comments:

Jim said...

Hi Doug -- Seems everyone wants to be # Uno, guess that's me this morning if I hurry. Andale, Andale pues!
..

Jim said...

UNEMPLOYMENT: A terrible condition that has fallen upon several of my friends.

OCCUPATION: Unoccupied at the moment, I like that much better. (It fits me too!)
..

mireille said...

hmmm. hard to decipher, just like Blake. You don't believe in the Second Coming? xoxo

Omnipotent Poobah said...

unemployment - The state of having enough time to actually get something done.

weirsdo said...

Attached though I am to the rust belt where I was born, I am having trouble imagining it as the Holy Land.

Jamie Dawn said...

Unemployed: no trabajo

TLP said...

Unemployment: Bad if you need or want to work.

Nice if they put money in your checking account just so that you will stay away from the office forevermore.

Good work today Doug.

Jamie Dawn said...

I'm ticked off because I wrote a long, wonderful comment which did not go through over at The Prattler. I should have copied it before I submitted it.
Oh well, it was quite riveting.

quilly said...

UN prefix not

EMPLOY v. use

MENT suffix intent

Unemployment means that the person so labeled is not being used.

Minka said...

*slaps own forehead*
of course, the Prattler has started again. Better make me way over there and check if I have missed anything of importance.

Blake is tough, you are cryptic...if you start writing Shakespearean English you'll swoosh right over my head!

unemployment,n. the pursuit of happiness, the freedom of idleness and an excuse to grow excess body hair!

ariel said...

That was funny, Doug! I can already hear the crowd calling your name.

If you poets mean the crazy and wild Jerusalem of today, we are actually building it. Did Blake know it? (It is the Monty Python's fault that I start grinning every time I read that poem.)

Doug said...

Jim, you made it. Unoccupation is a blessing. I suppose unemployment less so.

Mireille, I do actually but things fall apart.

Poobah, or see a dentist. Ow.

Weirsdo, I was born there, too. Seemed holy enough.

Si, Jamie Dawna.

Thanks, TLP. And cheers on your good fortune.

Jamie Dawn, I don't doubt it and it was a loss for us all and American Letters. Seriously, I love it when you comment on Prattler and am very sorry to hear.

Quilly, why would you label someone and not use them?

Not so tough, Minka. Blake's Jerusalem was spiritual nationalism and my country in this time is being visited with a plague of economic nationalism aka populism. Since I can't get close enough to choke the worst transgressors I sicced two schizophrenics on 'em.

Ariel, Monty Python did a Jerusalem skit? That must have been funny. I can imagine Eric Idle in a chariot of fire.

actonbell said...

(I like Quilly's!)
Great poem, Doug.
Unemployment: the land of mixed feelings.

Jamie Dawn said...

I'll probably go back and try to rewrite my Prattler comment, but it is difficult to be inspired twice.

I'm glad you got a chuckle out of Dumb & Dumber's quotes. The funny thing is that those are not made up. Those kids are great friends of Tay's and they are good kids. They just happen to be stupid.
They will probably have UNEMPLOYMENT in their futures.

the well-red amoeba said...

UNEMPLOYMENT, n. The burrows of the mice that are destroying the foundations of the castle of Empire. See CANNON FODDER.

No iron rice bowls for you, eh, Doug?

mireille said...

Yeah. I knew that was Yeats. And yours was Blake. But remember, I am Mireille Malaprop. xoxo

Anonymous said...

i am last, i am last, thank god almight, i have not passed.

great bit of prose, especially for a dog.

unemployment: what gw will get coming on jan 20, 2009.

wwwooooohooooo!

meow

Doug said...

Actonbell, short-term, definitely. I recall the feelings clarifying over time.

Jamie Dawn, not only might that be their career path, they should go far.

Amoeba, I don't really have a problem with iron rice bowls for the civil servant or the odd professor. But we can't all have them.

Mireille, I thought it was on purpose.

Kitten, thank you. I always knew there'd be a time I'd learn to bark in metered rhyme.

david mcmahon said...

G'day Doug
I shall not shrug

Jamie told me `visit this guy'
Having been, I now know why

Greetings all the way from Australia
Do ensure that words never fail yer.

Doug said...

David, then Jamie Dawn deserves my thanks
For finding a friend to call us septic tanks.

Welcome.