“It’s True” by Federico García Lorca

1920s mens fedora

Ay, the pain it costs me
to love you as I love you!

For love of you, the air, it hurts,
and my heart,
and my hat, they hurt me.

Who would buy it from me,
this ribbon I am holding,
and this sadness of cotton,
white, for making handkerchiefs with?

Ay, the pain it costs me
to love you as I love you!

Image credit

Bird

As when we awaken startled from a long, dank sleep

and realize that what we thought was love

was not love was not even the hollow kindness we show

a neighbor five doors down when we say “so sorry for your loss”

and think we can leave it at that was not even

a “there, there” we offer a friend of a friend whose husband

took up with a slinky redhead was not even the feigned

pity we show towards a second cousin once removed

who tells a cousin on our mother’s side about her stepbrother

who fell down two flights of stairs, broke his neck, and left behind

an ample wife was never even like

the small gasp that leaves our lips when through a car window

we see a blur of black bird with an injured wing

hop helpless in the gravel.

Image credit

 

That “demoralizing daily obsession”

Depending upon which moment of which day you catch me, I am either elated at the prospect that Mr. Trump and his goons will soon go down in flames or I am hangdog about the fact that we are stuck with him (and them) for at least another 1332 days, 11 hours, 10 minutes, and 38 seconds (but who’s counting?).

This morning, I experienced that emotional roller coaster ride within a 15-minute span when first I read Chris Riotta’s encouraging Newsweek piece titled

“Experts Upgrade Donald Trump’s Impeachment Odds As Russian Investigation Looms”

and next I read Andrew O’Hehir’s mega bummer of an article from Salon, which was preceded by this cold-water-in-the-face title:

“Wake Up, Liberals: There Will be No 2018 ‘Blue Wave,’ No Democratic Majority and No Impeachment”

Both articles appeared in one of Alternet’s digest of top stories, which I daily receive in an email. Today, though, while trying to understand how these antithetical pronouncements could simultaneously be true, I thought about what The New Yorker’s David Remnick wrote in his brilliant article “A Hundred Days of Trump“:

His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite.

My obsession with the state of affairs in our diminished and diminishing democracy is indeed “demoralizing,” not only because I cannot make sense of a nation shot through with a spreading stain of violent, me-first thuggery but also because those who are paid to try and make sense of it are banging around in the pitch dark, too.