Poetry

Marketing, poetry, and a righteous Virgo

sculptureWhen it comes to music, over the years I’ve traditionally gravitated towards female artists. Not sure what it is. Of course there are the exceptions – I’m always up for a playlist of Iron and Wine, Depeche Mode, or Silversun Pickups – but for the most part women vocalists seem to resonate with me in a way I can’t quite explain.

Apparently, I like women writers, too.

There’s a site I try and visit a few times a week, especially on Thursday, under the handle of Communicatrix. The author of this blog is a lovely writer named Colleen Wainwright, and I very much encourage you to check her out if you get a few minutes. 

Okay, check her outmight be inappropriate, but you should at the very least read her blog. Seriously.

In addition to serving up thoughtful, funny, and relevant posts, she’s also a complete freakin’ joy to read. No kidding. Side note – jumping around her site this morning I stumbled across something (an older post that’s absolutely, serendipitously, perfect for a situation that’s going on right now in my life) that I imaigine I’ll be writing about soon. But that’s for later.

For now, know this: every Thursday she posts a poem. The topics vary, but the writing is ALWAYS well worth you time. Last week’s poem dealt with Marketing (what pays my bills) and one verse had me nodding my head and smiling. And even though we markters aren’t always successfull at this, her message was right on point.

Marketing
is the truth of you,
translated
into the language of them:
in the room
on the page
over the air.

You see, it’s when the truth shifts to messages or ads filled with what we marketers think you want the truth to be that we find ourselves in trouble. And it happens all too often.

Photo by Peter Rivera

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Tumbleweeds rolling through the office

tumbleweedAs much as loud conversations next to my cube drive me nuts when I’m writing, I’m finding the silence of an almost empty office more than a tad unnerving. Not sure what it is – you’d think the quiet would be conducive to serious focus and pumping out some good work but I’m having a difficult time concentrating. There are quiet, distant conversations here and there, but it almost feels like we’re at a wake. Given the layoffs a couple of weeks ago, maybe that’s not too far off.

Maybe it’s such a beautiful day outside. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m off the rest of the week and I’m only a few hours from a kick-ass 5 day weekend. Hell, maybe it’s the fact I just can’t seem to get into what I’m writing right now. Try coming up with engaging, creative copy for an Application Programming Interface and see just how well your juices flow. Ug.

A great lady that used to work here had a process that was both very weird and very cool – she wrote a Haiku every day. Seriously. Each day she began by sitting down and putting together three lines about whatever was on her mind. Since James Clavell’s Shogun has been in my Top Ten books list since I first read it in High School and those tiny, perfect, and precise poems have always had a warm place in my heart, it’s no surprise Val’s daily ritual has always been something I’m fond of. 

So, as a quiet shout-out to Val, and a nod to the work I’m supposed to be doing, I give you an A.P.I. Haiku.  

Freedom from structure
Limitless and infinite
Developer’s bliss

photo by Aperte

When it comes to subpoenas, it’s good to be a Republican

Most week days, my drive home generally consists of grumbling at traffic, sipping on a diet coke, and listening to NPR. And aside from the traffic, it’ usually pretty nice. Last night, however, I pulled into my driveway shaking my head and gripping the steering wheel.

It seems Governor Palin’s husband, Todd, is refusing to comply with a subpoena from the Alaska State Senate. By now most of us have at least heard of the case in question, that being what part, if any, the Governor has played in trying to get Trooper Wooten fired.

What kind of trooper Wooten is, whether or not he deserves to be fired, or what, if any, role Governor Palin has in the controversy is well beyond the scope of this post. What I can’t wrap my mind around, what left me clinching my teeth, is how the McCain/Palin camp can get away with this refusal at all. I’m not going to try and recreate the wheel on this – there’s a great article covering the details you can find here.

I have yet to hear any questions from the McCain camp about the legality of the investigation or the legality of the actual subpoenas. That doesn’t seem to be the issue. What I have heard is that they don’t like who’s asking the questions

The Bush Administration has provided a great precedent over the last eight years. If you don’t want to comply with a subpoena, don’t. What’s America going to do about it? Apparently, not much. Thanks to our president and his staff, watching government officials refuse subpoenas has become commonplace. We just nod our heads and shrug.

I’m reminded of the last stanza of a poem by T. S. Elliot:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

 photo by keithburtis

Viagra, Birth Control and Rabindranath Tagore

Not long ago Senator John McCain fumbled a bit when responding to a reporter’s question concerning health care, meds, and funding. Basically, she asked what the Senator thought about Viagra being covered by health insurance when birth control wasn’t. After a pretty lengthy pause, you might say a pregnant pause, he basically said he would have to investigate the subject a bit because he didn’t know the facts.

Balls.

I’ve no interest in hovering above my little electronic soapbox and ranting this way and that, but I’m losing my mind this year listening to politicians. At what point does the insanity stop? Since I began this post about a week and half ago (apologies for the delay) it’s been an endless supply of things that make my head hurt.

How difficult would it have been for Senator McCain to simply say that for Viagra to be covered by health insurance while birth control isn’t doesn’t make any sense? If he was feeling semi-witty he could have said that it was nuts. I suppose when you’re afraid of alienating the religious right, a group that has already made it clear they’re not overly jazzed about the Republican nominee, it’s more difficult than you might think.

I was listening to NPR on the way home a few days ago and another reporter was covering voters in New Mexico, a state some say could become relatively important in the upcoming election. Interviewed were Democrats who said they would refuse to vote this year because Senator Clinton wasn’t the nominee and Republicans who would probably vote but didn’t like or respect Senator McCain because he had the gall to work and make compromises with Democrats.  

How is this happening? How and when did we simply wave goodbye to rationality?

Where The Mind is Without Fear 
by Rabindranath Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.