Monday, January 23, 2012

Your First Election

At the back of DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE there are a dozen questions to inspire readers to talk, argue, be silly, and write. I'll invite you to answer questions from that section by posting a comment here, OK? (These questions weren't in the "collector's edition e-book" but they're now in the revised e-book and will be in the paperback version that is coming out on Presidents' Day. But don't worry...I'll post all the discussion questions here.)


What is the first election you remember?

And WHAT do you remember about it?

Was it an election where you were a volunteer? An election you heard a lot about from your parents? A school election for student government or an election of a team captain?

Please tell!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Declaration of Interdependence Blog

Two weeks ago DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE: Poems for an Election Year came out, and I felt so clever because it contained a poem called "The 2012 Iowa Caucus" that mentioned Romney's win--by 8 votes. Friends asked, "How did you write that so fast?" 

As it turns out, I wrote that poem TOO fast. A few days ago the Iowa result was declared a "split decision" with Santorum 34 votes ahead (but no "winner" because the ballots from 8 precincts had been destroyed before the recount). Then, the next night, probably as a result of significant pressure from Santorum supporters, the Iowa GOP announced that Santorum indeed was the "winner" by 34 votes.

Here is my revision of that poem:

The 2012 Iowa Caucus

Adam from Adams was running late.
Black Hawk Betty had a date.
Cole from Carroll got stuck at work.
Decatur Dave’s dog went berserk.
Deb from Dubuque had a meal to prepare.
Linn’s Linn decided to help with a prayer.
Muscatine Mike said: “I’m just one.”
Sioux City’s Sue: “Losing’s no fun.”

Eight for Santorum stayed home Caucus Night.
And Romney won—by 8, all right. *

*Until someone saw the numbers and said,
“I know those numbers aren’t what I read
on the piece of paper we handed in.
Santorum had more. Um . . . let’s count again.”
Though ballots had been destroyed, long gone,
a partial recount was done. And Strawn,
the GOP boss, said the loss by 8
was a win by 34—no, wait—
not really a win: a “split decision,” a tie.
Santorum supporters questioned why
and the next night Strawn “clarified”;
poor Mitt Romney must have cried.

Oh, and: Adam from Adams (who ran late)
has quite a story. His long-distance mate
was blogging about voting for Stephen Colbert.
“You couldn’t,” he said. “His name wasn’t there!”
Adam’s wife said, “There was nobody finah
for Prez of the U.S. of South Carolina.”
Indeed she did vote for Colbert (or Cain)
and it wasn’t entirely a vote cast in vain:
for Stephen (as Herman) won 1 percent,
a tiny but audible vote of dissent.
Adam from Adams said, “This takes the cake—
when the best choice you have is only a fake.”