Though I would like to imagine my election last night to the post of Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere is due to my incredible blogging skills, I certainly must acknowledge that if one considers the other nominees (as well as many who weren’t on the list), it becomes clear that my election was, at least in part, a popularity contest, as Billy, the Blogging Poet and election founder himself notes in his congratulatory remarks here. There are blogs out there that provide so much more poetry-worthy information and enthusiasm that, well, just check out the blog roll to your right and find that I am far from alone or superior in my promotion of poetry and poetics. Obviously, the election of this position has not been widely spread, since just 872 people voted in total. That said, I vow to send word out and promote the next election, as well as think aloud about the possible responsibilities the title might hold in light of the incredible activities that have and continue to take place at the hands of the former laureates, Jilly Dybka and Ron Silliman.
But now that I have achieved virtual immortality, or mortal virtuality, my first act as laureate is to declare power, as we know it, bankrupt. I realize I am among the choir, but I find it important, especially now, to point a finger at the war the U.S. began, and maintains at extreme cost, on false pretenses and without the support of the countries seated at the United Nations’ table, since we are nearing a voting period. The “Policeman” of the world has ridden its course, and we have to start an articulate buzz about the demise of this kind of brute, money-motivated power – among ourselves — so that we can begin re-building our international diplomacy skills, and most vitality, engage the next generation of U.S. citizens in the process.
I listen to NPR some mornings and report war details, including death tolls, to my students now and then. Once in awhile, a handful will get flustered and demand to know why “we didn’t know these details before,” especially in relation to the genesis of the war. These outbursts are common enough that I think, If just a few more adults were talking to young adults about the specificities and the perils the war will provide for their futures, maybe these Millennials won’t be so easily media-duped once they truly become the voting majority.
An indicator of such change has appeared in the form of one Governor Spitzer, coincidentally, today. Generation Y (or the Millennials) are known for their socially-conscious interests, which bodes well for Spitzer’s proposed legislation in the last 24 hours, which includes civil marriage equality, election law reforms, and a fundamental right to privacy for women. Spitzer is following through with his campaign promises, “because it’s a statement of principle that I believe in, and I want to begin that dynamic.”
In one fell swoop, Spitzer has shown why the last guy lost his state seat (and receives my cheers in the process). He is doing what any good politician in this stage of the game should do: he has noticed this very large young generation of up and comings, along with their sympathetic parents who are persuaded by their “live and let live” attitudes, and has begun cultivating a socially-conscious history devoted to egalitarian principles that may one day win him a presidency. The old conservatives of stalwart religiosity will fall away if they carry on with their proclamations; this generation is not swayed by threats of hell, impositions on their beliefs, and demands that they behave according to a higher authority.
Related to the above news but on a personal note and in line with the smorgasbord title, I would now like to call attention to some hypocrisy related to myself, though I fear me and my colleagues here at NCC are not alone in the campaign against it. In a world where such conservative companies as Morgan Stanley, Wal Mart, American Express, Motorola, etc. provide domestic partnership benefits to their employees, how can I acknowledge that in the supposed bastion of liberalism, academia, I do not benefit from the same basic allowances provided to my married co-workers? Acknowledge and publicly protest I must, especially since I haven’t been as active as I’d like in the efforts so many on my campus are in engaged in, demanding civil rights for all – thanks especially to Elizabeth Wood for maintaining this blog about Nassau Community College’s battle for those rights!
Last but not least, I must adamantly thank Robin Reagler for nominating me, the other bloggers whose good company I enjoy, and those of you who voted for this poet. I hope to live up to the title, or at least, find a way to fill the shoes with each of you now and then!
p.s. Post on a poet coming soon …
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Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and is co-editing with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edited the anthology Bettering American Poetry 2015 and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.