The Boulder Poetry Tribe’s 2016 Electionstravaganza

Welcome to The Boulder Poetry Tribe’s 2016 Electionstravaganza!  During this presidential campaign you have seen commercials, polls, opinion articles, cable news panels, yard signs, debates, endorsements, tweets, madmen screaming incoherently on the street and more on who’s the best candidate to govern our nation.  But how much have you heard from the important perspective of all – your local writer/poet?  Fear not, we have you covered.  Here we have compiled viewpoints from the top political minds in our local scene to get to the bottom of what this race really means… 

Ellie Swensson 

make-happener responsible for the Boulder Writer’s Warehouse and many other local poetry enhancing projects

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Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been terrible at table top and card games that hinge on manipulation. You know, the ones that require you to lie a bit or put on your best poker face to outwit your opponent into their own demise. It never made sense to me. Who wants to actively engage in a system that demands you to undercut others in order to feel accomplished?

And now I’m here. Sitting on my front porch with my 2016 ballot, reading up on presidential candidates, senators, commissioners, judges, and constitutional amendments, all the while witnessing the relentless stream of public shame thrown at individuals who are exercising their rights to explore options and vote outside of the bipartisan agenda. I feel the same sick anxiety in the pit of my belly as I did when asked to play those strategy games back in the day.

  • Why is an election a game?
  • Why are we so obsessed with being aligned with the winning side?
  • I thought this was about us electing leaders by supporting platforms and issues we believe are of great importance.
  • I didn’t know I was supposed to give a damn about how other people are voting; that’s their business and their constitutional right.
  • When did this get so complicated?

When I talk about candidates who aren’t Dems or Reps, I am warned against the evils of a “protest vote.” Protest vote? What does that even mean? Honestly. I have never seen a presidential ballot that asked me to vote against someone, to cast a negative. The ballot does not say “Mark the name you do not want to hold office.” Ballots are affirmations; they are how we say who we stand with, not who we stand against. It is our right as citizens to vote for the candidate that we support. It is not our obligation to cave to a language of fear and conformity that tells us there are only two options.

On that note, to the people who say “I wish there was a viable third party candidate…”, please examine how you define the word viable. What makes a candidate viable is their ability to lead, their decisions, their platforms. If you say that only a Dem or Rep are viable, you are openly admitting that money and mainstream media coverage are the determining factors for who should lead us on the national and local levels. LOOK AT YOUR BALLOT. There are over 20 options for President and Vice President, and you can research them all to make the decision that you believe is best for this country.

What I’ve learned this year: sure, you can lead a horse to water, but it seems hard as hell to get them to recognize the abundance of options they have for political representation.

Matt Clifford

punk accountant, citizen concerned with the future of fucking around

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I have felt such a recent paralysis with this national coverage I almost yearn for the days when we just called people sheeple for apathetically accepting what the tv told them. I hope to god it lifts after the election and I can go back to being the opinionated loudmouth I have come to know and adore. But for now, I’m not sure we need another white guy’s shit on the pile as we just need people to vote for some more decent shit. So, here’s rip:

Presidential Electors – Jill Stein Ajamu Baraka

United States Senator – Arn Merconi

Representative of the 115th United States Congress District 1 – Diana Degette

Regent of the University of Colorado At Large – Alice Madden

Regent of the University of Colorado Congressional District 1 – Marcus Palmer

State Senator District 31 – Lois Court

State Representative District 2 – Alec Garnett

District Attorney 2nd Judicial District – Helen Morgan

Regional Transportation District Director District A – Regan Byrd

Colorado judges – retain all say trusted sources left mine blank

Amendment T – Yes

Amendment U – Yes

Amendment 69 – Yes

Amendment 70 – Yes

Amendment 71 – No

Amendment 72 – No

Proposition 106 – Yes

Proposition 107 – Yes

Proposition 108 – Yes

Referred Question 2A – Yes

Referred Question 2B – Yes

Initiated Ordinance 300 – Yes

Ballot Issue 3A – Yes

Ballot Issue 3B – Yes

Ballot Issue 4B – Yes

 

Marcus If

Love Shoveler, Zen Tyrant, Ontological Engineer, Head Master of the Beyond Academia Free Skool

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Thoughts on the 2016 American political situation from an Anarcho-syndicalist:

Bernie never had a chance (sorry, folks, Obama took the only shot), but you gave him yr money. Hillary is a proven corrupt, arrogant, status quo warmonger, but you will give her yr vote. Trump is a full-blown fame blinded megalomaniac, just exactly the evil dictator we need, why do you think the establishment fears him so? Because nobody with money wants the 2nd American Civil War that such a POS POTUS would bring. Irregardless of who wins, the people will still obediently pay the taxes.

Chomsky is endorsing the lesser or two evils as well, and while I respect him as a social NLP programmer, his carefully couched words reveal him as an intellectual white-collar anarchist.

Mr. If believes we are the voluntary slaves of the great god Entertainment, under whose guidance we needn’t Think or more importantly Act. And we are afraid of the armory of the Oligarchy. That makes us, my fellow Americans, lazy & cowardly. The Tyranny of Hope will not save us. The predators smell our weakness, they are coming: war, plague, drought, starvation; NASA says w/in 13 years (see the HANDY model). SoCal & AZ are already gone… The Industrial Age Collapse is In Progress (began 1999 roughly), much like the Bronze Age Collapse or demise of the Roman Empire. Armchair Anarchy is not the answer. Taking TO the streets in protest is not the answer. Taking BACK the streets, re-owning our local territory, is the only solution.

Thus the following program:

1.) Vote Trump for Dictator. (or Green if you can’t stomach it) He will divide the Oligarchy. The far over-valued economy will collapse. Civil War will begin in the military, continue by state successions. People will die. But we will no longer die for Them (after tax), we will die against THEM. This is Courage.

2.) Federal Income Tax Strike. (1968 all over again) De-Fund the Fed. Claim 10 Dependents and do NOT FILE Federal tax forms. Do pay yr properly adjusted State Taxes, that is yr home territory. Fear not the Oligarchy.

3.) Vote Local. Let the politicians in yr State know the times are changing by voting on local issues in record numbers. Write in “Nobody” (thanks Wavy!) for Federal Congressional sellouts. No more corporate tax breaks from town hall. No more private prison quotas. No more militarization of the police. You know the issues, make it happen in yr town. ColoradoCares!

4.) Buy Local. Which means buy less, pay more, barter, but do business with yr neighbor and not with corporations at all. Move yr savings from corporate banks to local credit unions. Encourage local franchises to cut ties and rebrand. Shop at farmers markets instead of supermarkets. Support local endeavors that are community-based &/or community-focused. Do More for Free.

5.) Be Egalitarian. The Oligarchy uses divisive issues with pretty pictures to control the tax-paying endlessly replacing-instead-of-fixing masses. This psychological warfare against their own people is all ontological bullshit. The only thing that matters is fair relations with the person right next to you. You ain’t gotta like ’em, but you damn well better offer respect, Americans. That is Honor.

Thomas Ivory Jr

aka Johnny Opium, aka UrWill Rocks!, aka your best friend, aka your worst enemy

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 Every living being – plant, animal, and human – has the ability to provide all its needs and desires, right now, at this very moment. No government can provide what the people already have. Working together as a diverse and multi-skilled community, all the needs of the people can be met without oversight or overrule. With sustainable practices in mind, compassion and grace for mankind and Earth will follow. If we become reliant on government to provide our needs, we lose the ability to provide our own needs. Vote for yourself first, at every moment. Vote local and pay your State taxes, if you feel inclined. Fuck any federal government. Don’t let them have the power you already possess.

Multiverse Johnson

covered the 2008 Presidential elections in weekly pamphlet form for Baobob Tree Press and The Burnt Toast. His manifestos include Lt Barclay: Hologram Addiction And Its Relation To Stalin, 12 Things I Learned While Watching: The Last Season of 21 Jump Street, and 29 Inches of String

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The 2016 election has exposed the worst of us, like an enormous blacklight pointing out the vicious cum stains on a motel mattress the size of America. (How are we supposed to sleep on this thing?!) The goddamn beast responsible for setting off this flurry of furious ejaculations is a 70 year old reality TV star who’s only ambitions in life have revolved around making enough money to live like a Bond villain, fucking people over, and seeing his own name in print. Trump’s an ignorant egoist with zero history of public service and an elbow that still smells like Billy Bush’s crotch. Trump’s not running for President because he wants to help People. He’s running because the running forces people to pay attention to him. Trump doesn’t help people. Trump helps Trump. Trump’s hobbies include vilifying minorities, treating women like garden gnomes, and trying to get Gary Busey laid. This is a guy who thinks a nuclear triad is a vagina, his penis, and a bucket of caramelized chicken. Still, he’s managed to push the appropriate buttons (politicians suck, white people are being picked on, immigrants are scary, everything’s rigged) to get him where he is today, with a good shot at becoming President. And we can’t let that happen. This prick is dangerous. His campaign has legitimized white hate groups, trivialized sexual assault, and made Fascism in America probable. So how has this election affected me? I’m an emotionally political wreck. I wake up in the middle night screaming Dostoyevsky! I want to build a wall around my futon. I can’t watch Rear Window without weeping into a pillow shaped like a shark. The people on the far right screaming “Hillary’s worse!” break my heart and the people on the far left pouting because the world isn’t exactly how they want it and if it can’t be exactly how they want it they’re going to vote third party because “There’s no difference in any of them so let’s just burn the whole thing down” just piss me off. Ok, the system’s rigged and everyone involved is a fucking asshole but the asshole we put in charge this year matters. There are court seats at stake here. If Trump wins you can wave women’s rights goodbye. And while you’re waving say so long to gay marriage and damn near every other recently won civil right that the Bernie or Bust dickheads or armchair anarchists have been taking for granted. She’s a long way from perfect, but suck it up damn it. A vote for anyone other than Hillary right now is a vote for Trump. Which means if you’re planning to cast a protest vote this year, well have fun feeling superior. You’re so clever. Are you feeling enlightened? Fuck that. You’re not enlightened. You’re an asshole.

 

Kona Morris 

received her moral guidance from Kermit the Frog.  She is
from the foggy redwood hub of Humboldt County, California, and she has
since lived everywhere from Boston to a remote village in northern
Alaska.  Kona was Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Fast Forward
Press, as well as the Founder and Writer of the atheist company
Godless Comics.  Kona teaches letter regurgitation to college students
in Denver, and she will be hosting the next F-Bomb reading at the
Mercury Café in Denver at 7:00pm on November 15th.

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Quite fitting that in the very same year a sweet-browed old man, who everyone wanted to call Grandpa Bernie, shook us awake with the sound of unparalleled political honesty, that we should instead find ourselves in a nightmarish reality so perverted with greed and corruption that all we can do is try to go back to bed.

The voice of truth we were waiting for was silenced in between the mayonnaised slices of a bleeding turd sandwich, and we are now back to the dimension in which the term “politician” is synonymous with “rich phony fuck,” and there is not a goddamn thing we can do about it.

But it’s alternate reality 1985 and we need to save Jennifer. Because she is still passed out, lain atop a dangerously unstable porch swing, co-staring in a movie for which she’s unconscious. That bright-eyed, feathered-haired, constitutional ideal of rational thought and empirical democracy, which will surely disintegrate all together if we don’t make it back before Doc’s sleep-inducing alpha rhythm generator wears off.

We’re desperate to protect her, because we’re Marty, dazed awake and running down the street in our tiny white tennis shoes, passed toxic dump sites and slurring homeless men telling us to watch where we’re going. Because this is Hell Valley, with our very own Biff Tannen Drumpf about to turn the nation’s capital into the penthouse floor of the Pleasure Paradise Casino.

And we can do this the easy way or the hard way.

That’s it. Two choices. Either get beat to a brain damaging pulp, or just swiftly hit over the head with such corporate force that we fall back into our unthinking slumber.

But what if I want to piss them off? Frisbee throw a gold matchbook plate at their head. “Yeah well, Biff, you’re forgetting one thing—what the hell is that?!”

Because I can’t play that two choice game any longer. Not after what I saw. Not after following Pappy Berns all the way into the lion’s den and witnessing the nauseating DNC corruption firsthand. I’m sorry. Really. Because I do understand the fear. Especially about the Supreme Court. And I most likely would feel very different right now if I hadn’t stood on the convention floor myself, and perceived through my own senses the faux liberal cockless mindsore of a commercial that they force-fed us through a tube of mainstreaming media, whilst simultaneously neither apologizing, nor even acknowledging, the detrimental wrong paid to us. And the fact that they are a spoiled, candy drunk asshole child with pointy blonde pigtails and sticky cheeks, who pushes anyone down in her way and steps on their heads in order to grab the tiara and climb atop her princess throne. An unchecked monster child who gets to cheat and win; hurt others and not apologize. And if Drumpf wins, it will be no one’s fault but the shit smearing corruption that is the DNC oligarchy.

Yet even as I say this, with all of my conviction, a dark shadow tries to creep across the Twin Pines parking lot of my mind. A blue streak of grenade-launching horror in the shape of a Volkswagen bus. The nightmare within a nightmare that, somehow, and against the very laws of probability, Drumpf wins the state of Colorado by a single vote. And in a further bout of utter improbability, that solely because of Colorado, he hits the 270 electors mark. And then it really is all my fault. Mine. With all the power to stop this human herpes virus from transmitting onto the genitals of the free world. How could I live with that knowledge? With the guilt of all those horse eating threats coming true. Millions of innocent people deported, overturning Roe v. Wade, xenophobia and racism and a country ran by the imbecilic spawn of Buford Mad Dog Tannen. Even pondering such a thought takes a profound toll on me. That is, until, a bigger and much smarter part of my brain, the one that upholds Elisabeth Shue shaped logic and empiricism above all else, and cannot ethically and with sound integrity make choices based on fear, calms me down with gentle rationality, and whispers how very, very, impossibly unlikely that would be. Of course, he may in fact win Colorado, and that alone might tip him over, but the chances of it being by one vote is about the same as winning the lottery. Nil. So then I think about all others struggling with the same decision I am, and if only we had all just picked the side of fear together, then he could have been stopped. But I have absolutely no control over any of their choices and therefore cannot vote like I do.

As I have mentioned to various reporters following up on my DNC protests to find out how I’ll be casting my vote in less than 24 hours now, the only contribution to the Drumpf fear campaign that I am capable of bringing myself to make, is to keep my vote silent, and not try to talk other people into joining me, because, in fact, I don’t really want them to. I am just personally and physically unable to withstand the trauma of getting hit on the head again. I have to stay awake this time, to see the 1985 nightmare Hell Valley timeline for what it is, because maybe, just maybe, when I jump off the building, I’ll land on a flying DeLorean.

All Hail Wikileaks, Edward Snowden, and those brave enough to fight in the revolution.

And may justice finally sound for the protectors at Standing Rock.

 

Jonathan Montgomery

MeToo Poet, professor, main visioneer of Boulder Poetry Tribe

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The point of the MeToo Poet is to understand how despite your differences you’re actually really the same as everyone else.  Even the ones who seem nothing like you.  Even the ones who do bad things.  Cuz people who MeToo don’t go to War, and War is the worst thing that can possibly happen.

The MeToo Poet must beware of Presidential Elections.  In a Presidential Election you must choose who will lead the government of America, and it seems very important.  You don’t want the wrong person to be President cuz they may mess up your life somehow.  You remember all those other historical times, those other countries that led to shit like loved ones disappearing in the middle of the night, innocents getting locked up for no reason, and everyone losing their jobs all at once.  You remember all those WORLD Wars.  It’s easy to get lured in to picking one of the candidates as better and doing whatever it takes to get them elected.  You may start looking at the other candidate and their supporters and think how can they possibly believe this is the best way to lead the government of America, that will never work, they must be stupid or something.  You may even feel a strong urge to believe they must be the complete opposite of everything you are.

The MeToo Poet may be especially afraid of MeNotzie candidates.  The ones who are always telling everyone who they’re not like.  After all that’s the way the Great MeNotzie Army started one of those World Wars.  In this year’s election especially you might go, hey this one candidate is saying they’re not at all like Mexicans, Muslims, African Americans, women, the disabled, journalists, public servants, climate scientists, and people who don’t plagiarize speeches.  I’ve never heard so many people get MeNotted in one election before.  Actually come to think about it this candidate MeNots everyone but themselves.  But if you say “this fucking MeNotzie is not like me at all!” like you really want to, that will only make you a MeNotzie yourself.

This is when the MeToo Poet must dig deep and search inside of themselves and realize right now we’re all just sharing one of the Great MeToos – I’m afraid.  Even that one candidate.  We may not agree with how it will happen, but none of us want to lose our prosperity, our safety, our rights or our freedom.  And we may even do bad things to make sure this happens.  But we do our best not to.

So each candidate and their supporters in the end ARE you, just like everyone else in the world.  And we are doomed unless we see this.  Therefore on Tuesday November 8th, there is only one choice for the MeToo Poet, you must vote ALL CANDIDATES as your next President…

 

 

 

                        

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