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Contract With America

Round up the usual aches and pains,
Every ephemeral slight and snarl,
The Gaza eye and the ear from Arles,
And come with me if your lordship deigns:
It's time to head for the Great Corral.
You say you WON'T? Well by God, you SHALL!
So wave goodbye to your last remains,

The final beat of the sodden bag
That pumped your blood to the musty sponge
That spread the word to engorge the plunge
That stretched the flesh of the crafty hag
Who consummated your furtive licks
To bear the blend of a timely mix
And help herself to a share of swag.

And wave good-bye to the term you served
To earn the pittance that bought the swill
Of latent harvest and pending kill
That puffed your gut, while your spine was curved,
Your tongue was clamped, and your nose was blocked.
At least you stayed when you might have walked,
Though no one cared or even observed,

Or ever inquired why you knelt,
Or wondered how could a man accept
The brunt of promises never kept,
In solitude, where so many dwelt.
Round up the usual pains and aches,
The truth is out and they're mainly fakes,
So come with me to the deal I dealt.

 

©2001 Lewis Bruser

Notes:
In the 1994 United States elections the Republicans won both Houses of Congress, with a large number of newcomers running on Newt Gingrich's "Contract With America." The Democrats called it "mean-spirited," but much of it was soon passed. President Clinton got on board and proclaimed that "the era of big government is over," and with his approval Congress ended "welfare as we know it."

The opening line was inspired by the famous line from the movie Casablanca, "Round up the usual suspects." It just popped into my head one night lying in bed after hurting my left shoulder.

"The Gaza eye and the ear from Arles": Gaza is where Samson was blinded. Arles (silent "s") is where Van Gogh cut off his own ear. It's a metaphor for not being seen or heard—in other words, for being ignored. Sodden bag = heart; musty sponge = brain.

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