“Rebellion – I’ll Tell Them Where I Live”

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Rebellion – I Will Tell Them Where I Live


I will turn off
the TV.
I will not pretend
that horse-race political
prognostications pontificated
by pom-pommed
hair reflect a meaningful analysis
of anything but Nielson ratings.


I will not shrug, saying all
are the same

I will take the time to read
newspapers, even books,

not accepting “lies
for dummies,”
not even settling for “facts”
for dummies, but
acknowledging that
the world is complex no matter
how much
I’d like it to be simple.


I will write letters
to congresspeople, even heads
of state, not
to give my return address.


I will always bear in mind
family members waiting
to be deployed.
I will understand
that persons in other countries also
have families, people
whom they love.


I will not allow the clout
of those spending millions
to quell my two-cent throat,
decide my invaluable vote, and–

I will vote.

I urge you
to do the same.


I am posting the above for dVerse Poets Pub Poetics Prompt about “Rebellion” hosted by the wonderful Stu Macpherson. 

I have been disheartened in this campaign by the dishonesty of political discourse.  While it is true that both sides have stretched the truth, the Republicans seem, so far, to be winning in the “pants on fire” race.  As Sally Kohn, a contributor to Fox News – note FOX NEWS – said of Ryan’s convention speech:

“Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.”

Check out dVerse and also my books!  Poetry, GOING ON SOMEWHERE, (by Karin Gustafson, illustrated by Diana Barco). 1 Mississippi -counting book for lovers of rivers, light and pachyderms, or Nose Dive, a very fun novel that is perfect for a pool or beachside escape. Nose Dive is available on Kindle for just 99 cents!

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33 Comments on ““Rebellion – I’ll Tell Them Where I Live””

  1. Claudia Says:

    we need people that don’t give up… i know so many that are just disheartened and think they can’t change anything anyway…it’s a lot of work…silent work like taking the time to read through the background material.. i think this is very responsible k. and in this rebellious and revolutionary…really like it…esp touched by..
    acknowledging that
    the world is complex no matter
    how much
    I’d like it to be simple….

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much, Claudia – I almost cut that because I’m always trying to make things shorter, but I do think it’s part of the problem that people (including myself) have. k.

  2. Mary Says:

    Strong message here! We all need to be informed voters and vote. I will be so glad when the election is over, and the campaigning has hardly begun.

  3. Mama Zen Says:

    This needed to be said. I’m with you!

  4. Tony Says:

    I’m so glad we don’t suffer presidential elections here. Our politicians are bad enough without having “head of state” as a political office.

    It’s hard to stay informed when all you are fed are lies and the analysis of lies, but good for you for being determined to try.

  5. brian miller Says:

    this is what we need…informed people making informed decisions and affecting change…i think our two party system is outdated honestly and confused….we need some fresh perspective but that will never be put in front of us by those in control…i take it you heard about the motion at the RNC on replacing delegates…ugh….

  6. zongrik Says:

    but the politicians ARE all the same. until they stop being professional politicians, and just do it for the community, and then move back to their lives when their terms are done, the way the founding fathers intended it to be, they will be ruled by their lobbyists and the big businesses etc.

    dear brother

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      No, I disagree with that. They do have substantively different policies and stances, particularly with regard to foreign policy. I think, frankly, that for many to say that they are the same is a bit of a cop-out to avoid paying attention.

      Also, I hate to say it but I think that in many communities local politics is more corrupt than federal because smaller amounts of money have much more clout at the local level. Also there tends to be less scrutiny of local politics. So to pretend that county and state politics is less corrupt is unfortunately probably not true. Sounds good but just doesn’t seem to accord with facts.

      Additionally, here at least, one party has definitely been far more in favor of the Citizens United case which has allowed for way big money to come into the picture. K.

  7. poemsofhateandhope Says:

    LOVE it…totally sums up the frustration of existing within a political horse race…its either ignore…or get involved in all its complexities…and the latter is difficult….you know…ive been drawn into the US election campaign more than ever…ive had to unfriend a few people (not that that REALLY matters) because ive seen some absolutely disgusting (too me anyway) trains of thought…..for example- a staunch republican (male) talking about how women have NO right to decide the fates of a unborn foetus because it IS NT PART OF THEIR OWN BODY….and when i said to this individual that this saddened me…he simply said…well it saddens me BECAUSE ITS THE GOD SCREAMING TRUTH. Unbelievable

    and what’s my point? (ha ha)

    we need people who DON’T give up…against hatred, bigotry, negativity….and our poem spoke to me about this completely…fantastic

  8. I love these lines as stand-alones … just really great advice-for-life:

    “I will turn off” (Shut everything out from time to time; detach to go inward.)

    “I will not shrug, saying all” (Nonverbals give away so much information; also, it may appear ignorant … Use words to express yourself properly. And never “say all.” Don’t talk too much, and don’t lay all of your cards on the table.)

    “I will take the time to read” (A neglected necessity.)

    “not accepting lies” (Seek out the truth. Also the reverse: lies are not accepting. They throw stones and accuse.)

    “of state, not” (Do not be in a constant state of talking. Listen and take in information more than you share it.)

    I will always bear in mind (Do not neglect the growth of your own mind.)

    All of the above would likely improve an individual, as well as the political and social climate.

  9. I like this – the idea of rebelling against apathy, the modern disease of doing nothing. I like the defiance of not accepting the status quo.

  10. All politicians, no matter which side of the fence they are on …lie. They tell the voters what they think they want to hear, anything they can do to get voted in, and then, they can totally go against whatever they pledged. It’s always been the same. They may start off honest and with good intentions but in the end, it’s all about ego and power.
    Very well said!

  11. I like the structured parts of your poem K ~ very relevant and timely.

    I am rather blaze about politics and government…have seen many promises going down the drain, including a revolution that eventually turned out, not to one…but just another government ~

    Have a happy weekend ~

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Yes, I do understand a certain disappointment. Personally, I feel like Obama probably wouldn’t have been elected in the absence of the complete economic meltdown – which then made governing very difficult as so much attention had to be spent simply in keeping the financial system afloat. Then, came the filibustering congress that would not pass (or even allow a vote on) most legislation. A President is not an unilateral agent. But this is my view. k.

  12. Laurie Kolp Says:

    I just hate politics and as a rule never discuss it, but you are so right… it’s getting worse every election.

  13. Ian Moone Says:

    really liking your take your political systems are so different than over here in the UK I just don’t know where to start to understand it

  14. David King Says:

    This is really great. I said an Amen to each, but the first and the last were most rivetting for me.

  15. kaykuala Says:

    November is fast approaching! What happens there will affect the rest of us here. Unfortunately we can only observe and wonder what it’s going to be! Fine thoughts K!


  16. Living internationally has enabled me to see the US system more objectively and spoken of by more reasoned voices (for example, BBC). It takes longer and it costs effort but there’s no substitute for reading widely, researching and thinking things out, as you point out so very well here!

  17. hedgewitch Says:

    Well said, K. The responsibility can’t be shrugged off by pointing fingers and pretending there’s nothing you can do–there *is* something everyone can do, and that’s as Tim Leary said in a rather different context, TUNE IN. Pay attention, and forget that dropping out part–it doesn’t keep the blood off your hands or the average person headed toward a better life. That takes commitment, the kind other generations had to an ideal and some died for, to make change happen starting at home. And the easiest way to do that is to be informed, to speak out, and also to speak with your vote. I live in the reddest of red states–the Tea Party controls it, and my vote will be cancelled out by ten or more for the other party, but I will vote nonetheless. And contribute to candidates that can make a difference, doing what I can. It ain’t much, but I sleep better doing it, anyway. Great poem about the real revolution we need to have, Karin.

  18. janehewey Says:

    to quell my two-cent throat Awesomely powerful line. This poem is a great example of your brilliant analytical mind, Karin. -spoken with message and heart. Damn I love poetry! !

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha! Well, I’m not sure about the parts of your message referring to my brilliant analytical mind – my boss would probably laugh to hear that! But I also do love poetry. k.

  19. hobgoblin2011 Says:

    nice response. Definitely rebel in here. The act of writing letters alone, in this day and age, is completely rebellious, in fact, I bet there are many and many individuals who would stare gapingly if the idea of hand writing a letter were mentioned to them. Pretty sad actually. Great read, I can’t believe anything a politician says, its all propaganda, so I could care less about one guy getting caught, because I imagine there are countless lies either not caught yet, or unable to be disproved at this point as well, again, my take is they all lie and are mainly in it for their own ego, their own legacy etc….when they should be in it for creating policies with people in mind. I look at what issues are supported and then, unfortunately it has to be like this, vote for the one that addresses more of those issues important to me. I firmly support a political system that will never see the light of day. One where there are no parties, just issues, where every individual can vote on each issue, and where each persons vote will count as much as the next person, not relying on an elected official, hoping they vote in the way you want, hoping they live up to promises etc…

    went a bit longer than intended again…great write.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      No apologies necessary – thanks for your long response. I’m not sure that I agree with the government by referendum as I worry that sometimes people would have to vote against their short-term best interest, which might make it hard to get a majority, particularly if people did not keep well informed – it worries me, for example, that so many people in the U.S. seem not to believe in evolution! Or to care much about science. Which is admittedly very complicated. I don’t much about it either but my dad was a research chemist so I have a certain respect for it. Oh well. Thanks again, Fred, for your thoughtful comment. k.

  20. Daydreamer Says:

    Rock the vote! Great cry for freedom of speech, K!

    not accepting “lies
    for dummies,”
    not even settling for “facts”
    for dummies, but
    acknowledging that
    the world is complex no matter
    how much
    I’d like it to be simple.

    This part especially calls to me. I love it!

  21. Archna Says:

    Yes. It is certainly disheartening to lose our voice to frustration. There are also the ones who simply don’t care, comfortably numb in societies game, more praise to the ones who take initiative to research on their own and stir the pot to seed change. There is much heart and courage in acknowledging others wishes and sorrows. High praise to you, K!

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