Thinking About Scott Walker in Eleven Haiku

Thinking About Scott Walker in Eleven Haiku

Why workers joined?  Locking them in from smoking breaks
was worth their death by fire.

One hundred and twenty-three petticoats; twenty-three shirts–
what a waste–

Some will abase themselves for money.  I’m not talking about
employees.

How about I scotch pensions?  Will you give me
one hundred mill?

Chicken farmers are not allowed to balk.  They talk? No
bucks, far worse fowl–

The Company Store kept them in the mines, all spent
before even coughed up.

So.  At least, garment workers crushed in Bangladesh
had the right to work.

Maybe… we degrade education, no one will know enough
to know–

Hey!  Who likes teachers anyhoo?  Says the guy who could never
finished school.

Who can I cut? What can I gut? What hard-fought battle can I
betray?


What future can I flush?  And since you’re flush–another
hundred mill, please?


**************************************

Very much a draft poem for Grace’s prompt on With Real Toads to write something in the style of Marilyn Chin.  This was influenced by a series of one-line haikus she wrote–each of the above 17 syllables. 

Process note, especially for those outside the U.S.:  Scott Walker is a GOP (Republican) candidate for President of the U.S.  His claim to fame as Governor of Wisconsin is breaking down unions and attacking the University of Wisconsin, through budget cuts,targeted attacks on professors (especially it seems those with an environmental outlook)  and attacks on the institution of tenure (though this is actually enshrined in the Wisconsin State constitution.)   He is supposedly the chosen candidate of the Koch Brothers, oil billionaires, who plan to spend hundreds of millions in upcoming elections.  The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911 was a factory fire in New York City which 123 women garment workers and 23 men died largely because they were locked into their factory floors.   

Poultry farming is a big business in the U.S., with actual farmers under the thumb of big corporate chicken producers.  An interesting clip on this subject by Jon Oliver may be found here. 

Composite pic is mine–all rights reserved; no copyright infringement intended in underlying pic. 

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17 Comments on “Thinking About Scott Walker in Eleven Haiku”

  1. Grace Says:

    The first two are heartbreaking while the last two made me recall why I hate politics ~ I appreciate the process notes as I am not familiar with US politics ~ And its not surprising to me that such a candidate would be backed by rich businessmen ~

    Thanks for participating with Sunday’s Challenge K and wishing you happy week ~


  2. This is devastating to read… I wonder how they get people to vote against their own good… I think these one line sentences work very well, and got me thinking about Ginsberg as well.

  3. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) Says:

    It is really unbelievable the way things are going in the Western world these days — battles we thought had been fought and won long ago become necessary again. Is it a cyclical pattern of some kind? I wish you would post this one all over social media, print it out and leave it in shopping malls, stick it under the windscreen wipers of parked cars, pin it up to public notice-boards, send it to Letters to the Editor of all major newspapers…. And I don’t even live in your country! But I live in the Western world. xx

  4. Helen Says:

    As distasteful as politics can be … your haiku bring a sense of the palatable to this circus. Gonna be an interesting 2016😜

  5. X Says:

    Remind you of the way that workers were treated once in our country, and surely those in power (wealth) would love it to be again – can they buy an election. Surely. If enough of us let them.

  6. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I am a huge fan of any form of protest poetry, especially when written by someone with an active social conscience. The bitterness of tone serves to highlight the very real threat that we all face the world over when money and big business stir the pot of politics.

    This line hit me where it hurts, since the standard of South African education has dropped considerably in the last 20 years:

    Maybe… we degrade education, no one will know enough
    to know–

  7. hedgewitch Says:

    You really hit every nail on the head here, k. The creation of a serf class is well into its roll, and Walker is the man who’s been picked to pilot that ship for the ‘captains of industry’ who have bought our country. If anything, we are not outspoken or bitter enough about the rights we are steadily losing, drip by drip. Thanks for exploring this form, and doing such a great job with it.And for speaking out.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      If I’d known where the piece was going, I would have tried to make it sharper, but you know how these things go–then I thought–well, better to say something! I so dislike Walker–he either intellectually dishonest, or just vacant. I will give him the credit of being smart enough to be intellectually dishonest.

      On Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 10:45 AM, ManicDDaily wrote:

      >

  8. Mama Zen Says:

    I’m impressed. I don’t think that I could bear to think about Scott Walker through the writing of 11 haiku. What does it say about a political party when Walker is one of the saner, more moderate options?

    And, I should have known you were a fellow Jon Oliver fan!

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Ha. I don’t know that he is so moderate though!

      I don’t have a TV and so don’t see Oliver as much as I’d like too–when I think of it–but he is so good, and I’ve actually run into him on the street in NYC two times! He was very gracious both times. (I told him I was a fan!) k.

      On Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 2:35 PM, ManicDDaily wrote:

      >


  9. The delivery of each thought in these set apart yet connected lines is very powerful, K.

  10. Candy Says:

    Outstanding commentary in these lines. Nicely done!


  11. The way you played with “smoke” and “fire” in the first line was unbelievable. From then on the poem just got better. I have read about this guy. Thanks, great poem.

    Greetings from London.

  12. M Says:

    pardon my french, but fuck every one of those shills – walker, cruz, trump, ad nauseum. and I do mean nauseum. ~


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