Sunday, August 19, 2012

Frances Perkins on the "dreadful consequences of economic insecurity"

Her words are at least as significant today as they were in 1935. I am speaking of Frances Perkins (1882-1965), the first woman cabinet member, who served as Secretary of Labor from March 1933 to July 1945. When Perkins spoke on Social Security, she was encouraging a means to protect the people. Remember the Wall Street crash of 1929 and its impact on jobs and the economy.

Sound familiar?

Now that forces (think: Romney; think: Ryan) choose to favor the wealthy rather than protect the majority, her words carry a disturbing resonance.

Text of the entire 1935 speech is available on the Social Security Online History Pages. I bolded "We pay now for the dreadful consequence of economic insecurity--and dearly."  To read more about Frances Perkins, click on her name.

The establishment of sound means toward a greater future economic security of the American people is dictated by a prudent consideration of the hazards involved in our national life. No one can guarantee this country against the dangers of future depressions, but we can reduce these dangers. We can eliminate many of the factors that cause economic depressions, and we can provide the means of mitigating their results. This plan for economic security is at once a measure of prevention and a method of alleviation.
We pay now for the dreadful consequence of economic insecurity--and dearly. This plan presents a more equitable and infinitely less expensive means of meeting these costs. We cannot afford to neglect the plain duty before us. I strongly recommend action to attain the objectives sought in this report.

Frances Perkins, 1935 (see above for links)

Friday, August 10, 2012

"...there is only one of you in all of time..." Martha Graham to Agnes de Mille

From a letter Martha Graham wrote Agnes de Mille. Consoling, encouraging, true.

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Martha Graham 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Oedipus is Supideo backwards. And other truisms. 2 poems.

These two poems were published in West Wind Review 2012.  "Marilyn Hacker" (see previous post) was the third poem WWR 2012 published.

No comment, no lead up, no explanation.  Just two poems needing much explanation.  Or justification.

I hope you enjoy them. They were sure fun to write!

Faith & Practice

Easier to make an enemy than beef Wellington.
An ill wind blows "Mandy."
No one can hear you sing "Polly Wolly Doodle" in space.
Oedipus is Supideo backwards.
Call me Sheena.
When you die no one can hear you slurp.
The Liberal Arts are no substitute for a hot bath.
Lemonpepper has come and gone.
As ye sow so shall ye perform a triple axel.
Mint jelly will substitute for sixth-period history.
Your anger turned to tapioca.
Your toes turned in.
That's not your bra, is it?
The guns of August are summering.
Inconsolable angels go shopping.
Satan covered the casserole with grated Cheddar.
A mist covered the sports desk.
The willow grabbed for designer Kleenex.
All good things must bend.
Sing glory for the Lord She is great.
Sing glory for the Host serves good snacks.

Sneaking Around the Multiplex

She wanted to have a baby.
I'm with stupid.
Say you love me.
Promise you don't tell my mother.
The farmer raised me ten dollars.
I was startled by her many breasts.
The national anthem is not an easy song.
If you were Johnny Cash I'd be Juneteenth.
Never edit dharma.
Never f- your career coach.
No such thing as aiming too Fa Fa.
Kiss me, woman.
I was glad she didn't wear a bunker.
Money is the love of all evil.
Roots lead nowhere, really.
Teens tipped the stockbroker.
If you go to heaven bring a nice bottle of wine.
Many men love their wives.
It's good to connect with old friends.
My brain is not working today.
I'm afraid I'll never write again.
Fear is the sand in the clam.
Irritation is death or beauty.
Most days I'd rather not feel.
Angels talk to you at bus stops.
God brought me a Diet Coke.
I asked Her for a few more ice cubes.
Sarah Sarai. Originally published in West Wind Review, 2012, Southern Oregon University.