Determine who will serve and who will eat

In honour of the upcoming elections in both of my countries (and in honour of Hayden Carruth’s passing), excerpts from some of my favourite political poems:

but death went on and on
never looking aside

– “On Being Asked To Write A Poem Against The War In Vietnam,” Hayden Carruth

The princess in her world-old tower pined
A prisoner, brazen-caged, without a gleam
Of sunlight, or a windowful of wind;

– “The Anti-Suffragist,” Eva Gore-Booth

This place is not my place,
      these ways are not my ways. I
                 do not understand their
consumer index; their life-style options; their bottom line
                            weird abstract superstitions, and
        when I settled in to stay,
              it felt unclean

– “Blue Psalm,” Dennis Lee

Meanin home
against the beer the shotguns and the
point of view of whitemen don’
never see Black anybodies without
some violent itch start up.

– “1977: Poem for Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer,” June Jordan

You squareheaded sons of bitches,
you want this God damn trench
you’re going to have to take it away

– “Ypres 1915,” Alden Nowlan

It’s coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin’
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

– “Democracy,” Leonard Cohen

The deadline to register to vote in the U.S. is the end of this week or the beginning of next week in most states.

I’ve been told Canadians can register to vote at the polls, but I suspect Elections Canada would really rather you did it ahead of time.