Pol Prose-ition: We Challenge the Mayor Verse for Verse
May 05, 2009 | 3975 views | 0 0 comments | 52 52 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Did you know that last Wednesday was "Poem in My Pocket Day"? We didn't either, until we got an email from City Hall presenting Mayor Mike Bloomberg's lyrical contribution to the day's festivities. Now the holiday, despite it's somewhat ridiculous name, is actually pretty keen. It promotes writing and poetry among all people, and as writers, we like when people draw attention to our craft. (The fact that it may inspire others to become political commentators, thus threatening our own job security, is something we don' t like, but the holiday's heart is in the right place.)

The mayor, being the class act that he is, has annually contributed a poem to the cause in order to promote it among the politically saavy. And we have to admit, it takes a lot of guts for such a public authority figure, especially one who needs to be respected in order to do his job, to put his innermost feelings on the line and even look a little ridiculous to promote education.

Of course, there is rampant speculation that the mayor, as busy as he is, has farmed out the writing of this annual poem to one of his more literary aides, a theory that has been coyly denied by the mayor almost as soon as the poem hits the wire. Still, it’s an admirable showing from the man we love to knock here at Pol Position.

And speaking of which, this is, after all, Pol Position. Shouldn't we be making with the snark and sass? Well, first, we'll let you read the mayor's poem:

NYC SERVICE

By Mike Bloomberg

"Volunteer!" says our latest plan

Here's how all New Yorkers can:

Read to kids

Mentor one

Help some seniors have some fun

Serve some soup

Or plant trees

Spend some time at food pantries

Coach a team

(Always nice)

Give some legal or tax advice

Learn to do CPR

Or...

Join the NYC Civic Corps

Help in any way, kind volunteers

You'll receive New Yorkers' cheers

But right now, to get the biggest thanks

Help the pitching on the Mets and Yanks

So, aside from a topical jab at the local sports franchises, which, we must admit, is some Grade A chop-busting, the mayor's contribution to the public art forum is a trite bit of propaganda urging New Yorkers to help their fellow man!

We know that it's good to help others, and we know that the poem conveniently ties into the mayor's public service initiative launched during the election season, but come on. Poetry should come from the heart, and this is pure political promotion. But we give the mayor points for trying. In fact, it gives us an idea for a poem of our own:

Read Pol Position

By Pol Position

Read Pol Position every day.

It will help to inform your brain.

Read it in your car while you drive

Or take up three seats on a train.

Pol Position will help keep you alive.

Read Pol Position every day

Did you know that newsprint

When absorbed through the fingers and into the blood

Is a curative that is excellent

Clears up rashes, cures baldness, and sheds unsightly tub

Read Pol Position every day

If you don't like Pol Position much

We really don't give a flying toot

And if you're position remains such

We'll kick your head in with a boot!

Read Pol Position every day

Because we know where you live!

See. We can twist artistic expression into crass promotion too. Or, at least our aides can do it for us and then let us sign it.

Maybe we will create "Promotion in Your Pocket Day." We'll hand out little flyers outside of subway stations advertising cellular telephone deals and comedy shows, and maybe people will be kind enough to keep them in their pockets until a time at which they are considering plans for the evening or deciding which cell phone service carrier has the best deals. They can reach into their pockets and be reminded of the beautiful message that we have shared with them, and then hopefully spend some money.

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