Casey at the Booth
November 3, 2008

A Filk of the Republic Sung in the Year 2088

by Alex Wilson, with love and respect to Mr. Thayer. Illustration by Constantine Markopoulos.

Casey at the Booth

The choices weren't inspired for the voting sect that year.
Both parties nommed their same-olds based on safest taste in beer.
And since the latest Bush bombed Laos for something England said,
Democracy was wearing thin the further out it spread.

And worse! A thing unnoticed when th'electorate was fit,
When voters in the country numbered nearly half of it:
When many folks could ration, share a fraction of disease,
No single person's portion meant more than an itch or sneeze.

By Casey's year, these burdens weighed more heavily than ever
With each remaining voter who retired life or lever.
And that is how the public curse of every sin we'd do
Got yoked and concentrated as a plague upon the few.

Of course we tired veterans urged vote-virgins to jump in;
But they just ridiculed the compromises on our skin!
They treated us like lepers while we looked on them as bread
Who might absorb our saucy sores by voting in our stead.

So congress made us killers when they forced the peace on Guam.
The White House proved us negligent by selling Chad the bomb.
Still! Some of us yet held out hope that evening's end was near,
For Casey would turn eighteen on election day this year!

Oh, Casey, golden swing vote! With that new citizen smell!
Whose peers took sudden interest where at us they'd just rebel.
He _led_ these kids, a generation yesterday aloof!
Tongues bloody roared: "We'll boycott hell, with Casey at the booth!"

We almost felt remorse to look on Casey's freckless skin,
Like undead who might suck his youth that we might live again.
He strolled up to the counter with his virgin throng behind,
His arm around his nubile girl, his noble chin reclined.

Like Christ himself, he stretched his arms and said: "This is my charge.
These ballots are a burden, but a privilege just as large!
A better day and world," he cried. "Where all can share the blame!
Where pussing sores puss half as much! A pressure valve for shame!"

But darkness crossed his visage, when what should derail his cheer:
His girl taking a ballot from a crusty volunteer.
Away great Casey yanked her, as though fearing she had brushed
Against one who would sacrifice her moisture into dust.

They locked eyes for a beat, then Casey 'scused himself to pee.
"I'll be right back," he managed. "There's no need to wait for me."
Th'assembly got all chatty, neither voting nor reversing.
His girl said, "Left my license in the car," before dispersing.

The years pass and we still feel we're outside that bathroom door:
The lovelies still avoid us, there's more sin in every sore,
And Casey sleeps in cardboard, but insists he sleeps quite well,
Because he remains beautiful. It's not his fault, this hell.

November 2008

First appeared in Inconsequential Art #4

Also available: Spoken Word Audio (MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AAC), Text File

This poem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/
No need to ask permission to republish/redistribute in any medium big or small, though I'd love to hear about where it ends up.


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by Alex Wilson. This is from an online journal/blog I kept from 1998-2009. Back to alexwilson.com.