Pointless amusement

‘The Night Before Crisis-mas,’ a new Brooklyn holiday poem

via Flickr user emma.maria
via Flickr user emma.maria

It was Christmas Eve night down in old Park Slope,
The stockings were hung and they looked pretty dope.
There was a nip in the air, some frost on the ground,
The bodegas stayed open, selling whitefish by the pound.

All the strollers were parked, all the yoga mats rolled,
Elves on Shelves posed for iPhones (that shit’s Facebook gold).
Folks here do all right, if you know what I mean.
They’d left out enough kale chips to turn Santa’s poops green.

But up in her brownstone, Sally Jones sat awake,
With a sense of foreboding she just couldn’t shake.
She’d turned off CNN, closed her browsers with a click,
Then to no one in particular said, “2016 can suck a dick!”

A sudden rap at the window then gave Sally a scare.
Toward the fire escape she yelled, “Who the fuck’s out there?”
There sat a bearded man, his red suit smelled of sweat.
He glared at Sally between vapes from his e-cigarette.


via Flickr user Alex Rabb
via Flickr user Alex Rabb

“Can a guy take a smoke break?” asked this man who was fat.
“You know I typically skip houses for language like that.”
Sally threw open the window and looked him square in the eye.
“Beat it, Saint Nick, I’ve got enough reasons to cry.”

Santa scanned the pristine block and its Fresh Direct trucks.
He rolled his eyes and said, “Mmmm yeah, I imagine this sucks.”
Sally gripped her phone so tight he thought it might shatter.
Said Santa: “Ohmygod, seriously what is the matter?”

She held up the New York Times as St. Nick gave a yawn.
“Ohhh, you mean that orange pile of shit we left on the White House lawn.
“Look, I get you’re upset. Just stop reading the news.
So many hate crimes, oy, this year I’m visiting the Jews!”


via Flickr user Alex Rabb
via Flickr user Alex Rabb

Sally balled up her fists, her cheeks became red.
“You want me to forget everything this lunatic said?
He hates immigrants and women, fills Muslims with fear.
He told Billy Bush things I can never unhear.
He appoints men who’d prefer slaves hadn’t been freed;
All this from a guy Sam Bee proved can’t read
I’m sick of this shit. Should we all just retreat?
He’ll blow up the world with a single Tweet!”

“I know!” said Santa, his mood turning sour.
“The wifi signal’s strong in this ivory tower.
I’m kidding. Well sort of. But don’t mope about.
There’s work to be done and there’s no time to pout.

“Look, you’ve gotta be strong and get your head in the game.
Your mic-drop rants on Facebook are increasingly lame.
He’s a demagogue for sure, but put down your passport.
At least till Sarah Palin sits on the Supreme Court.


via Flickr user ScubaBear68
via Flickr user ScubaBear68

“There are things you can do to make the world safer and kind.
You know—get all these tears and good intentions streamlined.
Call up Congress and say these appointments won’t do.
Then send a hefty donation to the ACLU.

“Standing up to the bullies is one great technique.
So is getting off your soapbox so people of color can speak.
Know when to take a stand and when to push your luck,
But also know when to just shut the hell up.

“If we amplify everything, we hear nothing, and then we don’t have a prayer.”
(I heard that one from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.)

“In sum, everyone’s affected, some just have it much worse.
Just ask the therapist of Miss Teen Universe.
But there are more good people than bad people who will work together.
Like, they have to or we’ll seriously get destroyed by the weather.
I mean climate change, Sally—it’s no conspiracy, not quite.
Even Paul Ryan wakes up screaming ‘Al Gore was riiight!’”


via Flickr user Alex Rabb
via Flickr user Alex Rabb

Sally gave the faintest smile and lifted her chin.
“Atta girl!” said Santa. “And hey….someday a woman will win.

“I’ve gotta go, but think about what I said.
Merry Christmas, Sally. Love is love is love is love is love is OWW my head!”

“Be careful!” Sally said. “That fire escape’s old.”
And thanks, Santa, I mean it. You’re pretty woke and I’m sold.”

From the ladder he winked and said, “I am a fat older white man, I think I’ll be fine.
But if you need me tomorrow, I’ll be counting votes with Jill Stein.”

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