Thursday, February 18, 2010

Joshua Marie Wilkinson reads his poem from day 41

Poem for Barack Obama

Ten envelopes & forty-thousand a
day to go—so here’s mine. Funny
to think we thought you’d read

our blog. Forfeiting, tanked
villains on the twitter, & your
coin face on some 1-800
supplies while they last. It’s not that

everything got weirder,
it’s weird that we’re already
used by it.

So, let’s see: Have you put
the wars to bed? Did you do
all of our homework?

I know it sounds stupid here, but
I’m sorry your friends aren’t to
call you up anymore. There’s no way

to talk to you directly, I guess,
so I’ll evince that.

It’s a poem. (Actually, see Hughson’s
if you want to break all the way down
for an evening.)

Since you left town, some
good things have happened:

Rae Armantrout got famous. Noah
got a job. Johannes’s comments on
Harriet are still better than tv. Tuned
dropped, and it’s haunted.

Even Spicer’s Collected went platinum,
so the ocean’s not so tough after all.

Maybe your assistants can help you with
the references. It’s just a poem. That’s
part of its work to point to other shit. Of

course we want to hear about your kids’ dog.

Joshua Marie Wilkinson (Chicago, IL) was born and raised in Seattle. He is the author of four collections of poems, most recently The Book of Whispering in the Projection Booth. A new anthology of poetry, conversations, and poetics, called 12 x 12 and co-edited with Christina Mengert, is just out. He was in Grant Park on election night.

Originally posted on March 1, 2009.

Click here for an MP3 of this reading.


  1. Rae Armantrout DOES seem to have gotten famous. Good thing.

  2. love it! favorite stanzas: 3 & 4. yay for the nod to fred's fabulous book! and a killer last line.

  3. Brilliant poem — I find it amazing that the next election is next year — 4 years seem to have gone so quickly!

    Best Regards,

  4. That was so personal I felt like you must have known Obama in Chicago.

  5. I guess Obama felt so happy when he read the poem because the poem is really nice, I would like to learn to write poems !

  6. Reading this poem now in retrospect, makes me sad for the opportunity Obama has but he has not lived up to his potential as a great leader. We're in the middle of Occupy Wall Street and things are really a mess and he looks like it's really gotten to him.