Poetic Justice

The triumph of reason is not normally what one thinks of when listening to the news. Instead we’re punished with repeated circular obfuscations by partisan politicians seemingly greedy to preserve their employment. While it is difficult if not impossible to contradict their ambition, their thesis imposes disruption and inconstancy. The global pandemic has reduced many to impossible recovery. The plight is especially topical in the United States of America because its lame duck president, instead of focusing upon health improvement as an economic device, persists to enflame unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud as the reason for his recent defeat. Meanwhile the exhausted public – including even the pundits – recoil in dismay and resignation. These plain emotions have been captured by Rocci Fisch.

I met Rocci Fisch more years ago than I can now recall with certainty, possibly forty years ago maybe more. From the moment of our first encounter – at a local subterranean oasis of refreshment on Cape Cod at the end of the season – it was apparent that he spoke freely and directly. He asked for a cigarette – actually his proposition was somewhat more succinct – and he punctuated it with an equal liberty about having it lit for him! We both howled with delight! It was an introduction to blunt conversation on a comic scale. I have since become acquainted with Fisch’s imperative to summarize the national flavour of Americans. He reminds me of the artists and photographers who accompanied the soldiers in international conflict – those neutral recorders of history in a digestible format. Poetry has forever been an amusement and anodyne for an anxious reader. The condensed vehicle for expression affords a ready acknowledgement of spirit.

The desk looked puny
There wasn’t much roomy
From the White House came the president
His first press conference since the election-did it set a precedent
He looked like he was in a doll house
But it didn’t seem to make him grouse
He did, however, become irritated
When a question about conceding became ill fated
The reporter kept repeating
Trump kept proceding
“Don’t talk to me that way. You’re just a lightweight. I’m the president of the United States,” the commander in chief did say
But if the Electoral College verifies the vote, he said he’d go his own way
Tomorrow Biden starts getting the PDB
What, you say, might that be
The President’s Daily Briefing he finally gets
Permission granted. It’s about time, you bet
The virus disrupts
NFL, it interrupts
Forty-Niners, Broncos, quarterbacks
Testing positive, players sacked
Thanksgiving Day Macy’s Parade
It still happened, wasn’t delayed
Limited to one block
Corona considerations, it took stock
But a good job they all did
Despite Covid
No more sitting on Santa Claus’s lap
Safe-distanced, the kids stand up and away, tradition is scrapped
In Denmark he’s in a globe like the boy in the bubble
Staying safe, avoiding trouble
Ninety-One thousand Americans now hospitalized
These growing figures we detest, we despise
Hunger is here, the foodbanks are full
No stimulus check, people feel the pull
Remote learning, on kids takes its toll
Isolation, depression, closeness it stole
The holidays here but not without fear
But relief is in sight, a vaccine(s) is here
Thank you to science, without you more deaths
But let’s see what works, we’ll hold our breaths
The man who played Vader, the man behind the mask
David Charles Prowse just died, he rose to the task
Mike Tyson’s in shape, returns to the ring
Bout called a draw, but more fighting he’ll bring
A monolith appeared in the desert in Utah, a baffling sight
A twelve foot high monument in triangle form, imaginations took flight
2001? Looked just like the movie
But object now gone, I thought it was groovy

Rocci Fisch©

Notably, poetic justice does not merely require that vice be punished and virtue rewarded, but also that logic triumph. If, for example, a character is dominated by greed for most of a romance or drama, they cannot become generous. The action of a play, poem, or fiction must obey the rules of logic as well as morality. During the late 17th century, critics pursuing a neo-classical standard would criticize William Shakespeare in favor of Ben Jonson precisely on the grounds that Shakespeare’s characters change during the course of the play. When Restoration comedy, in particular, flouted poetic justice by rewarding libertines and punishing dull-witted moralists, there was a backlash in favor of drama, in particular, of more strict moral correspondence.