Thursday, November 3, 2016

Bonus Feature: "return it to the People," a Found Poem by John Reinhart, Frequent Contributor


return it to the People
A Found Poem by John Reinhart
 
We the People of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice and secure the Blessings of Liberty
in this Constitution for the United States of America.

in Order to form a more perfect Union
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility
in this Constitution for the United States of America
to ourselves and our Posterity.

Establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility,
legislative Powers shall be vested in a Congress
to ourselves and our Posterity
consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives.

legislative Powers shall be vested in a Congress
composed of Members chosen every second Year
consisting of a House of Representatives.
and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

composed of Members chosen every second Year
who shall have attained to the Age of twenty five Years
and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof

who shall have attained to the Age of thirty Years
shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore
Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof
shall have one Vote.

shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore
and All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House, Representatives
shall have one Vote.
but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments

and All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives
Every Bill shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President
but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments
If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it

Every Bill shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President
to establish Justice and secure the Blessings of Liberty
If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it
to the People of the United States.

Poet's Notes:  A reconstitution of the Constitution, this pantoum, a Malay poetry form, reiterates what every civics student knows: the law is less than straightforward. In legal speak, it's a sub-optimization of thoroughgoing accessibility for non-inclined, reticent, or otherwise linguistically frustrated individuals, persons of legal status, all persons who fall under the purview of the specific municipality or legal framework of presiding jurisdiction.

As repetition is meant to support retention, readers may consider this an exercise in absorbing some basic American civics. At least it's more comfortable than putting a legal textbook under your pillow or sitting for hours in a courtroom. Furthermore, in a time when the pluribus are late, and half the populace is waiting at one stop trying to go east while the other half is across the street trying to catch a ride west and another half is jumping up and down and up and down in the middle of the street wondering why everyone else is failing to read the schedule properly, it's time to return to the basics.

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