For I can raise no money by vile means*

Nobody has more contempt for Republican voters than professional Republicans:

The Trump campaign has been unrelenting in recent days with its all-caps, bold font, exclamation-point-ridden fundraising appeals: “THE DEMOCRATS WANT TO STEAL THIS ELECTION!” “We can’t allow the Left-wing MOB to undermine our election.”

They urge supporters to make donations to President Donald Trump’s election integrity defense, to ensure he has the “resources” he needs to keep the election from being “stolen.”

In the fine print of the fundraising blasts, it lays out that 60 percent of the contributions will first go to the new PAC, up to the maximum contribution of $5,000. The remaining 40 percent goes to the RNC up to the maximum $35,500. If that first 60 percent of the donation exceeds $5,000 the remnants go to the campaign’s “recount account”; if the 40 percent exceeds the $35,500 RNC maximum, only then does it go to the RNC’s legal defense fund.

That story was three weeks ago. By now they have raised more than $170m and it’s difficult to characterize as anything other than a nice haul. It can also be a struggle to sympathize with the donors, as it has always been:

The new NRA disclosures appear to constitute a formal admission of financial mismanagement, which the gun group had denied under months of mounting pressure. In August, following a lengthy investigation, Letitia James, the Attorney General of New York, filed a civil suit seeking to dissolve the organization, alleging the NRA had grown rotten from “a culture of self-dealing, mismanagement, and negligent oversight.” To James’s mind, LaPierre’s repayment represents a drop in the bucket. She told the Post that the $300,000 is “just a fraction of the millions he personally profited from,” and she accused LaPierre and his deputies of having raided “NRA coffers to fund lavish lifestyles that included private jets, pricey vacations, expensive meals and no-show contracts.” The Wall Street Journal recently reported that LaPierre is being investigated by the IRS for “possible criminal tax fraud related to his personal taxes.” LaPierre declined to comment to the Post.

We might call this Green brutality, because nothing reveals the vulnerable like the willingness to sell their fears back to them.

* For I can raise no money by vile means.
By heaven, I had rather coin my heart
And drop my blood for drachmas

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act IV, Scene III

Ballad of the Sleepwalker

So I’m in this semi-disclosed location working on a novel about a play and… reading about Garcia Lorca I came across his gypsy ballads. This one is the Ballad of the Sleepwalker:


Green, lo i love you green;
green wind, green branches;
the ship on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.

With a shadow around her waist
she dreams on her balcony,
green flesh, hair of green,
and eyes of cold silver.

Green, lo i love you green.
Under the gypsy moon
all things are watching her
but she cannot see them.

Green, lo i love you green.
Big frosty stars
come with the fish of darkness
that opens the road of dawn.
The fig tree rubs its belly
with a rasp of branches,
and the mountain, a filching cat,
bristles its angry spikes.
But who will come, and from where?
She lingers on her balcony,
Green flesh, hair of green,
dreaming in the bitter sea.

“Friend, i want to change
my horse for your house,
my saddle for your mirror,
my knife for your blanket.
Friend, i come bleeding
from the passes of Cabra.”
“If only I could my son
a deal would easily be done.
But no more i am myself
nor is my house now my house.”
“Friend, i want to die
decently in my bed;
of iron if possible,
with sheets of fine linen.
Cant you see the wound i have
from my breast to my throat?”
“Three hundred dark roses
cover your white shirt-front.
Your blood oozes and curdles
under your belt.
But no more i am myself
nor is my house now my house.”
“Let me climb at least
up to the high balustrades.
Let me come, let me come,
up to the green balconies;
balconies of the moon
where the water murmurs.”

The two friends go up
to the high balconies
leaving a trail of blood,
and a trail of tears.
Tiny tinfoil lanterns
trembled on the rooftops.
A thousand crystal tambourines
tore wounds across the dawn.

Green, lo i love you green.
Green wind, green branches.
The two friends ascended.
The long wind left
in the mouth a rare taste
of gall, mint and sweet basil.
Friend, where is she, tell me,
where is your sorrowing girl?
How often she has waited for you.
How often she might have waited,
cool face, black hair,
on this green balcony.

The gypsy girl rocked
on the face of the cistern.
Green flesh, hair of green,
with eyes of cold silver.
An icicle of moonlight
suspends her above the water.
The night grew intimate
as a little square.
Drunken civil guards
were beating on the door.

Green, lo i love you green;
green wind, green branches;
the ship on the sea
and the horse on the mountain.