Amy Uss… My alter ego years ago…

I have to introduce this poem that I am about to present to you as a very old one from the box that was recently found. It dates back to the early eighties. You will recognize even then I was becoming disillusioned with the political machine and well on my way toward being a liberal rebel. I use some illusions and metaphors I still feel very appropriate after so many years. It does give a taste of how I use longer forms and my pastoral speech background. I have attended so many sermons I can quite out preach the best of them when I am in that mode. Hope you enjoy!


Amy Uss : Chairlady of Club Blue –

Acceptance Speech


People, I am so glad to be here,

Honored that you all elected me

To stand here as your representative;

Allowed now to look out

Seeing things as things truly are.

Noticing each restless movement

And the deep creased frowns

Permanent on all your faces;

The people who have succeeded

To the point of no financial worry…

Still you each have questions

About why things are as things are.


The room is hazed with cigarette smoke

Most breath reeks of alcohol.


The darkness holds dark fingers against the window

The cold darkness touches the glass with its breath;

Pushed its hand into the deepest shadows

Awed by the dirt and garbage,

Paused a moment by a walking skeleton –

Slipped by a too still body, ran from an alley,

And seeing the lighted meeting room

Hastened to press its nose against the window.


Let me now say that indeed

There exists yet time to improve

The circumstances of the starving;

There are means, there are means

To end the wars, those present and future

There are means to repair the environment

And means to continue to destroy

Blithely uncaring of the costs;

Means that you and means that I

Can employ to better the plight,

And time for indecision to waste

Before we move toward new vision.


The room is hazed with cigarette smoke

Most breath reeks of alcohol.


Let me now say that indeed

There exists yet time to fear

That our efforts may blunder

Under the supervision of regulation –

(Some will say : "It was too late, anyway!")

But there are means, sure there are means

To put everything on track, to get the ball rolling –

(Some will say : "It was not organized well!")

Do we dare

So court failure?

There exists yet time enough

To decide to give up without a try.


And I have know the decision, known by faces –

The gaze of each fixed without focus,

And when I posed a question, tossing it out,

I am even less noticed standing here,

Like an advertised display

The smoke and alcohol have duty done.

There are means, there are means.


And I have known the inattentiveness, known always

The hopelessness of attempting to arouse

(But in my dreams I could manage it)

Fervent ardor toward the cause

Of improving all conditions of life

There is no interest, or real de sire.

So why go on?

There are means, there are means.


Dare I tell you?

Yes, I have stood in darkened streets

And observed the destitute derelicts scavenging

Through garbage in haste, eating coffee grounds

And banana rinds…


I should have been born rich enough

To provide some aid to such as these


And clothes, shelter, food, so nice!

Spoiled by it in abundance,

For granted… all of it… is taken;

Even complaining that things should be better.

Should I hint the repast here

Would have been better spent on poor street dwellers?

A flurry of choice criticism, that would get me,

Though I would not really give a darn

(Words can never hurt me) at all.

I am no saint – and this is very true;

I have seen days my circumstances were more stable,

And I have felt the Shadow touch my sleeve, but pass on,

In honesty I was quaking with terror.


Would you people with your solemn visages,

Give me, if I screamed, more of your attention,

Or am I, only talking to thin air and darkness,

There are means, sure, there are means,

To prize you up from your comfort,

To force you to some positive action,

To start the ball rolling,

To shout : "We can overcome our past mistakes,

Change this our present, mold our future" –

But I admit not one of you,

Noticing would say more than : "That is

Just too much, too much to hope for."


Let me now say that indeed

There exists yet time to teach

The illiterate graduates and working folk to read,

So that their lives, with knowledge, may be

Greatly enriched and enlivened –

The effects are impossible to predict!

But as if a new frontier thrown open before us:

We must realize the potential

Of provision, making it possible

And turning it into actuality:

There are means, there are means…

Let’s make it happen, now.


No! I am not Moses, nor was I trying to appear so;

I am a concerned citizen, one who will try

To lend a hand, to aid a enterprise,

Advise a leader; with consul good, passing wise,

Courteous, eager to be helpful,

Gentle, careful, and easy-going;

Full of ambition, but a trifle shy;

Indeed, clownish, almost silly –

Almost, at times, the Worst.


The room is hazed with cigarette smoke

Most breath reeks of alcohol.


My voice grows tired, do I dare step down?

I shall go home, put on overalls, and write

Me a pleasing poem.

I have found that most relaxing.


I do not think these people would understand it.


I have felt a poem build up like a wave, swell,

Growing stronger with roaring intensity

Until it broke forth onto a blank page.


We have spent so long a time in this room

Though there are means, sure there are means,

Nothing have we accomplished, and probably – We will not!


© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

  1. #1 by barbara on May 5, 2005 - 4:49 am

    This blog has been a wonderful outlet for you talents. I am in admiration of your intelligence, your writing prowess and your insight. Your "Amy Uss" is a deeply metaphrastic and symbolic work. I hope I understood it all. It was a marvolus piece of work for a 20-something person. I hope you find some peace in your 5day-a week group you spoke of on Kimberly\’s blog.I wish for you to find a comfortable balance in your life.I wish true peace of you.I wish true peace of us all.

  2. #2 by Kim on May 5, 2005 - 8:19 am

    That was inspiring, Jo Ann. We all see the imbalance in life, most want to change it, most step back and do nothing hiding behind excuses even though we know we can make change in the world. Thank you for sharing that one. {{ }}

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