The Nose: How to celebrate Tacoma and mayor? Haiku! (Gesundheit)

TheNose@thenewstribune.comJanuary 10, 2014 

Washington state Sens. Maria Cantwell, left, and Patty Murray brave the cold to display a strange flag on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, leading us to speculate: (1) They’re celebrating the number of people who signed up for Obamacare in the first month; (2) They’re bragging about the number of Republicans who switched sides and voted for the Murray-Ryan budget deal last month; (3) “Helllooo? Where is everybody? We hereby adjourn this Seahawks fan rally for lack of a quorum.” (4) Three Dog Night was wrong: One is not the loneliest number that you’ll ever do. (5) Sorry, but 12th Senator doesn’t sound nearly as cool as 12th Man.


There’s nothing like a political inauguration to spice up the drab days of January. And there’s nothing like poetry to spice up an inauguration.

President Barack Obama had Maya Angelou. And this week, the mayor-elect of Needletown, Ed Murray, had Washington state’s official poet laureate, Kathleen Flenniken. She serenaded Murray into office with “Views of Seattle,” a homage to her adopted city.

It starts simply: “I spied with my little eye a bridge, a tunnel, then sky and my earliest views of Seattle …” It sprinkles in personal notes to the new mayor.

It’s a swell poem, save for Flenniken’s dirty, rotten thievery when she gushes about the “blinding beauty of our mountain.”

Excuse us, your mountain?

Meanwhile, Tacoma’s mayor is having no inaugural whoop-de-doo. Why make a fuss after getting a free pass to a second term?

But just because Marilyn Strickland was deprived of a political challenger doesn’t mean she should be denied an inaugural poem.

With apologies to Tacoma poet laureate Lucas Smiraldo, here’s a little ditty courtesy of Tacoma’s own poet snoreeate.

This is no ordinary poem. We present the mayor with a haiku — a series of three-line, 17-syllable verses (5-7-5).

Attention, Kathleen Flenniken and Maya Angelou: You’re hereby challenged to a haiku throwdown.

“Views of Tacoma”

Can you see her now?

T-Town’s mayor on the rise,

royal on the throne.

So mighty and wise,

her re-election was like

a coronation.

Can you see us now?

City of up and comers,

and our Dome still stands.

With straight face we say

we love our Screw Products and

a beach called Titlow.

We’ve blown chances, sure,

but now we blow glass; we are

glass-eyed optimists.

Yes, we lost Russell,

but we gained State Farm and its

Discount Double Check.

Can you see our pride?

We ask, mighty mayor, that

you defend it well.

You can start with this:

Tell Seattle to buzz off,

that mountain is ours.

On the other hand

please insist that they take back

the Kalakala.

Look on the bright side, mayor: At least we didn’t write your inaugural poem as a limerick.

Here come the wagers: Our state’s U.S. senators have put down a friendly bet with their Democratic counterpart in Louisiana as the Seahawks prepare for Saturday’s playoff game against the New Orleans Saints.

The losing team’s senator(s) will shell out home-state shellfish and beer.

Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have wagered Pike Place Pale Ale and oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms, while Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is putting Abita Amber beer and charbroiled oysters on the table.

Seafood? We always thought a politician’s job was to bring home the pork.

But will there be groupies?: JZ Knight and her new-age alter ego, Ramtha, are loading up the bus and going on a world tour.

Stops include exotic locations such as Brazil, South Korea, Switzerland, Italy and Yelm (twice, because, you know, Yelm is where she/they live). Each tour stop lasts several days, so it’ll be like Ramthapalooza.

Knight is calling it “Ramtha’s 2014 Masters of Divine Jazz World Tour,” which leads us to believe the 35,000-year-old warrior spirit must play tenor saxophone.

We can’t go, but would someone please pick us up a tour T-shirt?

Only in Jersey? fuhgeddaboutit!: Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor and presidential wannabe, is up to his ample waistline in alligators. Records indicate his people had a hand in selectively closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year in an act of political retaliation.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Christie’s chief of staff reportedly told a port bureaucrat — a dastardly quote that’s gone viral this week.

Could it happen here? Well, the Puget Sound has lots of bridges and vengeful pols, but a plot to cause traffic havoc would sound decidedly different:

 • Seattle: “Perhaps it would be appropriate to facilitate transportation concerns on a major water-crossing arterial.”

 • Tacoma/Gig Harbor: “Tolls now in effect both directions. Westbound drivers must pay at cardboard box on east end of bridge. Cash only, exact change required.”

 • Skagit County: “Ah, just knock that sucker down again.”

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