The Fundraiser

THE FUNDRAISER

by Geoffrey Jones

Stale air and mendacity linger
In this room… As a cocktail book
Remains undisturbed on a gilded
Coffee table where it was placed
By the hostess for maximum
Effect… Glamour photos of movie
Stars ooze out from the pages of
The book with mega-watt smiles…
Staged smiles revealed by a
Thousand lucky clicks of the
Camera…

Beautiful faces one and all… Each
Extolling the virtues and vices of
Vanity… And a wistful yearning to
Live forever… But impermanence
Lurks… “Look at me”… “Look at me”…
“I’m pretty”, the photographs scream…
And the politicians and the pundits
In this unholy place pose as though
They were movie stars as well…

An ash tray filled with dead
Cigarettes pays homage to a
Beautiful young woman with a
Very bad habit… An empty wine
Glass perspires red with the last
Few drops of cabernet that have
Not yet evaporated into the air…

Empty echoes of emotions are
Mimed… Bouncing off the walls in
Fake expressions of charity and
Good faith like so many weightless
Thoughts released into the ether…
Yes… The effects of weightlessness
On weightlessness… This is the
Fragmented duplicity of the
Fundraiser… Campaign contributions
And bullshit abound…

High-minded entreaties without
Meaningful intention are exchanged
Between like-minded people with
Empty words… Words that don’t
Explain themselves… Words which
Fail to inspire anyone who isn’t
Already in the fold…

An honest exchange of ideas…
C’mon… Really… Get me the
Hell outta’ here… Someone’s
Fondling my billfold…

Large checks are written with
Illustrious flair that assert nothing
More than a donor’s capacity to write
One… And in this way, the supporters
Are no more sincere than the glamour
Photos that bleed out from the pages
Of the cocktail book… With nothing to
Be taken at face value… Just slogans
On campaign buttons… Without
Discernible worth…

A minor debate breaks out among
Friends over nothing at all… Neither
Wants to spoil the party… But these
Tepid scrapes make for good theatre…
Posturing for posterity’s sake… Uh
Oh… Facts and figures start to fly…
Yes, be aware of facts… But always
Beware of statistics… They lie…

Undaunted, the friends exchange
Drivel and then shake hands as
Though the world’s great issues have
Been resolved between them… In
Rented tuxedos the friends part
Ways for other regions of the room…
To retrieve blue-haired ladies in
Evening gowns sipping champagne
From crystal flutes…

And checks are written by fatuous
Men and women who fail to arm
Themselves with the truth… Because
It’s painful… And inconvenient too…
Self-interest or ignorance prevail…
And it doesn’t matter which… For this
Is what we are left with… Bad choices
Either way…

Ulterior motives… Personal agendas…
And a lobbyist’s money spent…

Where the chance at honest discourse
Is sucked out of the room like so much
Stale air… Air that lingers long after the
Tuxes and the evening gowns have tucked
Themselves into bed for the night…

" "

Comments

From the Web