The Universal Notebook: Ode to 2022 (in verse)

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Arrivederci, ’22! ’23, bienvenue!
The New Year is here, the old one is through!
It’s time to look forward, but first let’s look back
At the Year After Covid, the Year of the Vac!

Got all of our shots and all of our boosters,
As did Marpheen Chann and JuJu Smith-Schuster,
Rachel Talbot Ross and good ole Billy Bob
Faulkingham, who landed the House minority job.

Billy Bob’s a lobsterman in boat “51”
And we bet he’s glad the whale regs are done,
At least put off for a year or two
‘Til Judge Boasberg and NOAA decide what to do.

Edgar Allen BeemBy then the ropeless future mayhaps
Will arrive with pop-up on-demand traps.
Meanwhile, let’s all bid adieu
To Misters LePage, Thelander and Poliquin, too.

The GOP failed to surf a Red Wave,
Instead wiping out in a watery grave.
Of course, the Democratic Socialists didn’t do all that much better;
Portland voted the DSA down to the letter!

Enough Is Enough, said the Old Guard on a mission
To defeat the “extreme” Portland Charter Commission.
They wouldn’t even listen to ex-mayor Ethan’s advice,
But then he was busy suing landlord Geoff Rice.

Mayor Snyder and the Council had very little luck
Deciding where to house the homeless or park the food trucks.
But then Xavier Botana and his School Board shills
Couldn’t figure out how to pay their own bills.

Teachers and ed techs went unpaid as contracts expired
‘Cause the guy who knew how to write checks had retired.
And out in the ‘burbs where the booby birds nest
Fruit Loop conservative parents made themselves pests,

Accusing schools of making kids all kind of queer.
“Would you like to poop in a litter box, my dear?”
These school meddlers really are a pity.
No one identifies as a kitty.

And no one wants Payson Park to be
Lollapalooza, not Pious Ali,
Tae Chong, Danielle West, not even UMaine’s Jude Killy.
A rock fest on the boulevard is just too damn silly.

Congratulations, Roy’s Shoe Shop, now 100 years old,
Good tidings, Chelsea Hoskins, immigration angel, we’re told.
Best of luck to Portland and Deering now on the verge
Of an integrated, consolidated secondary merge.

Should the Bulldogs and Rams eventually become one,
A Portland Sheepdog mascot might really be fun.
“Give me a woof! Give me a baa!”
Gimme a break. Rah-rah-rah!

Let us now bid a fond toodle-oo
To B&M Beans from Institute Roux,
To Pat Callaghan from NewsCenter 6,
To monkeypox, RSV, whatever next makes us sick.

Farewell, Cryptozoology Museum, editor Mo.
Ta-ta, women’s rights! Auf wiedersehen, Roe!
But 2023 will bring many things new
Like a UNE med school and USL soccer, too.

But the novelty we most await, if we dare,
Is the completion of good old Congress Square
And the start of the new museum wing.
Rammed earth is our choice! Now that’s just the thing!

Come on, think of it, what could it hurt
To have a fine new museum all made out of dirt?
So gird your loins and batten your hatches!
Keep your powder dry and also your matches!

It’s time to celebrate Portland Rising anew,
‘Cuz that’s what Portland Phoenixes do!
Very happy holidays and may the New Year
Bring only the news we all want to hear!

Edgar Allen Beem has been writing The Universal Notebook weekly since 2003, first for The Forecaster and now for the Phoenix. He also writes the Art Seen feature.


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