The November Project 2016: Poetry

Ian Wilder and David Kirschenbaum

Ian and David

By David A. Kirschenbaum and Ian Wilder

David A. Kirschenbaum and Ian Wilder did a writing project this month based upon the U.S. Bill of Rights and the subsequent amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Each day Ian provided a section as a writing prompt to David to write the first poem. Ian, in turn, treating that prompt and David’s poetic response as two points upon which his poem, the second each day, responded.


Preamble to the Bill of Rights

Congress OF THE United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution


Resolved, that we met in what should have been my junior year at hofstra,
the third of my six undergraduate years,
your fourth and senior year,
september 1986 through may 1987.

Resolved, the first night my family spent in our oceanside, long island home,
october 14, 1976,
with chris chambliss homering the yankees into their first world series in 12 years.

Resolved, that walking home from playing tennis, a car crashed into me,
august 2, 1980,
the first anniversary of yankee catcher thurman munson’s plane crash death practicing
take-offs and landings at the akron canton (ohio) regional airport.

Resolved, that i saw the police at shea stadium, joan jett & the blackhearts and rem opening up, upper deck shaking,
august 18, 1983.

Resolved that i still can’t remember the day we first met,
something you know annoys me,
so you ask me it often enough.


Whereas we met when the new voice. editor at Hofstra assigned us to work together on a story about Abbie Hoffman’s 50th birthday

Whereas this was way before anyone had email or websites or facebook or linkedin accounts;

Whereas I learned a lot from you when we worked together on that story about there is no reason to fear someone saying no when you relentlessly worked to find a phone number to contact Abbie;

Whereas you are nearly the age Abbie was when you were finally able to reach him by asking his mother for his telephone number;

Whereas we could figure out when we met within a few weeks by the publication date of that issue of the new voice.;

Whereas i have no idea either when the date that we first met is, and I was not even sure whether I was a junior or senior at Hofstra at the time without looking at your stanzas;


Section of the 1st amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

Please click here to see more of the November 2016 project.

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