GOODBYE EARTH was conceived on a Friday evening in May, after three and a half months of meeting, demonstrating, making calls and volunteering in the wake of the inauguration of Donald Trump. My days had been spent obsessing over cabinet appointments and executive orders in utter disbelief at the steady disintegration of any semblance of sanity coming from the White House.
Suddenly the word “house” brought to mind the rhyming word “louse.” It was like a game I play with my grandchildren. Say a word and shout out as many rhyming words as we can. I thought of the children’s book Goodnight Moon and grabbed the nearest pen and paper. After a few passes at some versifying while feeling angry, snarky and frightened, I put my rhyming scratchings aside and returned to my struggles to fend off depression. Not sleeping too well, not eating too well, slipping into rants.
The following Wednesday I woke up inside a new clarity, took a cup of coffee to my desk and pulled out the snatches of verse. By early afternoon the first draft of GOODBYE EARTH was done. The next day revisions were completed and I called my cousin Andy in Madison to tell him that we were about to become partners.