bipartisan hate
A lone man talks on the phone in the Oklahoma State Capitol on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017, hours ahead of a major revenue vote. (William W. Savage III)

(Editor’s note: A bipartisan revenue plan reached in the Oklahoma State Senate stalled in a House committee Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. While lawmakers caucused, NonDoc’s editor in chief authored the following poem from a secluded corner of a quiet Capitol.)

The Building Waits with Bipartisan Hate
by William W. Savage III

In a public room
doom and gloom
weren’t enough
to call the bluff
of 20 or more people
who work for the people
and can’t compromise.

“What’s everyone doing?”
That is the question.
“Just pass something!”
That is the suggestion.
The public yells both
and I try to keep hope
that the sausage process
can yield some meat.

But why show up
if lawmakers won’t grow up
if courage and conscience
are Trumped by rumors
and held hostage by tumors
… festering masses of lawmaker asses, that is?

Speaking of attendance
the public is absent
This building’s dependence
on them does poorly portent
… for an empty rotunda applies no pressure.

Of course, teachers are teaching
State workers are working
with the Compromise Vehicle screeching
since lawmakers are jerking
… the public around wildly.

So the building waits
with bipartisan hate
for the other side
of the Great Divide
And one phrase
deserves praise
not for its author
but for its accuracy
of what might happen
if the year’s only bipartisan agreement
receives the full quit.

friends, Oklahomans, countrymen
is utter bullshit.

More poetry from NonDoc

That Little Laborer by Bipin Khatiwada
The Covenant: ‘Now you hate it, for it’s queer’ by Derek Geiger
A New York kind of love poem: ‘Just for two’ by James Coburn
An appeal to a broken relationship by Nelson Vincent Ayomitunde
A Country Girl’s Cry by Bipin Khatiwada
Poems of war and power ‘as the dead cannot speak’ by James Coburn

(NonDoc publishes poetry, short prose, visual art and other artistic ideas pitched by creatives in Oklahoma and around the world. All submissions are encouraged, and new creatives are constantly being sought. Submit your work for publication by contacting

William W. Savage III (Tres) holds a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. He covered two sessions of the Oklahoma Legislature for before working in health care for six years. He is a nationally certified Mental Health First Aid instructor.