As a city noted for educational opportunity, support of the arts, and the relish of communication of every sort, we may be on the verge of a terrible loss to the spirit and welfare of Santa Barbara. As the city’s first poet laureate, I know that the Channels [public and educational access] stations are crucial to what we are. They’re Santa Barbara’s face to the world. When I heard of a planned slow strangulation to the death of our key resource in the Age of TV, my reaction was, naturally, to write a poem, detailing one citizen’s concern over a sad loss in prospect.
The city was sick, it had to lose weight,
so it cut a bit here, cut down a bit there,
but came up at last with a swifter idea:
to thin oneself down takes heroic cuts …
so it cut out its voice
and it cut out its eyes.