The @vielmetti Ann Arbor City Council #a2council sonnet typescript archive.

City Council sonnet: the archive.

City Council sonnet: the archive.

Garrett Scott, Bookseller is proud to offer this archival grouping to benefit local political engagement:

[Ann Arbor]. Edward M. Vielmetti, ed. Original typescript of the unpublished commissioned poem, “City Council,” inscribed in autograph in on the verso by the poet known as T., “Sonnet. / Ann Arbor / city council,” and signed by Vielmetti with his autograph monogram, EMV. [With:] An unsigned autograph note in ink in Vielmetti’s hand, noting the event and date of the reading, “Sonnet. / Ann Arbor / City Council. / 20160321 / T20:30:00 / -0400. [With:] An original A2B3 [Ann Arbor Bi Bim Bop] decal. Ann Arbor: n. p., 2016.

Typescript executed with manual typewriter on a roughly-cut leaf of heavy bond typing paper by the poem’s author, known at this point to the cataloger only by the pseudonym T., approx. 5.38 x 4.5 inches; autograph date/time note on a leaf of lined reporter’s spiral-bound notebook paper (neatly extracted), approx. 8 x 4 inches. A2B3 oval decal on heavy white stock, approx. 2.88 x 4.25 inches. With a trimmed piece of graphic promotional material from Garrett Scott Bookseller, originally included with the archival Mylar sleeve provided by the bookseller which Vielmetti used to transport the poem to and from Ann Arbor City Hall.

Ed Vielmetti (@vielmetti) of Ann Arbor can often be seen standing at a podium during the public comment section of any number of local public meetings. Offhand, this cataloger would characterize him as a longtime advocate for civic transparency, open government, local wikis, and the power of bringing together people who are interested in bringing people together. (Vielmetti is an organizing force behind the well-known regular Thursday lunch meet-up, Ann Arbor Bi Bim Bop — known colloquially as A2B3.)

On March 21, 2016, during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Ann Arbor City Council, Vielmetti stood at the podium during public comment and used his allotted three minutes to deliver into the public record this poem, a rather loosely sonnet-based piece of verse obliquely addressing matters of civic polity that begins,

What dictates the Rising of the Sun?
Where are the Meetings Held
In determination, what Flowers
Sprout and when.
Is the Commerce created by Squirrels
A currency we can work with, in
Ann Arbor’s Future?

For those unversed in the context of the eclectic, hurly-burly aesthetic of Ann Arbor City Council public comment, it is worth remarking that Vielmetti’s civic sonnet is a noble entry to the field; recent years have seen such spectacles (or perhaps Situationist détournements) as public commentary delivered in song, near-riots over international policy, the advocates of the rights of urban deer themselves bedecked in antlers, and an unknown man who argued a position on the city’s deer cull by reciting a version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” that leaned heavily for its effect on miming the firing of a rifle.

(This last citizen punctuated his delivery by exclaiming “BLAM” in notional imitation of gunfire, hence his informal nickname among at least a few city council fans as “the Blam, Blam Guy.”)

It is into this context that Vielmetti stepped to the podium on March 21 to deliver this plea for “the Blossom of little / big ideas” suited for “this Community of Star / People.” Since its public debut, the text of the poem has circulated among a scant few local-government enthusiasts in email form, but otherwise the text remains unpublished. Vielmetti’s delivery of the poem at the meeting was of course recorded by Ann Arbor’s Community Television Network, which makes the video record of Ann Arbor public meetings available online within several days of most meetings.

This grouping of material offered in both commemoration of and encouragement for local civic engagement; Vielmetti has pledged that after his expenses (two dollars and change, paid to the poet for the writing of these verses) he will donate the balance of the proceeds of this sale to the CivCity Initiative, an Ann Arbor-based nonprofit “working to achieve a dramatic cultural shift, expanding the set of people who are knowledgeable about their government and who are eager to participate in local civic life – because participation is easy, expected, and even entertaining.”

The price for the lot: $127.25, available at Garrett Scott, Bookseller, subject to prior sale and at the usual terms, all proceeds after EMV’s expenses to benefit CivCity.

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