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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fanfare for the Common Crook, [Both Movements: March 3, 2010]

Fanfare for the Common Crook [Today's News Poem, March 3, 2010]
“Mr. Johnson also attended the World Series game in question and was involved in soliciting the tickets from Yankees officials. The tickets, with a face value of $425 each, were for seats a few rows behind home plate.”
--Nicholas Confessore, and David M. Halbfinger, The New York Times, March 3, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/nyregion/04paterson.html?hp

“For the second time in two days, Racine police arrested a shoplifter who went on the attack when confronted by store personnel... Reports said the 23-year-old security guard watched Budner take the $179 coffee maker and then walk past the last point of purchase at JCPenney Tuesday just after 6 p.m. The guard told officers he chased Budner, who fled out the northwest doors of the store, across the parking lot into the Applebee's restaurant parking lot. ”
--MARCI LAEHR TENUTA, The Journal Times, March 3, 2010 12:46 pm
http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/article_5454bf0e-26f5-11df-b45c-001cc4c03286.html

I) A Fine Distinction
Accusing me of being high? I'm low!
And lower all the time. So what? I took
A piece of crap. It wasn't worth much dough.
You treat me like another sort of crook!
Just look at David Paterson. He stole
From New York state enough to burn in hell:
Indulging him because he rode a poll
And throwing desperates like me in cells
Because confusing rules of theft and gift...
I will admit my ignorance of laws.
I might not know the proper ways to sift;
To play the legal code and use its flaws
But isn't there a code all thieves can use?
To see what is legit and what's abuse?

II) Why the River Lethe
A puff of weed destroys the pain
Of traumas pent within the brain.
A snort of coke for richer folk
Will lace a harshness in their jokes.
With both, a drug is just the means
By which they glimpse at better scenes.
We own whatever we obtain.
Since loss is pain, we must sustain
Our gains—though loss is life's great crux,
We stave its rush with lots of bucks.

We yearn and so we die in bits
And bored to death between the scares
We drink whatever gives us fits:
As life denies us, takes our wares

In increments too small to note—
A tiny death by desk: a rote
And wearing task of paper null.
This prison has no outer hull:
Its bars are codicils of ink,
And lawyers form its monied links.
And when another fucker's crashed
And tossed in bins as if he's trashed
He'll seek that perfect cup of joe
He has an image he must show

The world: that he loves only pleasure—
Or fears life's pain: they've equal measure.

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3 comments:

rToady said...

I especially like the first part told by the shoplifter. It might make a nice contrast to try writing a version where part II is from the pov of the politician. Two different crooks telling their sides of the story.

Khakjaan Wessington said...

Yeah, upon waking today, I think it needs a third movement--in sonnet format again. I've been playing with trochees again and I was wondering what trochaic pentameter would look like...esp w/ a reversal of the sonnet structure. Then the three movements would obtain an interesting symmetry. Maybe I'll do it. Won't be 'Today's News Poem' though so maybe I'll need to save it for the End of March edition.

rToady said...

Yeah, a third movement would allow you to keep the second part (which is quite good) instead of changing it.