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Saturday, July 16, 2011

You could have had anything and yet this is what you chose? Combatwords July 15-18

Balance does not mean order. It means a chaos antidote for chaos. Examples:

Angus: "it was hard to tell exactly being that he had boobs like some porn deva 30 years in retirement.The only articulating male factor apparent was the summer beard he displayed in patches."

Rtoady/Seann McCollum:
"I carry my shopping bags straight to the second hand shop.
I shit out my food the moment I’ve gobbled it up.
Even better, the stove sits beside the rubbish bin.
I’m bailing this ocean as fast as it’s trickling in."

Khakjaan Wessington (Me): "A ripe gourd fell at my feet and detonated, launching a thousand insects upon impact. Above us, I could see the bloatwood tree teetering, its branches full of parasite-filled fruit that trembled as rockets escaped."

There's still time to play Combatwords. Dare ye join in?

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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Science Fiction or Fact? Combatwords, July 8-11, 2011

Sean McCollum: "In the future every baby was born with a computer in its skull which in turn was inhabited by a pixilated ghost prostitute. In the future, cannibalism. In the future, nuclear-powered unicycles were pedaled into the holographic wastelands where we did battle with a race of subterranean Adonises. Moons were lassoed together and flung like giant bolos across the solar system."

Wessington: "Keystrokes and flickered intention on monitor
Linked by the wireless data to trolly:
Sphinx of the fogbelt, lynx of the kilobit,
Minx of the fence—she is orange or tabby."

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

The BATS Will Destroy You: New/Old Essay up on Unlikelystories

Where the fuck have I been? Where the fuck have you been? Okay, okay--let's ignore mutual recriminations... just admit you were wrong and we'll start over. No? Well how about you suck on an essay-pacifier you big baby?

Not familiar with BATS? Sure, why would you be familiar with one of the best rock bands out there? You're too aesthetically blighted to find your own cool artistic vectors; that's why you're here, right? Well, after you've purchased their album (, you can read my poetic salute to them here:

If you do this out of order, God won't smite you, because God doesn't exist. But you'll suffer a moral decay as you wait for divine punishment and you'll start subtly sabotaging yourself and inevitably this process will end in suicide.

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Heirs of Air [Combatwords, April 30, 2011]

Heirs of Air [Combatwords, April 30, 2011]


Retrieving nothing home tonight;
Sedated, belated lovers slight the western star—they head to beach
And play with hair they've dyed with bleach.
On Seven One from Haight to beach,
The night's too far, they've lost the bliss
That evening summoned with a kiss.
Acquaintance met and lost, they surf the bus
And slide from triteness, greeting nothing;
Citing names, the nothing names:
A hopeless lay, that skirtless play.
The loneliness that fills their leather boots
Is truth aboard the bus en route
To chicken feather beds and ocean salt:
Determined beach, a terminal breach.
For Ballard wrote about the crash:
Erotic engines, loss and crash—
Wrote about the unseen trash.
Erosion meets the sacred clash
Where plovers meet the city's ash.
It's gone, it's gone to trash at last;
So stand alert and make a joke.
Ride the bus, make silly oaths
To pave the way to bed,
And leave behind this better night,
Offend the sight of moon
With brooding lust and traffic lights.
Farewell, my otter fake-fur coat.
We've gone to sleep at last, at least.

Kiss it—call it kismet.
Where McDonald's floodlights meet
The cunts of red,
The hippy dreads.
Kiss it—fake a joke and fake the fear of joke
And spill the fucking beer upon the Muni floor
Where stench perfume defeats the moon.
So kiss it—cut the cheer in half
Aboard this Viking boat, this fuck-up booth.
Choke the night in search of hundred proof.
Clutch the skateboard, youth is fleeting;
Gone to joint and gone to broken bleating;
To broken-asses in search of weed.
Bleed it out and search it out and kiss the knee that grazes notebooks.
Kiss the legs that open up beside you,
Open where you fear to tread with eyes.
Kiss her every orifice.
Forget it: kiss goodbye.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Superman Did Baba Yar!

Now that Superman has renounced his American citizenship ( the truth can finally be told.

Like many war criminals, he kept his Nazi identity a secret, but left us several clues (like 'Superman' durrr).

ps: I know I'm going to hell for this one. Stop reminding me.

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Silk Knight Swoons [Combatwords Poem, April 23, 2011]

Silk Knight Swoons [Combatwords Poem, April 23, 2011]

Knight of granite squares, night of business casual wear;
Fights by chessboard bets—I swear, Ruy Lopez has the night sweats
Underneath tobacco palms and gritty nails and Lasker psalms.

Even though I wore a suit, I paused and watched the two galoots
Murder pawns and trade a pair of dollar bills for several prawns
Fried and battered—basket case: they fed while chessmen scattered.

Low and you'll become the queen.
Slow and knives become serene.
Laugh alone to laugh like hell;
Crazies knew I shared their smell.

"Glasses ain't afraid of anything."
"Watch that tie; he wants to fight."
Silk cocoon and pace of concrete moon—
A silver goon, a briefcase croon;
A stroke, a grand mal swoon:
A check and mated loon.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

AMERICKA [Guest News Poem, by Mike Best; April 22, 2011]


by Mike Best

Our presidents are felons, America.
I socked a kid in the head, 20 years ago
And now I’m unemployable nationwide.
I can work full time and still receive unemployment benefits.
I’ve been to school for 300 credit hours
And I’m still not highly qualified.
How about you Jeb, George, Barak?
Are you guys highly qualified?
Show me your transcripts. Give me an explanation.
I’ve given you my all and now I’m nothing.

Can I get your permission to kill my neighbor?
Whose permission did you get Dick?
Shit it was self-defense and I still did time.
My psychotherapist said I was right.
She even sold me a dimebag.
Kept me paranoid for days,
No happy hippy flowers, no mellow munchy buzz
Just fear of the fuzz and fear of my sins.
Fear of myself, when will I be cleansed of my sins by angels?
Say, America, when will you be angelic?

Your culture expects me to be some kind of sinister
Predator just to avoid being preyed upon.
You expect me to get a job but create rules that keep me
From getting hired. Without the right ratio of callous and
Reticence I’m gonna get fired. You can’t go
Into education and expect to help people. All you get
Is your head chopped off at the neck. I got a
Long neck, America. So I’m gonna
Stick my head in the sand because, America,
Quite frankly, I’m sick of your insane demands.

My age old Friend Kenny stuck
His arm in a machine, America,
And his coworker turned it on for kicks.
Tore his arm off – doctors put it back
On – And got rich.
So did Kenny. But now his beloved American
Ex-Wife wants it all for herself – that’s your lifestyle,
America – that’s the American Dream.
That’s the values you hold, get rich quick and easy.
But I won’t have it – your machinery is too much for me.

It’s left me like Willie Loman.
Dreaming big wispy dreams of a
Life less low man. I have five
Minute schemes, - sell the car and buy a ticket out
Picture me in Vietnam with the mud
Between my toes. Picture me in a
Suit and tie with a roll in my pocket
As big as that 10 year old crack dealer’s.
But it won’t be here America, not in this nation.
I promise you, I have mystical visions and cosmic vibrations.

Ginsberg’s not the only one with
Sentimental feelings for the Wobblies. Not
The only one who smokes marijuana
Every chance he gets. Only I got a
Family to feed, America.
Even with a weed licensee and
Chemo - I could still lose my job - if only I
Had one. Catch me with a roach
And I haven’t a Chinaman’s chance
Of getting a way to get paid. Which is why
Whenever I go to Chinatown I can’t get drunk or laid

You allow criminals to make the laws, America.
You pay them so well, America.
I never wanted to be rich but the only
Alternative is dirt poor. You bail
Out the big ballers and blast the
Middle right off the court, America.
I don’t mind dirty rivers.
I don’t care about an endangered rat’s rights.
If the meat is cheap
I’ll eat it off the bone, barbecued and fricasseed.
Because it’s you America, not Russia rising against me

I’ve seen how the other half live.
It’s no better than here.
They’re locked in jobs while I’m locked out.
They kill themselves over college. I’ll do it because
I stole a pair of goggles at eighteen. Larceny.
What a scary word! Don’t let me
Near a public school I might steal a pencil – I’ve done
It before, I swear! For real!
I did it because I’m psychopathetic anyways.
I think it because when I was seven momma took me to communist cell meetings.

America, how can I write when even
The blogs won’t print me?
If I wanna be a writer I’m supposed to have balls
But if I wanna be a teacher I gotta clip them off
And keep my mouth shut at all times.
America, is this correct?
America, you make me have to be a saint.
Or a woman, or anything but an educated white male, America
Those damn Nazi rednecks were right
About it!

It’s all in the statistics, America.
There is no way to settle the argument.
It’s cannibalization – eat or be eaten.
No symbiosis. No shit turned fertilizer.
It’s all about the plague, America.
Cholera, kudzu, Siberian ginseng, zebra clams,
Mosquitoes, angry white feminazis,
America. Fruits of Islam love to see
Me squirm. Holy rollers multiply and play
The population game – and I won’t say the Lord’s Prayer!

God is man and woman ripping one another
To shreds, America – you’re god, America.
God is them Russians and Chinamen.
God is fucking and its fucking obscene.
Don’t let your children hear the word nigger America. Change the spelling or
Something for God’s sake, say it
Backwards – it sounds like your favorite president that way
Fuck it I’m God, America.
And as an unemployed untouchable it
Occurs to me that I’m America.

Do they need old English majors in the Air Force?
Can a writer turn lathes into precision parts?
It’s true – I don’t want to.
I’d just as soon help Indians learn to read.
I’d just as soon sell my opinions.
Penny for my thought. Pick it up and find good luck.
Make me work 16 hour days. I done it before.
Send me to Tangiers with Burroughs.
The ultra-conservative queer – and I don’t give a shit if
You are queer America so long as you give me a job.
I want to put my own queer shoulder to the wheel, America.

Mike Best is an unemployed American writer, world traveler and teacher who is currently attempting to escape the United States as quickly as possible. He doesn't feel welcome in the United States nor anywhere else, but prefers being unwelcomed somewhere else. He's written for several online magazines and enjoyed a brief moment of fame in Asia, before making the mistake of returning to the United States. The End.

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Breaking News! Today's News Poem On Hiatus!

As you may have just read, I'm taking a break from Today's News Poem. It's true, I could keep doing this indefinitely, but other projects are calling me and there's only so much time in the day. Oh, don't you fret. I'll keep posting News Poems, but they'll probably be a weekly thing. You can look forward to the Complete Daily News Poems in print in a couple of months and Toylit will continue to take submissions.

I hope you enjoyed reading this project. I came into it thinking I knew it all already. As the year progressed, so did my skills. It's been fun. Anyhow, thanks for reading and I hope you gained something from my verse. I certainly gained from your readership.

-Khakjaan Wessington

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Guard the Poet [Today's News Poem, April 8, 2011]

Guard the Poet [Today's News Poem, April 8, 2011]

Ah muses I've served you with focused devotion;
I've served as your goblet, I've served you as jester.
I used to be bitter—but now I'm ecstatic;
My heart's uninstalled and you've turned me to poem.

Poison nutritious; nomad exquisite;
Pantomime artist loves all this sadness.
Farewell my folly, grant me your magic
Save all my foolish songs in the ether:

Stave off the darkness—it's calling me softly,
Shave off the edges of pummeling sidewalks;
Call all the cables and seagulls and airplanes—
Hold it together, preserve all this chaos.

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Thursday, April 07, 2011

Tastes of Home [Today's News Poem, April 7 2011]

Tastes of Home [Today's News Poem, April 7 2011]

Slush on the sidewalk
Snow in the doorway,
Beaks in the salad—
A seabird's attacking.

Shells were the home,
Yolk was the baby,
Whites were the mother
Hugging the offspring.

Home: where the flesh
Wraps in a blanket,
Whips to an omelet,
Stares out the window.

Springtime: a woodpecker sleeps in the branches;
White and black beak—its redness its life.
Summer: the woodchuck devours the garden—
Poison its lair and pitchfork its torso.
Autumn: the crows stand on the pikes—call them cornstalks.
Winter: the straggler is freezing,
She shatters the ice on the window
And batters stalactites—
Calling for springtime you flushed after dinner.

"Karen Cooke Phillip keeps the basement freezer of her new Anchorage house stocked with food to ward off homesickness. There is a whole king eider sea duck, including feathers and head. And she has three plastic bottles filled with seal oil: liquid gold to a Yupik Eskimo like Mrs. Cooke Phillip."
—KIM SEVERSON, The New York Times, Published: April 7, 2011

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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Nineveh [Today's News Poem, April 6, 2011]

Nineveh [Today's News Poem, April 6, 2011]

Shame there's no limit
To depths in the soil.
Rootlets had branched
Nodules like tumors, potatoes;
While the snout with an eyeball
Roots for excitement then lays it in sunlight
To wither or blossom—Nineveh kikayon,
Lot's wife of salt.

"Officer Trey Economidy of the Albuquerque police now realizes that he should have thought harder before listing his occupation on his Facebook profile as “human waste disposal.” After he was involved in a fatal on-duty shooting in February, a local television station dug up the Facebook page. Officer Economidy was placed on desk duty, and last month the Albuquerque Police Department announced a new policy to govern officers’ use of social networking sites. Social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter can be valuable assets for law enforcement agencies, helping them alert the public, seek information about crimes and gather evidence about the backgrounds of criminal suspects."
—ERICA GOODE, The New York Times, Published: April 6, 2011

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

I Would Tell You To Fuck Off And Die, But You're Fucked And Dead Already [Today's News Poem, April 5, 2011]

I Would Tell You To Fuck Off And Die, But You're Fucked And Dead Already [Today's News Poem, April 5, 2011]

You lost all credibility with me when you voted for anti-craft with Elana Bell,
Her prose with linebreaks,
Gonad worship, identity hustle.
You anti-craft cantists in search of the correct shibboleth
And poet to perpetuate your modern-American-academic-poetic-narrative:
Be anti-audience, self-indulge, stay irrelevant to non-core poetry readers, ignore metrical schemas—
Winning narratives should be simple and egotistical.
You claim it's taste, but how can you discern the difference between Elana
And every poetry blogger who confessed his cock?
You disgrace Whitman with your award:
Song of Sinecure.

"Dear Poet,
Thank you for submitting your work to the 2011 Walt Whitman Award. This year's judge, Fanny Howe, has selected Elana Bell's manuscript, eyes, stones, to receive the award.
Of the nearly 1,200 entries we received this fall, there were so many extraordinary manuscripts. If by September your manuscript has not yet found a publisher, we hope that you will consider submitting to the Walt Whitman Award again. Many past winners submitted several times before their manuscripts were ultimately selected.
The judge for the 2012 award will be announced later this summer, and the submission period will extend from September 15 to November 15, 2011. To receive guidelines and to submit your work on-line, please visit the Academy of American Poets' website at
We wish you the very best of luck with your writing. Thank you, again, for submitting to the Walt Whitman Award.

Alex Dimitrov
Awards Coordinator
The Academy of American Poets"
—Academy of American Poets,

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Innocence Attritted [Today's News Poem, April 4, 2011]

Innocence Attritted [Today's News Poem, April 4, 2011]

There's so much freshness, so much more innocence to shed.
The tide for example withdraws all the sand,
Draws all the hermit crabs, basks in the droppings of pelicans.
Fish fake the song at the crest of the swell—
Throbbing; a heart that pumps gills and ocean.
Welcome the edges of food-chain and welcome the
song of ablation,
the pockmarks of moon;
welcome births with one's mouth
and silvery slivers from eggs in the moonlight—
innocent still, for a moment at least.

"The federal government's chief climate adviser Professor Ross Garnaut believes nuclear power still has a vital role to play in global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite the crisis at Japan's Fukushima plant."
—Evan Schwarten, Sydney Morning Herald, April 5, 2011 - 2:54PM

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Declining Momentum [Today's News Poem, April 3, 2011]

Declining Momentum [Today's News Poem, April 3, 2011]

The concrete is cracking and punctures your tires,
Yet celebrate roots pushing pavement apart.
The birds are returning, they nest in the alder,
And shit on the sidewalk you hate—do not hate;
It's time for renewal—the wheels must stop spinning.

"Tokyo Electric Power is struggling to block a crack discovered in a pit that is leaking highly radioactive water into the ocean at its Fukushima Daiichi plant, and said it had discovered the bodies of its two missing employees at the stricken plant. "
—Lindsay Whipp in Tokyo, The Financial Times, Published: April 2 2011 17:09 | Last updated: April 3 2011 08:34

"As Southwest Airlines canceled 300 flights throughout the country after one of its jets developed a hole in its roof during a flight, Bay Area travelers Saturday had hit-or-miss experiences getting to and from their destinations."
—Lisa Fernandez and Doug Jastrow, Bay Area News Group, Posted: 04/02/2011 09:37:19 PM PDT, Updated: 04/02/2011 10:20:22 PM PDT

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

The New Normal [Today's News Poem, April 2, 2011]

The New Normal [Today's News Poem, April 2, 2011]

I thought that the average was something like grasping,
Something like murder and incest; torture and me.
I thought that because I could break, I was broken;
Born to a luck that I spurned because it's not fair.
And life is for idiots, error, repentance.
Life is not fair, so go quickly, even it out.
I've tried to exhaustion the rage and it failed me
Anger's the doorway to patience, love, compassion.
And normal's not average, it's more aspiration,
Noble and lie it's the mother goddess of hearth.
The lies do not bind us and babies aren't silenced
Shouting them down, nor by reason, terror—just love.

"there are many reasons to believe that measuring and reporting metrics of social mobility will be a meaningless task. Complete measures of social mobility, such as looking at the link between parental and children's incomes or parents' and children's education, take a lifetime to evaluate."
—Imran Hussain, Letters, The Guardian, Saturday 2 April 2011

"A host of Asian performing artists have staged a three-hour charity concert in Hong Kong to raise funds for victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami. "
—Xinhuanet, 2011-04-02 11:13:09

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Tales From The CombatWords Arena. 26.75 More Hours of Combat Left!

If you've been avoiding CombatWords because you are threatened by the idea of competitive writing, maybe you should be. I want you to note the timestamps for this combat after you admire the quality of the offered samples. If you can't take the heat, that's cool, but consider being an anonymous chicken and critiquing the comps. I mean, you might bring up valid points, but trust me, nobody is going to feel threatened by someone too scared to step into the arena him or herself.

Onyxsupersonics (April 1, 2011 4:52 PM PST
"my first trip to philadelphia, my first trip to new york, when i saw guernica at moma, my first flight to london ... i always thought i could do it again and it would be even better ... sometimes i did it again and it was, sometimes i did it again and it wasn't, but usually i couldn't and i'll never know whether it would've been or wouldn't have been ... "

Valerie Valdes (April 1, 2011 5:32 PM PST
""In Cuba, it wasn't like this"
was the common joke
when something bad happened
in America."

Amalia Dillin (April 1, 2011 6:42 PM PST
"My cousins and I jockeyed for the center seat, crawling over one another, climbing, twisting. The hammock twisted and one of them was hanging upside down on the outside, clinging like a monkey. We helped him back in, pulling him up like a sailors dragging a drowned man from the sea. "

Steven Marty Grant (April 1, 2011 7:30 PM PST
"Of course I know
I fought with her too
but those battlefields
are green and over grown;
Appomattox, Utah beach,
Hue City. "

Seann McCollum (April 2, 2011 11:34 AM PST
"In all the years since the weekend you
“didn’t sleep with” that fellow
you met at GothFest at the Trocadero"

I can't sit this one out--looks too fun. It's an extra good combat this week which is why you should try it out. I respect anyone willing to fall flat on his or her face in public, even if not for the quality of composition.

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Friday, April 01, 2011

COMBATWORDS IS ON RIGHT NOW! April 1, 2011 [Last Week's CW Poem Enclosed]

Fight, read, or critique; it's up to you:

Fruit of Knowledge [Combatwords repost from 3.25.2011]

Should you call it a baby tooth tucked in a pillow
Or call it a molar that crumbled with grinding?
Maybe it's better to say it's a fang
With venomous sacs, else a poison saliva?

You could wish for anything, but instead wish for money.
You ablate in the night as you sweat out anxiety—
And you ache for a cushion for teeth:
Something to suck-in your antidote.

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Gaol For Agoraphobics [Today's News Poem, April 1, 2011]

Gaol For Agoraphobics [Today's News Poem, April 1, 2011]

Leap from the floor to the counter.
Knock off the dishes, then land on the floor.

The labors of cat: in the sunbeam;

Gnaw on arachnids in paw,
Open the window—the garden awaits.

The rosemary blossomed this month.

Look at the world. It is freedom,
Smells like a spice on the currents of clouds.

The fences are flimsy, yet bind.

Pick a known path in the tangle.
Slink in the bushes then lay on cement.

The warden of prison appears

Reckless; he staggers down stairwell
Speaks in his language, contains the escape

With some tuna, a scratch for the ears
And a view from the window of mazes—
Abstractions gone monsters in lettuce—
Lock, latch and door.

"The Labor Department will release its monthly snapshot of the job market on Friday, and economists expect it to show that the nation’s employers added about 190,000 jobs in March. With an unemployment rate that has been stubbornly stuck near 9 percent, those workers could be considered lucky. But many of the jobs being added in retail, hospitality and home health care, to name a few categories, are unlikely to pay enough for workers to cover the cost of fundamentals like housing, utilities, food, health care, transportation and, in the case of working parents, child care. "
—MOTOKO RICH, The New York Times, Published: March 31, 2011

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life Preserver [Today's News Poem, March 31, 2011]

Life Preserver [Today's News Poem, March 31, 2011]

Nothing is certain.
What will save us?
Do not say it's love, for you can't eat love.
Do not say it's food, for you can't love food.
Superlatives skew our desires,
Sense of self; flatten the surfaces.
If everything's loved then nothing is loved.
I'll give you examples:
I was tremendously fat as a child.
My teacher had nightmares I'd burst in the classroom
And shatter her leg and she'd die in our papers.
We paid her no mind in her dream.
She was helpless, alone with us savages
And died from her blood-clot.
It wasn't me I said.
I'd never leave her there to die
And she laughed when I said this;
But why would I do that?
I loved her. She taught me to count on my words
And conjugate numbers—I'd never allow her to die
Somewhere awful like school.
I'd apologize softly. A chant of "I'm sorry, I'm sorry,"
While dialing emergency services.
And I wondered, "is she right? Is this me?"
I could fit a whole flock in my stomach,
And plantations of sugar—and how many gallons of milk
Did I churn into tallow?
So I lost all that weight,
Stopped the sugar and bicycled.
Weaved through the buses on Haight Street, on Market.
And every collision was miracle,
I tore off my knees and my elbows and laughed in the blood.
And I laughed with the love of my life
In the rain—nearly midnight on Sixth street.
The boarded up windows, the shopping cart specters
And needles for blades of grass, sodded on sidewalk.
We passed it, en route to our shower, bed above closet;
A cage for us lovebirds—
We had no idea.

"For a quarter marked by successive bouts of panic — over Mideast oil supplies, Japanese radiation leaks and European debt crises — safe-haven investments turned out to a pretty uneven showing."
—Marketwatch, March 31, 2011, 3:47 PM ET

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Butterfly Karma [Today's News Poem, March 30, 2011]

Butterfly Karma [Today's News Poem, March 30, 2011]

Every time you call your luck your karma,
Somewhere a yogi renounces his teachings
And snips off his beard.

You confuse the question with the answer.
Stomp on a butterfly, magnify anthills,
And curse your adulthood.

Simple cause, effect, informed by action
Can't be extended to cover our destinies.
We still overlap

As do shamrocks and leprechauns,
Dogs and yellow spots on lawns—
Today, tomorrow, yesterday:
A meadow in spring.

"The single largest winning lottery ticket ever sold in New York's Mega Millions drawing has been claimed, a lottery spokeswoman said Tuesday. The winners of the $319 million lottery are rumored to be seven IT specialists from New York state's Division of Housing and Community Renewal, said Emanuel Biondi, a public employees federation council leader for the agency."
—By the CNN Wire Staff, CNN, March 29, 2011

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Visions of Smothering [Today's News Poem, March 29, 2011]

Visions of Smothering [Today's News Poem, March 29, 2011]

When the world is too much for me,
The pigeons too ugly;
And the roof of humanity—
That marble monstrosity—
Buried with dust on antennae,
Grit in the fingernails,
Water for boundary,
Air for a temple,
Vista for idol;
I think of the time I had slipped
In the snow, so I fell at angle.
I could have slept away the years
And wrote a novel in my mind
With a feeding tube my bistro.
I could have fallen off a cliff,
I could have fallen on the knife,
I could have dared the man to shoot me,
I could have slept a dozen years.
Sleep is just the death I call the center of my life.
The rest that eludes me awake
Evades me in dreams, so I grind to the finish
Of sweat in the night and swallow enamel.
I awaken exhausted, in search of that rest of a child;
Where's the rest of that child
Who had names for inanimate objects
And déjà vu moments,
Where sleep and alertness combined in the memory?
Who notices sleep 'till it's lost?
Then we seek it, apostate in prayer to the wrathful.
I would cover my eyes if I could
To destroy what offends me—to cover the dust with more dust,
Raise all the oceans to bury it,
Leaving the people intact but their madness asleep
In a slurry of dust, sand and water.

"A new Swedish study shows an increased risk of developing the sleeping disease narcolepsy for children vaccinated with swine flu vaccine Pandemrix, a drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. "
—The Local, 29 Mar 11 09:49 CET

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Radioactive Utopia [Today's News Poem, March 28, 2011]

Radioactive Utopia [Today's News Poem, March 28, 2011]

Nuclear age monsters despise the reactor
That granted them powers.
Even Kaczynski would target professors
For like goes to likeness,
Wasting competitors, trashing the sources
Of powers, mutations.

I swear when Japan hits, I'll grow to a tower
Of iron, emitting my wavelengths of gamma.
I swear when the riots have burnt down the city
I'll rule from my palace of Twinkies and cistern
And start it all over again, this time better—
But first the explosions must shatter the windows
And shadow the basketball players at hoop-time,
And sprout from the concrete, a mushroom of promises;
And shrivel humanity: slugs must be salted.

"At least 15 states have found trace amounts of radiation from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan, but officials say the levels of radioactivity are much too low to prompt health concerns."
—Judy Keen, USA TODAY, Updated 9h 43m ago as of 7:34pm

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Billionaire Miasma [Today's News Poem, March 27, 2011]

Billionaire Miasma [Today's News Poem, March 27, 2011]

I don't care if you're famous, a billionaire Jesus;
Don't care if you think you deserve it—
You cannot convert this to adjective.
The language resists all your money.
True poets will carry the noun—
A whole fountain of language
Entombed in a mountain of ink;
While your currency blows with the wind
From your stomach, intestines and anus.
You are swollen with farts, you are floating on gas
And you circle the peak, but can never corrupt it.

"The signs of the coming apocalypse are many, but none are starker than this Web headline in the April issue of O: The Oprah Magazine: “Spring Fashion Modeled by Rising Young Poets.” Yes. Spring fashion. Modeled. By rising young poets. There follows a photomontage of attractive younger women — some of whom are rising poets mostly in the “I get up in the morning” sense, but all of whom certainly look poetic — in outfits costing from $472 to $5,003."
—DAVID ORR, The New York Times, Published: March 25, 2011

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rat-A-Tat Tah-Tahs [Today's News Poem, March 26, 2011]

Rat-A-Tat Tah-Tahs [Today's News Poem, March 26, 2011]

The sexy empowered with fuck imagination
Powered the office, and powered the celibate marriages.
The daughter of catsuits and hooker boots boxed after college,
Discovered her mother's vagina; her daddy's revolver.
Her Lexus swerves, ricochets off of the panels of cars, off lanes.
And if credit cards bounce, then just launch off a penis
A pogo; then dress in a suit. Go sell houses, insurance;
Your body's a weapon to copy by internet; to copy and
Touch with our eyes. While we handle our organs
You handle a pistol and load it and fire—it's cute so it's safe—
It is pink, therefore gentle. Oh you siren, you call us by testes,
We call back by phone then we enter your lair where you crash us on bullets.
You'll get on a show, you'll be famous and author some books
And appear at the rallies, the NRA rallies, to vanquish the losers of Onan
You fine fucking thing, with your tatas, dentatas,
A rat-a-tat-tah-tah; don't give me sons, give me daughters!

"Meghan Brown, a former Florida pageant queen, shot and killed 42-year-old Albert Franklin Hill during a home invasion March 12 at the 2,732-square-foot house she shares with her fiance in Tierra Verde, Fla."
—Cristina Corbin,, Published March 22, 2011

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CombatWords Hype for the Week: Hooray for Dystopia

CombatWords Hype for the Week: Hooray for Dystopia

Welcome to cyberpunk. May I take your order? Play, critique, or read the game here:

Tell your friends and especially tell your enemies. Hook a lit-goon up w/ Stumbleupon, Facebook, or whatever you post-print kids are doing these days.

Jeff Chon, March 26, 2011 12:10 AM PST:

"this black man is president and ugh he’s trying to take away all my rights he wants to take away my guns he wants to take away my religion oh won’t someone save me from this black man and the horrible nightmarish world he is creating the world is such a rotten place to live in now because in the old days I might have been poor I might have been dumb Hell I might have even been a bad person but at least I was white"

KW March 26, 2011 1:07 AM PST:

"Should you call it a baby tooth tucked in a pillow
Or call it a molar that crumbled with grinding?
Maybe it's better to say it's a fang
With venomous sacs, else a poison saliva? "

Anton Gourman, March 26, 2011 1:18 PM PST:

"Then the police arrived with Their Shields.
Their shields were windows and the men
looked out. Their eyes were square, and
who knows what the law thinks? "

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Jokepocalypse [From Twitter, March 26, 2011]


When comedy has been completely explored, it will become the domain of academics, comedemicians, joke generators for sale at Wal-Mart, etc. Modern countries will have personalized joke generators. Future communist countries will have THE BIGGEST JOKES IN THE WORLD!

You will wake up to a 200 decibel sound emanating from Siberia. Why, it's a joke. And your ears are bleeding. You will stagger to the closet and unlock the box holding your joke pistol and aim it wildly at the sky. A deadly stream of dick jokes will pour out. A little girl will run into the street, her screams drowned-out by the brutal sound of satire. The communist jokes are depressing: the pathos of Bill Hicks and the stupidity of Dane Cook. You will jump out the window, laughing.

Automated joke cannons for mutually assured comedy (MAC) keep firing, long after humanity has laughed to death, like Roger Rabbit Weasels. Millions of years later, an alien civilization discovers the remains of humanity and brings the Soviet joke generator home. Reproductive organ jokes cross the galaxy wiping out all the sentient life it encounters. As the universe reaches heat-death, all background electromagnetic radiation turns out to be encrypted comedy. One big joke.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Vespers and Vapors [Today's News Poem, March 25, 2011]

Vespers and Vapors [Today's News Poem, March 25, 2011]

When I breathe, I smell the lozenge you;
The winter, springtime pollen you.
Our sighs are breezes that blow us closer;
Somewhere near the source of salt and
How can hypothermia smell this delicious?
Why does it smell like the beginning of things?
And when I feel your final stillness,
How can I flow with such zeal for the chill of vespers
Of vapor that soon will seem warm to us both?
I still do not think it lost.

"A Joyce man died Wednesday evening while apparently trying to save his wife’s life with CPR after she collapsed, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday."
—Tom Callis, The Peninsula Daily News, March 24. 2011 11:57PM

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Divine Qubit [Today's News Poem, March 24, 2011]

Divine Qubit [Today's News Poem, March 24, 2011]

If you can imagine it, then somewhere it's real
In the possible universe, possible worlds.
For I have converted your whim to a poem:
A possible verse for a plausible outcome.
You are looking for God, or you wouldn't read poems;
I looked for it too, then I lost and recovered my faith
In the faithless.

                      The opposites reconcile.
God must exist, so you claim—I've destroyed it.
God is forever you claim—time's illusion.
God is a feeling of faith—what then is faithlessness?
I have combined them together and claim I'm Creator,
Who will stop me? An explosion? An earthquake?
A pack of dogs, swarm of bees or mob of men?
Priests who've embalmed all the possible life
In their certainly death? Or a hymn?
Will the chorus protect you when magma erupts?

The two halves are the whole; God is dead,
You revived it. I freeze time; you have moved it.
I lose faith; you possess it.
The qubits of heaven exist,
It surrounds this intelligent structure—it must,
Yet it's elsewhere. You say I'm a deist, I'm not;
For I'm certain that everything-possible-everywhere God
Is the set that subsumes both existence and non;
Has a planet called Heaven, another called Earth—
And all of them happier, all of them worse
Than this jaw of expansion;
The universe opens its maw—it's a smile.

"When Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara called the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan tembatsu -- or "divine judgment" -- he expressed a kind of theological cause and effect shared by nearly 40 percent of Americans."
—Lauren Green,, Published March 24, 2011

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Taking You With Me [Today's News Poem, March 23, 2011]

Taking You With Me [Today's News Poem, March 23, 2011]

Think of all those dollars saved,
While coasting on an outbound wave:
Farallon Islands your grave,

The seagulls laugh and pitch their wings
Over smoke the city sings.
Release the cremains in charred strings.

Smoking dollar, hear me holler.
Prise my coffin, drop the money
Off; I'll take it with me
Leaving ash behind.

"San Francisco firefighters are paid 18.3 percent above market compared to other fire departments in the region. And when you break it down by hourly pay, they're paid 34 percent over market."
—Heather Knight, City Insider, San Francisco Chronicle, March 23, 2011

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dormant Code [Today's News Poem, March 22, 2011]

Dormant Code [Today's News Poem, March 22, 2011]

If blossoms admit it; if jackhammers mutter,
Jackasses sputter it—spring is erection
And promises doused at the summer's discretion.
Spring is the architect, spring is the beauty;
And spring is the whimsy that animates flirting,
Coffee then sex, then placenta in garbage.
The blossoms are falling—they're purple-white falling—
Corpses of salmon are caught in the gravel,
The mushrooms consume what remains of a redwood,
Why won't you bury the afterbirth stillborn
And plant on the grave—if not pear, plant a plum tree?
Look at the city, it's rising; it's falling,
It's built on the efforts of ultimate knowledge.
Calculate will to the decimal spirit,
The programs will find you and activate software
Fucking you, fighting you, flighting and feeding
Your face—you're a robot. My face—I'm a robot.

"The psychologists also measured other factors, including the workers’ general satisfaction with their lives, how energetic they felt, how strongly they endorsed an ethic of hard work. None of these factors was a reliable predictor of their actual performance on the job, as rated by their supervisors. But the higher the workers scored on the scale of belief in free will, the better their ratings on the job."
—JOHN TIERNEY, The New York Times, Published: March 21, 2011

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Fission Metaphor [Today's News Poem, March 21, 2011]

Fission Metaphor [Today's News Poem, March 21, 2011]

Grasp ever tighter and lose the whole thing.
Springs, sprockets, circuitry slip from the hand.
Squeeze harder, diamonds are possible sand.
Fists fit the world in the palm of one's rage.

"When radiation is released with gas, as it was at the Japanese reactors, the particles are carried by prevailing winds, and some will settle on the earth. Rain will knock more of the suspended particles to the ground. “There is an extremely complex interaction between the type of radionuclide and the weather and the type of vegetation,” Dr. Whicker said. “There can be hot spots far away from an accident, and places in between that are fine.”"
—ELISABETH ROSENTHAL, The New York Times, Published: March 21, 2011

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Elbow Room [Today's News Poem, March 20, 2011]

Elbow Room [Today's News Poem, March 20, 2011]

My grandmother's sister would elbow the crowds
Towing her comical entourage—preteen
Befuddled with glasses—through Union Square faces.

Untense for an instant and everything's lost.
Plot by the footstep through Jimmy Choo mazes
Like Tao of the paces; expand through obstructions.

By graphing location in city, one sees
Stages of rage and aggression, discomfort;
The crowd will converse it, will ramble and shout it.

If death is a billboard of home in a condo
Tiny, but private, with views of an island
And bridge that connects it to privacy towers

Ensconced in a crowd with bare feet
And ensconced by the ocean,
Gilded with spotlights in fog,
Where breakers erode
All the edges
Of crowds—

"A rate of 45 percent would apply to taxable income starting at $1 million and rates would increase up to 49 percent for taxable incomes over $1 billion. Citizens for Tax Justice found that the bill would raise at least $78.9 billion if enacted for 2011. This is a little more than the $61 billion that Republicans would like to cut for the rest of this fiscal year from Pell Grants, nutrition, housing and other programs that struggling families rely on, particularly during this recession."
—Citizens For Tax Justice, March 18, 2011 2:50 PM

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kirilian Epiphany [Today's News Poem, March 19, 2011]

Kirilian Epiphany [Today's News Poem, March 19, 2011]

Perception inverted, the light seemed excessive,
Radioactive, relentless,
Its ambiance entered my brain through eye-sockets.
Typing a memo forgotten
To someone forgotten, displaced in a panic.
Plumes fell to thunderstorm raincloud
And smothered my eyes with a radiance leaking,
Blurred with appliances shedding
Electrons: a negative image of dreamscape—
Nothing implied with a halo,
Kirilian opposite, darkness corona.
Microwaved steak made of prion,
A medicine tainted with HeLa immortal,
Particles scintillate, shimmer,
Contaminate; pierce through denial: awaken!

"As Japan struggles to contain radiation leaking from crippled nuclear reactors, many countries, including China, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand have already started to test food imported from Japan for radiation, and the European Union has recommended that member countries do so. "
—ANDREW POLLACK, The New York Times, Published: March 18, 2011

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The World is Ending! So Play Some CombatWords!

Sure seems like the end of an era to me:

Steven Marty Grant

"It is finished

Two thousand years of grace
covered the lower ground
of man’s last temple; Manhattan

Allah Akbar "

Seann McCollum (RToady)

"How could they prohibit our tradition?
Our memories condemned, our past made sin.
Would they deny Marcel his madeleine?
Reproach the kosher Jew for eating brisket? "

Read, play, or critique:

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Deteriorating Facsimile [Combatwords Repost, March 12, 2011]

Deteriorating Facsimile [Combatwords Repost, March 12, 2011]

Admit it, you've suffered reversals.
Desire, so the Buddhists declaim,
Is the root of one's woe as if life
Were a trifle. It's huge. It's the only
Certainty, other than death.

But love is as likely as dinner,
As likely as children—they're us
But they're smaller; repeating our lives.
We diminish each time and forget
Failures: we copy and shrink,

Then we're gone
And return
And then vanish.

Catch all the action here:

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Modern Excommunication [Today's News Poem, March 18, 2011]

Modern Excommunication [Today's News Poem, March 18, 2011]

To: You
From: Me
Re: Unemployment
Body: You cannot imagine beyond it;
You're drawn to the certainties—drawn to yourself,
Aching for service to self, yet you're servant:
Obsequious, fearful of fates worse than death.
Riding the bus, there's perfume; the aroma
Of leather and gym is a blessing. The stench
Derelicts emanate gives you the courage
To guzzle your coffee obsessed with the trifles
Ownership offers. Though briefly you worry
While watching Japan in the news, of disaster,
Nothing has happened and nothing will happen
That hasn't occurred, for nothing remains to be taken.

"Part of the answer may be that while those who are unemployed tend to stay unemployed, those who still have jobs are feeling more secure than they did a couple of years ago. "
—PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times, Published: March 17, 2011

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Evolution of the New Biosphere [Today's News Poem, March 17, 2011]

Evolution of the New Biosphere [Today's News Poem, March 17, 2011]

The pleasure dome of climate: gas and green
Covers the stone and encases the raptures.
The wavelengths soothe belabored jungle scowls:
Monitors radiate myths of consumption.
The beats in buds transmit the wave to brain—
Frequency, farts and emissions aren't garbage
The burger wrapper lays beside the porn
Magazine: fucking the lamb—it's a lion.
Abortions, livers, tumors, foreskins, hands
Settle, deflowered, in celibate brothels.
Radioactivate trash, let Gomorrah
Fertilize biospheres, rot to a forest;
Hoist you from whore to a virgin again.

"But Tokyo Electric said this week that there was a chance of “recriticality” in the storage ponds – that is to say, the uranium in the fuel rods could become critical in nuclear terms and resume the fission that previously took place inside the reactor, spewing out radioactive byproducts."
—KEITH BRADSHER and HIROKO TABUCHI, The New York Times, Published: March 17, 2011

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Riparian Monster [Today's News Poem, March 16, 2011]

Riparian Monster [Today's News Poem, March 16, 2011]

Bounded by freshness, rocks in my middle,
I scuttle through openness carved with my belly.
Maybe I'm boulder instead—I forgot:
Is stiffness within me? Or am I the stiffness?
Focus on aches and you'll lose all your sense.
So launch through the canopy, fill it with excess;
Uproot the timber and swallow their seeds.
If parrots complain just entice them then drown them.
Even the sky lends support to your cause—
Slumber, awaken—sleep and awake.

"Mr. Jaczko’s testimony, the most extended comments by a senior American official on Japan’s nuclear disaster, described what amounts to an agonizing choice for Japanese authorities: keep sending workers into an increasingly contaminated area in a last-ditch effort to cover nuclear fuel with water, or do more to protect the workers but risk letting the pools of water boil away — and thus risk a broader meltdown."
—DAVID E. SANGER, MATTHEW L. WALD and HIROKO TABUCHI. The New York Times, Published: March 16, 2011

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Exclusive Toylit Interview With @RadioactiveHair: The Man Who Infiltrated North Korea

Exclusive Toylit Interview With @RadioactiveHair: The Man Who Infiltrated North Korea

It was an amazing time to be alive: North Korea entered the international community by creating an account on Twitter called @Uriminzok ( A /b/tard declared it the end of history. Public radio in the US was abuzz with the possibility that Kim Jong-Il would lay down his arms if he got enough followers. Sadly, optimism tends to trend to pessimism and Portly Asian Elvis stood in the corner, sullenly brandishing nukes and cognac. Pyongyangologists were excited to see NK break this trend when it increased the number of accounts it followed to 13 (auspicious number indeed!) ( Was this a sign that North Korea was ready to break out of its shell? Perhaps! @Uriminzok didn't seem to think names were very important when it started following @RadioactiveHair nor did it seem uncomfortable with @RadioactiveHair's rapist history either... at least at first.

All good things must come to an end and after a ruthless Twitter purge, as of March 16, 2011, @Uriminzok follows just 2 people on Twitter: @Pyongyang_DPRK and @JimmyDushku.

I caught up with @RadioactiveHair on Twitter and asked how he felt about his historic role as The Man Who Infiltrated North Korea.

How did you find out about North Korea's Twitter account?

"I wasn't quite sure when I found out about Best Korea's twitter account, but after searching a chat log I can pinpoint an exact date and time. 13:29 Aug 18 2010. "

How did you get North Korea's Twitter account to follow you?

"They followed me on September 16th 2010 after I praised the Dear Leader and Best Korea. September 16th was also 5 days after Collapsing Yankee was supposed to be carried out. This was delayed."

Can you make any sense of the regime based-off its Twitter behavior?

"As I do not speak Korean, I am unable to make any sense of Best Korea's twitter behavior. However, I can understand their propaganda pictures against USA and the other Korea as they did what they could to rape Best Korea in the 50's. Being threatened with nuclear weapons is never pleasant."

Who do you think was really reading your tweets in North Korea?

"I don't know who in Best Korea read my tweets, maybe some of the 10.000 with cellphones they have acquired illegally? For the sake of epicness, I hope it was Kim Jong Il himself. He did say in 2007 that he is an internet expert, so the possibility is there."

When did North Korea stop following you on Twitter?

"You enlightened me about Best Korea unfollowing me on March 8, while it may not be the correct date let's just say it is. When I do find out the date, it shall become a national day of mourning."

Do you think anyone was executed or sent to a labor camp for their role in following you?

"Of course they executed someone for following me, Best Korea doesn't have the time to feed everyone."

When dealing with such a volatile regime, do you worry that trolling them might incite a real war? Or is this what you're hoping for?

"Best Korea is always threatening the south with attacks, so of course I will help bring that forward. Even if it could escalate to a World War if China was to become involved like the last time. If they are smart, they'll make their move now as the crisis in Japan is still ongoing."

Would you like to visit North Korea even though it's probably too late to safely do so now?

"During the period that Best Korea did follow me, Kim built me a mansion outside of Pyongyang, which I visited. At the moment though I will not go back."

You've managed to do what professional espionage agencies as of yet have been unable to do: infiltrate North Korea. Any tips for spymasters reading this?

"Just pay some corrupt folks in China and you'll get instant access to Best Korea. Who to pay I shall not reveal further, nor the sum."

Do you think Kim Jong-Il knew he was gonna get raped? Did that have anything to do with him unfollowing you?

"I hope Kim knew he was gonna get raped, and if he did I sure hope he likes rape."

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