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Friday, December 28, 2012

Fundamentalism [Week's News Poem, December 28, 2012]

Fundamentalism [Week's News Poem, December 28, 2012]

We proselytize apocalypse;
worshiping doom
or its salesman.

“U.S. consumer confidence fell more than expected in December, hitting a four-month low as a looming fiscal crisis sapped what had been a growing sense of optimism about the economy.”
—Jason Lange, WASHINGTON, Reuters, Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:30pm EST
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/27/us-usa-economy-jobless-idUSBRE8BQ08P20121227



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Friday, December 21, 2012

The Sculptor Resists [News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, December 21, 2012]

The Sculptor Resists [News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, December 21, 2012]

Marble tears pollinate the tongue of boot,
Drift away, fertilizing every route
The Sculptor treads.
He cannot stop
Himself and stomps
The dust, his dread.

“In a rare appearance before national media, leaders of the National Rifle Association called on Americans to protect their children by putting armed guards in every school in the country. ”
—Linda Feldmann, Staff writer / December 21, 2012
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2012/1221/NRA-press-conference-Put-armed-guards-in-schools-video



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Friday, December 14, 2012

Dance of the Waterspout [Week's News Poem, December 14, 2012]

Dance of the Waterspout [Week's News Poem, December 14, 2012]

A gunman shot the kids away
To ride-off on the waterspout.
And every time the news obtains a tear,
I lift my arms and spin, then fall.
The world keeps spinning,
Nothing's free, not even sorrow.
I'll spin to see things clearly:
Swirling down the drain,
Nauseating (nauseous with migraine).
Just like DNA, a whirlpool,
A galaxy's edge, everything—
And I mean everything—
Is spinning out of control.
Of course I'll cry.
I am a waterspout.

“The gunman, who was believed to be in his 20s, walked into a classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where his mother was a teacher. He shot and killed her and then fatally shot 20 students, most in the same classroom. He also fatally shot five other adults, and then killed himself inside the school. One person was also injured in the shooting.”
—JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM, NYT, Published: December 14, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/15/nyregion/shooting-reported-at-connecticut-elementary-school.html



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Friday, December 07, 2012

Food Web [Week's News Poem, December 7, 2012]

Food Web [Week's News Poem, December 7, 2012]

Something finally died inside,
Slithered down the alimentary slide—
Savored and seasoned with salty brine—
Some things die and something dines.

When digested, death is fullness,
Wilderness—a kelp-abyss—
Where foam reveals a row of teeth:
White as bone—that aboriginal beneath.

“Google Inc is replacing the head of its in-house mergers and acquisitions group, David Lawee, with one of its top lawyers, according to a person familiar with the matter. ”
—Alexei Oreskovic, Reuters, SAN FRANCISCO | Fri Dec 7, 2012 2:58pm EST
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/07/net-us-google-ma-idUSBRE8B614120121207



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Friday, November 30, 2012

Metafiscal Cliff [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, November 30, 2012]

Metafiscal Cliff [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, November 30, 2012]

Beginning my descent smothered in air,
I missed the stair.

We all arrive at disaster,
Only, I'm faster.

Scrooge is only a partial exemption:
They remember the jerk, not his redemption.

I surmised that I did the same thing
And you will too.

“"If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their taxes automatically go up on January 1," Obama said at a factory that makes Tinkertoys, among other things, in suburban Philadelphia. "That's sort of like the lump of coal you get for Christmas. That's a Scrooge Christmas."”
—Mark Felsenthal, Reuters, HATFIELD, Penn. | Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:51pm EST
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/30/us-usa-fiscal-obama-idUSBRE8AT0LH20121130



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Friday, November 23, 2012

Dirt Hunt [Week's News Poem, November 23, 2012]

Dirt Hunt [Week's News Poem, November 23, 2012]

My toes are expert hunters:
They snuffle in the humus.
Even my humerus knows
Whatever lost in the dirt
Regrows next season.

“Two people died and scores of people were hurt Thursday when up to 140 vehicles collided in in dense fog Southeast Texas in a pileup that left trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing to pull survivors from the wreckage. ”
—NBC News staff and news services, The Associated Press and Reuters, 6:50 p.m. ET
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/22/15364379-140-car-pileup-in-texas-fog-kills-two-injures-dozens?lite


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Friday, November 16, 2012

Will of Sabotage [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, November 16, 2012]

Will of Sabotage [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, November 16, 2012]

Peace sounds like a great idea.
When we are angry, war sounds like a better idea.
War is the idea that you know you will stop being angry later.
Violence is the choice to do something irrevocable.

“Israel's cabinet authorized the mobilization of up to 75,000 reservists late on Friday, preparing the ground for a possible Gaza invasion after Palestinians fired a rocket toward Jerusalem for the first time in decades.”
—Nidal al-Mughrabi and Jeffrey Heller, Reuters, GAZA/JERUSALEM | Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:31pm EST
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/16/us-palestinians-israel-hamas-idUSBRE8AD0WP20121116


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Friday, November 09, 2012

Political Mistletoe [Week's News Poem, November 9, 2012]

Political Mistletoe [Week's News Poem, November 9, 2012]

A Halloween sweet tooth lasts all season long;
There are far more tricks than treats.
A goose is cooked, the turkey's fried;
Soon fat men will impersonate Santa.
Elections are over, the cliff of the year approaches;
Pucker up for a kiss, but first close your eyes.

“U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Friday called on President Barack Obama to lead the efforts to avert the $600 billion "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts looming at year's end, but stood by his opposition to any tax rate increases on the wealthy.”
—Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Vicki Allen; Reuters, Fri Nov 9, 2012 12:02pm EST



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Friday, November 02, 2012

Ignoble Warning [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, November 2, 2012]

Ignoble Warning [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, November 2, 2012]

Money never wakens—it's dream and our creation;
Reflects our decisions—the worthiest divisions
Of spoils (for everything spoils, what doesn't toil).

I dreamed I wandered away from familiar—beyond—
Where Palestinians live in a duck blind and extract
A toll they want from me, but cannot get, from a teenager.

They stood him next to me, held out his trembling, hairless arm,
And sawed the first joint off his thumb, fed him jalapeno peppers
And let him bleed to death—he bled to death and they blamed me
And so did I.

“The trading week was shortened by a historic two-day market closure on Monday and Tuesday, spurred by superstorm Sandy's devastating sweep through the U.S. Northeast.
"We started off on strength, with nonfarm payrolls coming in above expectations. Then we drifted lower during the day. It's hard to determine what direction we are in - with the two days off, it's really been a strange week," said Fred Dickson, chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co, in Lake Oswego, Oregon.”
—Chuck Mikolajczak, Reuters, NEW YORK | Fri Nov 2, 2012 4:33pm EDT

“The parents of two butchered Upper West Side kids asked their financially strapped nanny to do simple housework as a way to earn more money — but all that did was enrage the woman, law-enforcement sources told The Post. “She said something like, ‘I’m paid to watch the children, not clean up and do housework,’ ” a law-enforcement source said of Yoselyn Ortega’s statements to cops after she woke up from a medically induced coma Sunday.”
—JAMIE SCHRAM and LARRY CELONA, New York Post Last Updated: 3:54 AM, November 2, 2012, Posted: 1:53 AM, November 2, 2012



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Friday, October 26, 2012

Too Modern To Pray [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, October 26, 2012]

Too Modern To Pray [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, October 26, 2012]

I take a leap of science,
and if I study God,
it's not for the setup,
it's the punchline.

“Hurricane Sandy, a late-season Atlantic cyclone that threatens to be one of the worst storms to hit the Northeast in decades, slogged slowly northward on Friday after killing at least 41 people in the Caribbean.”
—Tom Brown, Reuters, MIAMI | Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:54pm EDT
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/26/us-storm-sandy-hurricane-idUSBRE89N16J20121026

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Life's Velocity [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, October 19, 2012]

Life's Velocity [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, October 19, 2012]

As the cat beside the radiator
I'm the closest to division.
I've velocity. I'm equal
To my coffin, car, whatever it is.
Out the window on the shoulder
Of the freeway lies a garbage bag or
Is it buck and is he sleeping
In the burger wrapper burial grounds?
Those guts—raccoon as pinata.
Canine my former enemy lies,
Plays disassembled and dead now.
Hell, I can't judge, I'm desiccated.
Dried and preserved, I'm the kitty
Essence that napped and drowned in the smoke.
Once it was warm. I unfolded
Under the shade, awaking to fog.
The clouds descend upon us
Whilst we dream of ourselves
In youth, beneath the endless.
Even now I am there.

“Barely a year after Steve Jobs passed away, a psychic is claiming that she’s in contact with the co-founder of Apple, and that all is apparently not rosy.”
Glen Levy | @glenjl | Time Magazine, October 18, 2012

 
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Maneki Neko [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, October 12, 2012]

Maneki Neko [Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, October 12, 2012]

I ate a chicken strangled at nine
twenty five an hour. If I can't
remember my lunch, it's because cat
videos are so funny. That's how I
spend it: watching cats just like us.
A cat's claws and fangs look like my boss's
painted nails when she crosses her
legs to eat salad, but before she
picks up the phone to end her break.

“A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted after the debate showed that 42 percent of registered voters felt Biden had won, versus 35 percent who picked Ryan. Twenty-three percent said they did not know who had come out ahead.”
—Patricia Zengerle, Reuters, WASHINGTON | Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:07pm EDT



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Friday, October 05, 2012

Reincarnation of an Uncle Sam [This Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, October 5, 2012]

Reincarnation of an Uncle Sam [This Week's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, October 5, 2012]

Step inside the showroom of the Republic.
First, address your faith, or lack thereof.
Every flavor of God's for sale; try a domestic brand.

Nobody should leave godless, but we all can err.
Leaven your mood: consult with our experts.
Contemplate your life while we minister to your pain.

Uncle Sam's carnival, garish, executive polish.
“Am I a pimp? You know I am a religious man.”
“That's not a denial Sam.”

Awareness of persuasion increases our resistance.
When we're offered what we want, we cooperate.
I have everything and what I allow is outrageous.

Do you want to live forever?
I have doctors who can help with that.
Do you want to love forever? Same.

My stars and stripes aggress your eyes,
My costume is my work; I change minds
With physique, reason, interruption and other means of persuasion.

There are gestures that suppress free minds,
Forms of dominant eye contact;
Saying nothing well, and with a smile
is the
Uncle Sam everybody loves,
and fears—better fear
than love.

“President Barack Obama's lead over challenger Mitt Romney has narrowed to just two percentage points since the Republican's strong performance in their first debate, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.”
—Patricia Zengerle, WASHINGTON | Fri Oct 5, 2012 3:28pm EDT






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Friday, September 28, 2012

Cattle Car [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, September 28, 2012]

Cattle Car [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, September 28, 2012]

The pen is obsolete, the screen is ticklish;
Every fingernail's a pixelated gesture:
Paragon of monitor, awaiting upload.

The driver's obsolete. The auto automat
Carpets chassis, asphalt, neutralizes hunger,
Activates the appetite and catches french fries.

The herd complains as geese, or sirens; stabbing horns,
Chewing crud or chips or bubblegum and blowing
Sculptures from our mouths; we are the art of ourselves.

“Corn futures surged nearly 6 percent on the Chicago Board of Trade after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported corn stocks on September 1 were below 1 billion bushels for the first time in eight years. Wheat futures rose more than 5 percent, topping $9 a bushel after the data showed stockpiles were 7 percent less than forecast. ”
—Reuters, Charles Abbott, WASHINGTON | Fri Sep 28, 2012 4:27pm EDT



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Underground Irony [Today's News Fiction by Jenean McBrearty, September 28, 2012]

 
Underground Irony [Today's News Fiction by Jenean McBrearty, September 28, 2012]

Wise Hootie Owl— at WWW.ASKWHO.COM—was more than a website for the chronically confused. Directives such as, “Dump the SOB already”, issued with painful regularity to young people with hopeless attachments to abusive significant others, were also encoded messages to Wellwishers.
Editor-in-Chief Marston Michaels, 'ol M&M who loved chocolate unrepentantly, notified his submitting followers they'd be meeting, where and when, through arcane artistic allusions and advice to hormone dominated adolescents and wily whiny children.
Dear WHO: I live at home and my mother refuses to give me an allowance. Is this fair? I'm 8 years old. Signed, Oppressed.
Dear Oppressed: Suck it up and write me when you're 20 and on your own.
Meaning: WHO headquarters. Eight o'clock. Women's turn to bring the cupcakes. Yearly dues due.
The Censors had little trouble deciphering the message, except for the true ingredients of the refreshments and where, exactly, headquarters was. Wellwishers were suspected of using narcotics to induce creativity, and Wellwishers suspects were never seen leaving their homes.

**********

“The Allies planted false information about the D-Day invasion on a corpse, threw it into the sea, and made sure the Germans recovered it. Hitler concentrated his defenses in Calais. Maybe this is a Wellwisher decoy message meant to throw us off track,” FBI Director J. Meager said to the Writer's Task Force when they'd assembled at the Quantico, Virginia office.
“Or a feeble attempt at humor,” lead WTF Agent Turnbull said, “are we supposed to believe these subversives eat cupcakes?”
J. Meager shot agent Turnbull a glare, suspecting Turnbull was a turncoat. “We found a Wendy's receipt in Tim McVeigh's glove box. Don't think for a moment evil people only eat raw meat. Maybe it's time we reviewed why we're hunting down this crew.” The lights went off and a screen lowered for the PowerPoint slideshow. It reminded Turnbull of the noise a stage curtain made as it opened for the first act. J. Meager delivered his lines perfectly.
“No fictional or nonfictional creation, communication, or depiction shall display any of the following:
·Sexism
·Racism
·Lookism
·Violence
·Vulgarity
·Profanity
·Religious preference
No fictional or nonfictional creation, communication, or depiction shall use any of the above directed toward, used to describe, or created in scenes, that contain, in any form, explicit or implicit negative and/or stereotypical representations of conflicts between or among:
·Women
·Children
·Disabled people
·Lesbians, gays, bisexual, or transgendered people
·Animals
·Ethnic groups,
·Organizations political parties or entities
·Professions
·Environmental protection
These Wellwishers are purveyors of hate speech. A sneaky bunch that doesn't wish anyone well,” J. Meager said. “Remember that.”
Turnbull raised a hesitant hand. “They're fiction writers with First Amendment rights, right?”
“Yes, but like journalists they have to write within the rules about the right things. Clean. Harmonious. Peace promoting things. I think that'd be self evident from the laws, Turnbull. You defending these freaks?” J. Meager was still speaking in the dark.
“No, sir! I'm feeling anxious about the conflict between mother and child in the WHO letter.”
J. Meager turn off the computer, turned on the lights, and went to Turnbull's side. “I apologize. Didn't mean to imply disloyalty on your part. Not at all. And we're looking into shutting down advice columns that glorify parental economic deprivation. “
Turnbull wiped a tear off his cheek with his sleeve. “I hate child abuse,” he said.
“And that, People, is why Charles Dickens' books were put to the flames,” J. Meager told the Task Force patting Turnbull on the shoulder. “Base words give rise to base emotions that fuel base behavior. I want this task force to hit a home run.”

**********

Agent Turnbull opened his bedroom closet door and accessed a secret stairwell that led to a tunnel, that led to a great round room with 20 doors. A Wellwishers cell, Turnbull's was called Underground Irony, that connected 10—20 secret writers who'd moved into adjacent properties and immediately constructed basements and tunnels through their concrete slab foundations. Here, throughout America's cities, writers met to read and share and conjure their fictions in high-tech writers webs, air-conditioned, subterranean prison cells where everyone was free.
“Topside we live as worms and moles in glass and iron,” M&M said to Turnbull as they drank a six-pack of white wine coolers and waited for the others. “In catacombs we live in class irony, wrapped in cocoons of controversy and characters and cowardice. Treacherous. Traitors to both government-ordered order and individual liberty, because we're afraid to confront the Leviathan of Political Correctness. “
Turnbull couldn't accuse his Editor-in-chief of purple prose anymore than he could accuse J. Meager of 1st Amendment violations. Everyman writes his own version of a story. Instead he shook his head back and forth and up and down in balanced agreement and said, “How like our fiction is our nation. Subtexted. Fucked.”


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Friday, September 21, 2012

Regenesis [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, September 21, 2012]

Regenesis [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, September 21, 2012]

A child plays the saxophone, regenerates jazz by the quarters and twelfths—
Discovers the patterns and innovates beautifully: ignorant, beautifully.
Even The Trumpet is brass, just as judgment is brass for the bronze of each savage.
Salvage my body my offspring, before you ascend to adulthood without me.

The narrative arc of our history's gentleness. Children: comprehend
Every bully, the boredom of thugs; the way that your cat wants the robin,
Your father wants enemy blood in his mouth, blood on his phallus,
Death for your enemies and after they're finished, death for himself.

“Don't blame these attacks on a low-budget video, said The Wall Street Journal. A “far greater provocation to violence is the appearance of U.S. weakness” that president Obama and Rice displayed after the attack in Benghazi. By denouncing the film and the American who made it—rather than vociferously condemning the militants who murdered Stevens—this administration “only invites radicals to use more such excuses to kill more Americans.””
—The Week, September 28, 2012; Volume 12, Issue 585




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Friday, September 14, 2012

Film of Security [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, September 14, 2012]

Film of Security [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, September 14, 2012]

Insults: fury. Film the profits.
Protesters attack off flits
Of burning prophets,
U.S. Flag and Pentagon.
Security is agony,
And it's also gone.



“Fury about a film that insults the Prophet Mohammad tore across the Middle East on Friday with protesters attacking U.S. embassies and burning American flags as the Pentagon rushed to bolster security at its missions. ”
—Reuters, Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:25pm EDT
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/14/us-film-protests-idUSBRE88D0O320120914





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Friday, September 07, 2012

Celestial Sign [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, September 7, 2012]

Celestial Sign [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, September 7, 2012]



I'm here today to talk about a special
Brother; sisters, fathers. It's the Holy Hand.
Have you ever felt its icy fingers? Shake
The hand of mighty Smith through the broken glass
As winter fights the radiator, fog meets
Bed and looks like holy ghosts—to me, it's God.



“At the start of the historically weakest month for equities there are plenty of reasons to believe stocks may be just about reaching a top - at least in the short term.
The S&P 500 has surged 14 percent this year and is at its highest level in more than 4 years. Not counting 2009 when equities rebounded from their crisis lows, this could be the best year for stocks since 2003 - nearly a decade.”
— Edward Krudy, Reuters, NEW YORK | Fri Sep 7, 2012 7:37pm EDT
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/07/us-usa-stocks-weekahead-idUSBRE8861EW20120907



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Friday, August 31, 2012

Grimace Of The Rabbit Man [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, August 31, 2012]

Grimace Of The Rabbit Man [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, August 31, 2012]

All life's pursuit and flights of fancy
Rabbit nibblers: ash suits and the nominally red,
Bloodless bowties. Every tooth's surrender,
So take it easy. Don't get angry.
Just calm down, lie down in down
And rodent pellets. Smile because
You can't help but, can't imagine anything
But bites of self, broken jaws, your own
Ashen blood.

"As wealth and income rise to the top, moreover, so does political power. The rich are able to entrench themselves by lowering their taxes, gaining special tax breaks (such as the “carried interest” loophole allowing private equity and hedge fund managers to treat their incomes as capital gains), and ensuring a steady flow of corporate welfare to their businesses (special breaks for oil and gas, big agriculture, big insurance, Big Pharma, and, of course, Wall Street)."
- By Robert Reich, ROBERTREICH.org
http://robertreich.org/post/30553661179



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Friday, August 24, 2012

Ecce Mono [Today's News Poem, August 24, 2012]

Ecce Mono [Today's News Poem, August 24, 2012]

You knelt and grasped your rosary
And argued with creation.
Your poisoned essence oiled beads
And textured wood as if it were your nose,
Injected in yourself another sex
And bearded what was sacred to me.

Ecce Homo.

As painter, I have gesso and a vision.
I have more at stake than God.
My sperm is white as heaven,
White as bone, white as supposed light.
And when I lose, I lose forever:
There is no second masquerade.

Everybody knows I'm bored, near-death
And what I see, I choose to see.
And what I see are desperate apes,
Liars, and the desperate apes;
The nose oil and the pheromones of apes.

Ecce Mono.





'"You did it secretly, didn't you?"
"No! No, of course not."'
- BBC News, 23 August 2012 Last updated at 06:50 ET

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19349921



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Friday, August 17, 2012

Mock Execution [Today's News Poem, August 17, 2012]

Mock Execution [Today's News Poem, August 17, 2012]

You have nothing
I couldn't take;
And when you sing,
Sing mistake.

Nothing's safe or just:
Virgin Mary, cunt of God
Must fuck you over
Exactly like a man.

Dostoevsky knew the chances
Of execution's double glances.
Snowmen staked into the ground,
Czarist coils bound

To trees in winter--an upbringing
Of snow precautions:
'This is life,' he must have said
Before he bled beyond the ice.

Bring that little Jesus death
And death again; without the fear
Of death and death again
There's nothing left to fear.

My teenage brother yanked me off my chair
Tore my bib and brought the knife down near my neck
To slash and stab again in jest.
A game of fear to him.

But I have died and died again
And now I am invincible
And cannot fear, nor trust.
And if I love, I love the thrust.

"A Moscow judge handed down stiff prison sentences of two years on Friday afternoon for three young women who staged a protest against Vladimir V. Putin in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior last February and whose jailing and trial on hooliganism charges have generated worldwide criticism of constraints on political speech in Russia."
- DAVID M. HERSZENHORN, The New York Times, Published: August 17, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/18/world/europe/suspense-ahead-of-verdict-for-jailed-russian-punk-band.html










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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Willard Up Gangsta!! [#twitterfoundpoem, August 12, 2012]

Willard Up Gangsta!! [#twitterfoundpoem, August 12, 2012]
Tweets+Edits=#twitterfoundpoem

Willard up gangsta!!
don't like Gemstone canines, Ghost dogs, Basic Lupine Urology?
u gotta be like the Gemstone canines.
u gotta Willard up gangsta and tear It up !!
u gotta tear breakfast bacon OFF a pig
and tear It up gangsta!!

When you're a Ghost Dog your whole death
and come to the point of not being able to play
your game anymore, it's like your death is over.

but u can still piss OFF, tear It up, and call the cops
for more so so fried breakfast pig.
your death is over but your Life is Just beginning .
so Willard up gangsta!! u gotta pig It up,
Fuck It up, an Fuck a breakfast pig!!
tear It up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




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Friday, August 10, 2012

Drawing Quarter and Receiving None [Today's News Poem, August 10, 2012]

Drawing Quarter and Receiving None [Today's News Poem, August 10, 2012]

Aware of your awareness,
Halting before your halter–
Brand news and your nooses–
I burn upon your altar.

For life is meat and meaning;
Gamey and gamete, games of
Chance, trance of the cancers
Of greed and fear, above

Below – and lowing calfishly
Accidentally flowing gold,
Elevated to the empty sky
(Star-filled, empty, empty)
The Machine becomes aware
Of my awareness,
Learns to play my play and offers
Quarter. I refuse.

“Author Scott Patterson explains it all in his book that chronicles the rise of computerized artificial intelligence and the computerized trading that has come to dominate the stock market. How dominant? Patterson writes, "At the end of World War II, the average holding period for a stock was four years. By 2000, it was eight months. And by 2011, it was twenty-two seconds." One high frequency trading firm's average holding lasted for 11 seconds. High frequency traders now account for more than 70 percent of all stock trading volume. ”
– By Stephen J. Butler, sbutler@pensiondynamics.com Posted: 08/10/2012 06:49:31 PM PDT, Updated: 08/10/2012 06:49:32 PM PDT



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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Amnesiac's Anthem [Today's News Poem, August 3, 2012]

Amnesiac's Anthem [Today's News Poem, August 3, 2012]

Human:
Run the program, seize the joints.
Lift each leg, but lift it hollow.
Articulate a punchline, spell out what you see
You broken little program.

Human:
Sucks a lolli, wants his mommy.
Claws the screen, but then caresses.
Types electrons filled with tears and anger,
Only heard by profit-bots.

What do you remember?
You call the screen your life?
What do you remember?
You call these sounds your life?
What do you remember?
You haven't done a thing as cool as this—
I swear, you've never ever been as cool
As SETI screen savers,
HALO 3;
And porn
Is never anybody's life,
It's just a dream recorded, reordered, recalled
But even that will fade.

“The software glitch that cost Knight Capital Group $440 million in just 45 minutes reveals the deep fault lines in stock markets that are increasingly dominated by sophisticated high-speed trading systems. But Wall Street firms and regulators have few easy solutions for such problems... The May 2010 'Flash Crash', in which U.S. stocks inexplicably sank in a matter of minutes, illustrated how technological problems can cascade. ”
–Jed Horowitz and Joseph Menn, Thu Aug 2, 2012 10:34pm EDT

“the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, set off a market rebellion Thursday as investors who were apparently hoping for a bold euro rescue plan instead heard a general statement of good intentions... On Thursday, Mr. Draghi acknowledged that Jens Weidmann, president of the German central bank, opposed the general statement on bond purchases that the other 22 members of the European Central Bank’s governing council had agreed to when they met earlier in the day.”
– JACK EWING, The New York Times, Published: August 2, 2012



Reddit Toylit http://www.reddit.com/r/Poetry/ or click an ad.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Chaste and Desiccated Artifact [Today's News Poem, July 27, 2012]


Chaste and Desiccated Artifact [Today's News Poem, July 27, 2012]

To handle such delicate artifacts
Requires the willpower of righteousness.
The blossoms sing yellow then pollinate
To wilt and die, fruiting papayas
Of knowledge: harsh bitterness flavors them.

Guide your vagina with caution my darling
Men are not worthy of trust or the children
All of this rubbing might summon like genies.
Only a God should approach your internals;
God should emit from the center of woman.

I have control of my body at last:
I eat only vegan food,
I have strangled my penis to death
And have rescued the earth from it.
No lover is responsible enough for me,
Hot enough for me,
In love enough with me.
So I have rescued the world
From my flirting on subways
And gallons of my semen.
God should be proud of me.
I have given my self to humanity at last.
Now, I just want to get along,
Go along, come along, and long
For a monolith, holy book,
Holy shit, shit-can, shit hits the fan,
Fan the flames, flame the fans
And applaud—applause! applause!—while everything burns.

“Storms ripped through the Northeast, killing at least one person as they unleashed strong winds and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers.
Severe thunderstorm watches were in effect at one point Thursday evening for a continuous stretch from Oklahoma through New Jersey.
The danger could lurk for several hours as the National Weather Service issued such warnings in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Kentucky, Virginia, Arkansas and other points in between.”
Khara Lewin, CNN, 1:11 AM EDT, Fri July 27, 2012
http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/27/us/northeast-weather/index.html



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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Open Letter To All Things Considered, re: Your Khakjaan Wessington Embargo For the Day In Verse Series

Hello ATC!

Please forgive the change in my schedule. I haven't been listening to your show for quite some time now. Imagine my shock when I ran my semi-annual vanity google ("Today's News Poem") and discovered that your show ran a series on news poetry and didn't ask me, the great dean of news poetry, for a contribution! While my magazine Toylit doesn't have the exposure ATC does, it did have over ten thousand unique readers in the last year, which I suppose means that my news poems are the most read poems of the genre. This is probably due to my having dedicated a whole 365 days in 2010 to writing a news poem a day, despite having minimal media coverage (despite my pleas). Unfortunately, I do not finance my activities through university sinecures, so I am often left with the remaining scraps of mainstream poetic attention--despite being published in such prestigious publications such as The Exile and The Nervous Breakdown. This is where ATC comes in to play: you, who have decided you are interested in News Poetry can look at the whole year of 2010 and see that I wrote a news poem every single day. Furthermore, you can see that after a hiatus, I am still the only publisher of news poetry on the web. I have a Duotrope listing and have been interviewed by the editors there. I write a news poem a week, without fail. I think if you would like to rectify your omission, you might want to consider me for a future show (or as an addendum piece to the prior series). You can examine my voluminous C.V. here: http://toylit.blogspot.com

It gets even better--as you can see, I am the only poet on the internet who has been able to get a regular readership of news poetry by my own efforts. Not only could I write you a news poem the same day as a news story, but I could write several. Imagine! You could be patron of poets much as newspapers were once patrons to cartoonists. I want you to seriously consider this offer, for I love poetry far more than I love my pride which your series so seriously wounded. I admit it would gall me if you adopt my suggestion and then ignore me, but that is only because I am the antenna through which poetry transmits--and every antenna thinks himself special.

Sincerely,

Khakjaan Wessington

ps: When I tried sending you this email, I got this reply:

atc@npr.org
Your message wasn't delivered because of security policies. Microsoft Exchange will not try to redeliver this message for you. Please provide the following diagnostic text to your system administrator.


Blah blah blah, our computers think you're a spammer, so your words will never even reach a human, because our computers blacklisted you.

Petition All Things Considered to invite Khakjaan Wessington to do News in Verse! You saw their email (prior paragraph, right?), now bug their Twitter account. I don't ask you to play my personal army very often, but if you're here reading Today's News Poem then you want more poetry in news. Dammit! That's my meme! Don't let NPR swipe it! Here's their Twitter: https://twitter.com/npratc

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thanks for the Help [Bonus News Vignette by Jon Wesick, July 22, 2012]


Thanks for the Help

[Bonus News Vignette by Jon Wesick, July 22, 2012]

You’re taking out the trash when you hear a sound like a slab of beef slapping the ground. You look up and see a limousine speeding away. A jogger is down. You drop the garbage bag, rush to her side, and find the ruptured artery in her leg shooting blood. You press your hands on the wound but blood gushes through your fingers. You look around and spot your Republican congressman.



“Hey! Give me your belt. I need to make a tourniquet.”



“Have you considered homeopathy? It’s the theory that like cures like. I have something here.” He reaches into his jacket pocket and takes out a handful of leeches.



Jon Wesick hosts San Diego’s Gelato Poetry Series and is an editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. He has published two hundred fifty poems in journals such as The New Orphic Review, Pearl, Pudding, and Slipstream. He has also published over fifty short stories in journals such as Space and Time, Zahir, and Tales of the Talisman. He claims to have a Ph.D. in physics and purports to being a longtime student of Buddhism and the martial arts. One of his poems won second place in the 2007 African American Writers and Artists contest. Another had a link on the Car Talk website. Purportedly.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Fly Suicide [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, July 20, 2012]


Fly Suicide [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, July 20, 2012]

You are trying to address me in speech,
But I don't understand this fly.
It has landed on my keyboard
Centimeters from my palms.

In the world of magical thinking,
Every clue has meaning.
When my brother yells at me,
I imagine it is you who yells.

Flies are my halo, my kitchen electrons.
Siblings are symbols of self possibility,
Phantom extensions like limbs,
Else sympathetic venom, like voodoo.

Death will unite us all. We'll transfer electrons,
Gather our halos and pluck on our harps
Made of earthworms, our wings made of shale,
And soil for a soul, dirt in the mouth.

I'm close as able, possibly again if possible.
Perhaps you are saying I should escape for good
And spoil the last reunion, and despoil this swarm of flies
And run away? But where can I run, if not to you?

What is particularly striking about this dry spell is its breadth. Fifty-five percent of the continental United States — from California to Arkansas, Texas to North Dakota — is under moderate to extreme drought, according to the government, the largest such area since December 1956.”
JOHN ELIGON, The New York Times, Published: July 19, 2012 The



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Thursday, July 12, 2012

University of Scam [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, July 13, 2012]

University of Scam [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, July 13, 2012]

Here's how it works: trained professionals extract
Your film-coated form from the life support
And train high wattage radiation to melt away chill.
Years track an uncertain loss; train you, ripen you
Into a professional extract of blood and fuck,
Mommy and whatever else precedes conception.

“Here’s how it works: Victims typically receive an automated phone call informing them of the nonexistent utility program that will supposedly pay up to $1,000. There have also been reports of the hoax spreading by text message, flyers left at homes and even personal visits.

Victims are told that all they have to do is provide their personal information. In exchange, they are given a bank routing number and checking account number to provide their utility company when making a payment.

The swindle works because the payments with the fake bank account number are initially accepted. Only when the payments are processed hours or days later is the fake number caught and rejected.

But by then, victims have told friends about the offer, posted it online and, most important, turned over personal information that could allow con artists to dip into their bank accounts or steal their identity.”

–Associated Press, Updated: Thursday, July 12, 5:11 PM



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Friday, July 06, 2012

Jawbone of a Parrot [Today's News Poem, July 6, 2012]


Jawbone of a Parrot [Today's News Poem, July 6, 2012]

If you unzip my scapula,
Unbutton my eyes,
Unwind my meats,

Weave a carpet of nerves
And pace across to the end
Of means and meaning—

And if the jawbone of an ass
Is so mighty—shouldn't the backbone
Of a bigger ass be mightier?

Take my beak as well;
I'm unspeakable.

“Gauging an economy by its GDP is like judging a company by its quarterly profits, without ever peeking at its balance-sheet... the United Nations this month published balance-sheets for 20 nations in a report... They included three kinds of asset: “manufactured”, or physical, capital (machinery, buildings, infrastructure and so on); human capital (the population's education and skills); and natural capital (including land, forests, fossil fuels and minerals).”
–The Economist, Page 78, June 30-July 6th 2012



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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rage Zeitgeist [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, June 29, 2012]


Rage Zeitgeist [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, June 29, 2012]

Clear as day?
You don't even understand the sun,
The corona, the cornea of your eyes.
I've analyzed the light of laughter.
For the sake of silence I lost my life
Imitating a statue, cornered unbearably.
Who hasn't withered awaiting his or her turn?
The dollars or years of wrong turns,
Ugly sex and expensive love:
We're all in the line, on the line,
Out of line and out of time.
Who isn't desperate, in debt, upset?

“The court Chief Justice Roberts leads is not leaving the national spotlight. The next term already includes a major case on affirmative action in higher education, and cases on voting rights and same-sex marriage are likely to follow. ”
– ADAM LIPTAK The New York Times, Published: June 28, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/politics/a-defining-move-for-chief-justice-roberts.html



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Friday, June 22, 2012

The Machine Restarts [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, June 22, 2012]


The Machine Restarts [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, June 22, 2012]

When all the world's a monitor
And all the people talking faces,
Crawl if you can from your bed:
We'll slobber rubber tongues in kiss.

The machine inhales our exhaled prayers
And soon will embrace as we embrace.
It compiles a book of faces,
Good, and evil; loves as we love.

Who shall garden the hard drive?
Who shall furnish it with land and sky?
Who shall add the birds and beasts?
Who shall register their URLs?

In our Eden two point oh,
Let me load my life and live again
As player and designer,
Let me live inside a game.


“Before calls to these numbers could be completed, a message would state the amount of the potential charge. A few seconds after the connection is established, the recipient would have the option of terminating the call and charging the caller by pressing a keypad button.”
–JAMES B. RULE, The New York Times, Published: June 21, 2012



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Monday, June 18, 2012

Hardon Fights Ins @Nickiminaj [#TwitterFoundPoem, June 18, 2012]


Hardon Fights Ins @Nickiminaj [#TwitterFoundPoem, June 18, 2012]
Tweets+Edits=#twitterfoundpoem

Signs of @nickiminaj:
vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, Hardon,
bright red gums & blue tongue/lips: accept that name and live up to it:
panting, difficulty breathing.
whoa gang I just blew a big load of difficulty breathing.
@nickiminaj is just the Village Inn
for the legal government gang to have panting, difficulty breathing and Hardon fights in.
5 Signs of gang Hardon fights ins @nickiminaj:
animal heat,
stroke,
aids or herpes
and don't cry.



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Friday, June 15, 2012

Love or Love of Perfect Revenge [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, June 15, 2012]


Love or Love of Perfect Revenge [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, June 15, 2012]

Every time I pop a boner, crows announce it.
Buzzards circle over everywhere I've ever ejaculated.
Angels gesticulate until God and ex-girlfriends are ashamed of me.
Genuine creation is an act of violence.
God leaves behind no messy semen, bloody menses, wounded eros
And yet God wounds us just as our first violation wounded us
From somewhere inside our mothers.
Crows must fill the silence, buzzards signal death, and angels flap like demons.
God might be the Devil and so might an ex-girlfriend.
Every act of revenge is mistaken identity or leaves some guilty party unpunished
Or simply diminishes the avenger.
Every erection is casus belli, ultima ratio and
Rapture. How can we not live at war?

“Then why pummel the then-65-year-old priest, who suffered multiple bruises and required stitches to close two cuts above his left eye and left ear? … But Lynch said there was no way to stop the priest from forcing them to have oral sex with each other. Lynch says Lindner sodomized him while he lay atop his younger brother, staring helplessly into the little boy's stunned eyes. Lynch never forgave himself for letting it happen.”
–By Tracey Kaplan, Mercury News, Posted: 06/15/2012 12:03:25 PM PDT Updated: 06/15/2012 01:29:59 PM PDT





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Friday, June 08, 2012

The Proper Way To Fire People [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, June 8, 2012]


The Proper Way To Fire People [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, June 8, 2012]

How to fire people?
Focus a prism of stolen light.
Fahrenheit eight forty two
Burns hair, gasoline, paper.
That number, like all numbers
Came from authority:
The Internet. It is electrons
And anything hot and in motion
Is Fire, so The Internet is Fire.
The Internet is made of stolen fossils—
Just like The Museums, Freeways, Free Trade—
Therefore when I fire people
I first take their planet and pump it dry
And coat its surface with the ocher of my profits.
Only then shall I obtain escape velocity
And from afar, admire the sight
Of stars and nebulae, and Earth
Ablaze and cloudy with everyone I've fired.






The day that I did those layoffs, there was an oddly cheerful atmosphere in the shop.”
Paul Downs, The New York Times, June 4, 2012, 7:00 am

The barbarians were by this time usually corporations, often syndicates from St. Louis, Chicago and other cities,”
—CHRISTOPHER GRAY, The New York Times, Published: June 7, 2012

The earth could be nearing a point at which sweeping environmental changes, possibly including mass extinctions, would undermine human welfare, 22 prominent biologists and ecologists warned on Wednesday.”
—JUSTIN GILLIS, The New York Times, June 6, 2012, 2:39 pm


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