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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, 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 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 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, 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 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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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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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 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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Friday, May 04, 2012

Realpolitik [Today's News Poem, May 4, 2012]


Realpolitik [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, May 4, 2012]

Imaginings obscure the wretched eye;
Corrupt the preconceptions, recall, ear.
Wherever there is truth, the lies must fly.

They nest and then disrobe, thus intertwine
As opposites in opposition's tears.
They complement the Yin and Yang, combine

The equal with unequal, all and one,
Or one and if it's zero, better you
Than me: that is the rule of life my son.

Before the Great Recession, I would sometimes give public lectures in which I would talk about rising inequality, making the point that the concentration of income at the top had reached levels not seen since 1929. Often, someone in the audience would ask whether this meant that another depression was imminent.

Well, whaddya know? ”
—PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times, Published: May 3, 2012

And thus


begat


And the Lord said It Is Good.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

skittles [Today's News Poem by @HikiMadwoman /Preservative Woman, April 13, 2012]


skittles [Today's News Poem by @HikiMadwoman /Preservative Woman, April 13, 2012]
HikiMadwoman/Preservative Woman http://preservativewoman.posterous.com

barefoot florida
when i was five hot sand
mixed with tar black dirt
and

lacquered stickers waited
just under the surface
to slip dark spines deep
into my pink soles

my mammaw on that side believed
in fake lashes and make-up mastic
and a rainbow jesus
sealed in yellowed plastic

i played sky and scratched vinyl
on brown shag carpet
our shades pulled down
to keep the kneegrass out

mammaw had stories about kneegrass
with figured armor and wings wide
their eyes rolling
with heavy lips slavering and obscene

the kneegrass were bold
came close to the back door
hiding in sharp sun
their weapons flashing signals

between detergent commercials
whiter than white
she told me of their buffalo-haired hides
and muscled thighs

how they would steal cars
and drive
rubber pulling up tar and crushed coral
under paved florida skies

she talked of killing
them and all they had wrought
she even had a chrome gun
a boyfriend had bought

one concrete morning
whitewashed bright
i pressed against the
screen door sulfur smell

at ten o'clock am
sunlight was already acid
mammaw at the sink
told me to look

"see them kneegrass
walking weeds with trash
my how they must smell
gotta be someone i can tell"

i looked for shoulder'd wings beating
armor and buffalo hide
black skin and rolling eyes
a beast of great size

but she pointed at two girls
my age
holding a pink doll by the legs
one blue eye flapping open

they were slow as gray sand
thin bodies out of sweat
i wanted to give them water
to bring them into shade

but i could only stare
at mammaw
red hands and polyester dress
eating the window glass

and thanks to you i know
how to make monsters
we have only to refuse
to see them as they are

from on the other side
of our flyspeckled past
:separate
:other
:unhuman

Barely Edited HikiMadwoman Bio As Per Twitter: Reclusive Madwoman. Careful. She bites.


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Friday, April 06, 2012

Spotlight>> [Today's News Poem by @weatherlover420 /Jeff K, April 6, 2012]


Spotlight>> [Today's News Poem by @weatherlover420 /Jeff K, April 6, 2012]

"siberian plane in crash not de-iced" is the spotlighted article
the newspaper is australian
"do the australians know more about siberia than me?"
"russian plane crash kills 31" from the times
"that's too bad and stuff, but whatever, no need to spend feelings about it. it has a wikipedia article."
"utair flight-120"
there are pictures and videos of frozen airplane wings sticking up at 45 degrees. "australians were hearing about this exactly 2 hours ago. what was i doing 2 hours ago?" the pictures are mostly light blue and white
there are 875 other sources. there is a man with ice in his mustache and on his hat. There are russian letters. "siberia still has thatch-roof villages and people like 'serfs.'"
"raw video: 5 shot at calif. religious school" the associated press
"[asian name]'s victory leads to rethink about sanctions" the wall street journal
"kfc's game of big chicken" businessweek
"are all all kfc reps intensely charismatic and 'in your face' businessmen? are they required to put off an aura of powerful decision-making and manhood?"
google search kafka machine wiki, leave the spotlight

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/siberian-plane-in-crash-not-deiced-20120403-1w9oo.html



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Friday, March 30, 2012

Toylit for March 30, 2012: 2 Poems & Some #Combatwords


Toylit for March 30, 2012: 2 Poems & Some #Combatwords

Combatwords will be here from now on. To play, just post your composition in the comments section: http://toylit.blogspot.com/2012/03/combatwords-march-30-2012-trayvon.html



If you love Toylit, please click an advertiser or promote it on social networks.

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Combatwords, March 30, 2012: Trayvon Martin vs George Zimmerman

Combatwords, March 30, 2012: Trayvon Martin vs George Zimmerman



Do you see Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman waving you over here? They're directing you to the new CombatWords arena. Do you even need a primer? Some pics should do it. I guarantee it. 



Combat Expiration: 12am PST, 4/2/2012

Bonuses/Penalties: Time: +1 if posted before 2am PST, 3/31/2012. -1 if posted before 6am 4/2/2012

Updated Rules:

Scoring: +1/-1 under the WITS structure:
Wit: wordplay, cleverness, clumsiness, choppiness etc
Ideas: good/bad, whatever. Got to be a cut above the ordinary poem.
Taste: Liked it/hated it
Structure: Is the sonnet a sonnet or the essay an essay? Does the structure help the composition? A bonus would go to an outstanding structure, not just a competent one.

The highest score any one critic can give could be a +4 & the lowest could be -4. Scores are cumulative.

Finally, you need to defend each portion of your WITS score. Either the composition has or doesn't have wit. It either does or doesn't have good ideas. Etc. These are not objective traits, but they can be calculated somewhat by the readers/critics.

Critique: Any critic can question any part of another critic's WITS score. Majority rules in deadlocked cases.

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The Quack's Lament [Today's News Poem by •••/@ten_ten_ten/TJ Edge, March 30, 2012]


The Quack's Lament [Today's News Poem by •••/@ten_ten_ten/TJ Edge, March 30, 2012]
By ••• (TJEdge)(@ten_ten_ten): http://tententen.posterous.com/

in the year of mercury rising
i ate white calomel
and applied salves to syphilis biding
in bodily alleys hid well
as we'd lie to patients sizing
up nostrums to sell

by the coarse cloth of night
we lit pine fat torches
danced hi-diddley-red blue and light
on coal dust-folded porches
stacked in burlap bags of blight
children smearing scorches

the taxman etched lines on my tongue
as into glass i bottled
white mercury powdered with a black lung
from a cracked skin infant who waddled
where mud and meat and flies were hung
and whores were manured and mottled

and in that year of mercury retrograde
we carved in dung and dust
diagrams in the skin of the sun to aid
us in assuming a more fatherly trust
and of many young girls women were made
to satisfy our daughter’d lust

til faces caked with tar and feather
we rode across the briar
horses whipped in blood and lather together
barely escaping the ire
of townspeople writ in cork and leather
with wings of broken fire

we let blood into smoke and chill
and round an empty mine
they strung us up and did their will
packed our bodies in brandy and brine
without even a hole to fill
fated thus, born under a mercuric sign

holding hands with mercury and sun we go
where hell wobbles to and breathes us fro

“Mercury may be hiding water ice, NASA spacecraft finds”
MSNBC, Space.com, 3/27/2012 3:28:39 PM ET
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46871204/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.T3Yvsl1lJF8
“Retired Pharmacist Arrested in Albany Mercury Poisoning Case”
Paul Grondahl, Times Union.com, Updated 01:57 p.m., Friday, March 30, 2012


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Friday, March 23, 2012

…and here be tygers [Today's News Poem by HikiMadwoman, March 23, 2012]


and here be tygers [Today's News Poem by HikiMadwoman, March 23, 2012]

in the mountained mouth of northeast asia, an empty gray tooth marks north korea
one red pin marks a model city, painted clean without pity, the lovely pyongyang
stuffed with concrete girls and empty tilt-a-whirls smelling of blood and dark urea
fringed 'round with wooden spooned schools, where watered women in hanboks sang


i have watched the young man mountains surrounding pyongyang's potent potted smile
holding silted rivers sleeping flanks with their banks free of boats neatly curled
in roofless shopping cart valleys stamping out the arduous march for another mile
pocked 'round with unknown holes, dead wells perforating their white paper world


in another map i found a name for the wooden saint plastic paint model railroad town
and named collective farms, plaster dams and coalmine arms, all drawed out in blue
prison camp lines sketched famine fine and where they lay the tin missiles down
i drank of jet fuel and submarines, and climbed the steppes of golden mount baekdu


there these sleepy-limbed sons of korgyo kings spoke in fury and threatened hell
from a republic of none and nuclear sun, red revolution in a boot on our neck
yet in rare photos i saw, a child playing in straw, an infant grasping a pale shell
two girls giggling pink at a sink, and a grand old man with a donkey in check


i knew them in one bright flash, and furious, i ask, how could it be the case
we could have forgotten there are people living and laughing in this place?

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120323-700094.html


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The Thirds, Engendered [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, March 23, 2012]


The Thirds, Engendered [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, March 23, 2012]

Ghost of my loins, you have fingers that counter-digest me,
Reach through my gullet to pinch-off the brain from my spine,
Sex then unsex me; you hollow my innards—direct me.

Gonads appear in a visage before me—vagina,
Penis, an organ combining the two so the sex
Breaks to an embryo, withers before its arousal.

Ghosts of my loins, the extinction that's coming is calling
Accidents: sperm like a genie from lamp, I'll regret
Life that I never created for fear of creation.

“Mirkarimi pleaded guilty last week to one misdemeanor count of false imprisonment of his wife on New Year's Eve. Prosecutors say he inflicted a bruise on his wife's arm during an argument in front of their 2-year-old son. The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain agreement in which prosecutors agreed to drop three other domestic-violence-related charges.”

—Rachel Gordon, John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, 03/23/12
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/23/MNKO1NOUN9.DTL

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Mirkarimi

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9159992/Zimbabwe-sperm-hunters-picking-up-male-travellers.html

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Friday, March 09, 2012

Standing Hampton [News Poem by Steven M Grant, March 3, 2012]



Standing Hampton [News Poem by Steven M Grant, March 3, 2012]

Boys of 13 can be
Ill at ease with the
Girls their own age

Sophomoric and
Awkward; their advances
Untoward grasps at
Something still not understood.
Afraid of rejection, a boys mind
Gravitates toward a place where
Embarrassment is unthinkable.

Pubescent teacher fantasies,
Inevitably follow, in the confused
Zeitgeist of middle school and
Zaftig pants days that always
Accompany adolescence.

http://www.secfanatics.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=84453

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/03/06/oxnard-middle-school-teacher-pulled-
from-classroom-amid-rumors-shes-working-as-hard-core-porn-actress/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/07/teacher-rumored-to-be-hardcore-porn-
actress_n_1328020.html

www.bigsausagepizza.com

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Colony of Statues [News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, March 9, 2012]


Colony of Statues [News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, March 9, 2012]

Think us a colony—penguins or pinnipeds—
Only we're grizzlies that line up by riverside
Polishing pebbles, or carving them... bashing them
Eager for logos: the pith Michelangelo
Sought in the marble; the flavor pre-Pantheon
Children contained and their father contained—and if
He had a father, then surely the mythos is
Wrong: we're degenerates, castoffs, inferior—
Smaller than granules and less than the ancestors—
Even the best of all human-kinds possible
Cannot converge with the grace of all origin.
Somehow in sight of ourselves we've become what we
See and in sight of ourselves we converge with the
Best of the origin, best of all possible
Ancestors, righteousness, mothers, containers for
Atheist statues resembling epiphany,
Carvings of planets—we've colonized earth.

A Sunnyvale woman who told a neighbor she felt overwhelmed by caring for her adult autistic son shot him to death before turning her gun on herself, authorities said Wednesday. Elizabeth Hodgins, 53, shot her son, George Hodgins, 22, on Tuesday in a bedroom of their home on the 800 block of Nectarine Avenue, according to police and neighbors.”
—Will Kane,Demian Bulwa; San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, March 8, 2012
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/03/07/BAVR1NH8B4.DTL

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Friday, March 02, 2012

Water Or Blood? [Today's News Poem, March 2, 2012]


Water Or Blood? [Today's News Poem, March 2, 2012]

Blizzards reversed the polarity,
Conjured the pivot to juncture:
Breathing was never the same again.

Ice for a godmother:
Bikes to the office park
Vanquished by winterness.
Revive them with bourbon
And bless them with stupor.

Slip on the ice—use crampons and slip
(You'll keep slipping)
Off of the surface. Harvest the luck
(Like a truffle
You fed with your excrement
[Kindly intentions]):
Swallow, inhale and recycle
That fragment of nothingness.
Grasp to the luckiest railing,
Treebranch—in fact snap off the first twigs
Spring has to offer and cushion
The imminent fall
(You are falling):
Smother the buzzings of springtime.

A bough is a whip in disguise
As neckties are nooses disguised.
Chase every sunset to rot on horizon.
Grind in the caverns—bury yourself in the mines.
Dodge the commitment.
Trap the undying.
Praise the unyielding absences.

Example:
Snow is the dandruff that falls from temples,
Fragments that signal the stillness deep winter
Offers is gone and that motion's conceivable.
Thaw and thus water is where I am headed.
Water, or blood; am I water or blood?
Nighttime has eyes in the cameras, sky, and faces;
An eye that has blinked itself shut,
Squeezed out a tear and might open again.

“As of 6 p.m. ET, the weather service had 21 active tornado warnings, plus less urgent tornado watches that spanned 11 states.”
—CNN Wire Staff, CNN; 6:29 PM EST, Fri March 2, 2012

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Universal Exchange [Today's News Poem, February 24, 2012]


Universal Exchange [Today's News Poem, February 24, 2012]

Canopy, marketplace, sign of the scale—
What is the balance—what's in the balance?
Is it feast? Is it ample like booty?
If its sum adds to zero, then pity
Losers if loss is our destiny?
Loss is desire, pity's oppression
(And language subjective), meaning's
Subjective. Balance: the anchor,
Currency, chain and the sign of the tongue.

“There are a number of professions in which workers are paid, in part, with a figurative lottery ticket. The worker accepts a lower-paying job in exchange for a slim but real chance of a large, future payday.”

=

 =




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