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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

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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:

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.


Khakjaan Wessington

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

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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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