In the past few days we have seen
sunny days, sweeping the
best and worst in human behavior
clouds away, I’m on my way.
Officer ambushed, shot in the head.
See dolls with and without makeup.
Please remain indoors and safe.
They threw pressure cooker bombs.
Max and Ruby, Ruby and Max.
One brother ran over the other to escape.
Ruby and her little brother Max.
Make-up face off.
This family does not know how to share
love to jump up and down
grief with these victims
in muddy puddles.
Turn yourself in.
There will be Daisy Buchanan clones this year.
Ask for forgiveness.
An entire American city is on lockdown.
Wow Wow Wubbzy!
Families hiding under tables with children.
Wubbzy Wubbzy Wow Wow!
He may be wearing a suicide vest.
Raincoats, belly rings and Guantanamo chic.
He is an angel; such an intelligent boy.
Lockdown lifted. Firefight. SWAT teams.
Who are the people in your neighborhood?
Bloody body in a boat.
They’re the people that you meet each day.
He sat up when the flash grenades went off.
That’s real Vogue material.
The hunt is over. The search is done.
© Julie Bartha-Vasquez, 2013
|"The Persistence of Memory" by Salvador Dali|
Notes on the Poem:
In the onslaught of news, non-news, bad news and -- with the 2nd Boston bomber finally captured -- good news today, I saw a Tweet from Merriam-Webster.com. They said that when the chase after the suspects started last night, there was a spike in searches for the word "surreal." So I decided to take a crack at writing a surrealistic-ish (if it wasn't a word before, I've decided it's a word now) poem. It wasn't too hard, given the material I had.
My normal days are usually spent surfing news sites for my work, including a lot of fashion and beauty news websites. My normal days are also usually spent keeping young children entertained so I can get my work done.
So I structured the poem to tell the story of today's very weird news day (to quote a former colleague from way too long ago: "Breaking is Broken.") interspersed with children's songs from TV shows my kids watch and fashion/beauty advice or blurbs that came across my Twitter feed during the day today. I used both headlines/news Tweets and quotes from the news coverage.
I don't know how it will come across to the reader, but this is a pretty accurate reflection of the background noise in my life every single day... just with different news stories, instead of one big, weird, tragic story dominating it. I am looking forward to not writing any poems inspired by horrible news events next week. Three in one week is quite enough, thank you. -- WNG