Poems of the Week

Cutting Edge

by Nora Jay

“Saudi Arabia to notify women of divorce by text message:
New law aims to stop men from ending marriages without telling their wives”
—The Guardian

Ex-dear, I cannot say how vexed
And mortified I am
At finding that my recent text
Was sorted into spam—

So that, ex-love, you did not learn
What courts have since endorsed:
That you have served your spousal turn,
And now you are divorced.

Cinquante, Sunk

by Julia Griffin

“50-year-old French author says women over 50 ‘too old’ to love”
—The Independent

Madame, ma vieille:
Please go away.
You’re fifty, or above;
And thus, grand-mère,
You’ve no prière:
You’re just too old to love.

You’re lined, you’re feeble,
You’re invisible,
So off, chère chauve, please shove:
Your peau is sèche,
You’ve sagging flesh:
You’re just too old to love.

Ma vieille Madame,
How old I am
It’s pointless thinking of:
The truth, en somme,
Is: I’m un homme;
You’re just too old to love.

Unreality Showdown on the Border

by Orel Protopopescu

Trump stormed out of a meeting
with Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
He’d staged this fleeting fit of pique,
according to a rumor.

In truth, his phantom tantrum
was as phony as his tan,
as fake as the emergency
he made because he can.

His disorder on the border?
That’s a clinically clear sign
that Hocus POTUS, all pretense,
in truth is borderline.

All Wet

by Michael Calvert

It’s very strange, since Lord knows, I am no fan of award shows,
But I thought I’d give the Golden Globes a whirl—
Then I saw a dark-haired hottie, there among the glitterati,
Now I’m in love with Fiji Water Girl.

Her eyes and raven tresses far outshone their fancy dresses
Her Mona Lisa smile was sweet and calm.
No starlet she—no fame—indeed, nobody knew her name—
Mysterious mistress of the photobomb.

How gladly I’d pursue her, fall at her feet and woo her,
And—dare I dream it—we could run away—
To some island out of reach, where upon a tropic beach,
She’d serve me Fiji Water on a tray.

I’d be drunker than on gin with my pretty Gunga Din
To bring me water that would taste like wine—
I’d be happy— no, elated! (not to mention well-hydrated),
If only Fiji Water Girl were mine!

Up Pompeo, or, What Boots It?

by Julia Griffin

“The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has vowed the US and its allies will “expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria as he sought to reassure Middle Eastern nations it was not withdrawing from the region despite Donald Trump’s call for troops to return home.”—The Guardian

When every last Iranian boot
From Syria is well en route,
Then, not before, will up and go
The last American heel and toe.
But while Iranian footprints smear
The streets of Homs and Dayr Hafir,
There’s no GI with soul to damn
Who’d be so callous as to scram.

The Good Doctors

by Bruce Bennett

“Did a Queens Podiatrist Help Donald Trump Avoid Vietnam?”
—The New York Times

The bone spur mystery deepens.
It seems there was a link
with Braunstein and with Weinstein.
But what did people think?

That Fred would not have asked them?
That they would not comply
when they owed him a favor?
That Donald would not lie?

It seems our Great Commander
had feet that were okay,
but that’s the game with doctors
and how rich people play

When sons could be in danger.
But look what they have wrought!
If only they had sent him!
Not that he would have fought.

An Entertainer Works on His Comeback

by Chris O’Carroll

All you freaks who are not into girling and boying,
I find your non-binary pronouns annoying.
If you’re just one person, I won’t call you “they.”
And if you saw your classmates get blown away,
I don’t care about anything you have to say.
Today’s youth are retarded if they expect me
To be doing an act that promotes empathy.
Watch me treating the world to my cranky new schtick,
Which might seem familiar. Hey, look at this dick.

The Anthologist Celebrates the New Year

by Michael Calvert

“At the stroke of midnight, such beloved classics as Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” … [may be] quoted at length or in full anywhere when the copyright expires on work produced in 1923.”—Vox

Whose words these are I’m sure I know.
But they were penned so long ago,
I now can print them without fear
And cackle as my earnings grow.

With passage of another year,
No longer must I wait to hear
From authors’ greedy progeny
Who wait around for checks to clear.

And high time—near a century
Seems rather long a time to see
Residuals from one as dead
As Robert Frost appears to be.

No longer are they getting fed,
And growing fat on unearned bread,
And I’m financially ahead—
And I’m financially ahead.

Lone Noel

by Julia Griffin

“Thirteen people apply online for divorce on Christmas Day”—The Guardian

The first pair was undone by too much punch;
The second by hot toddies, gin, and sherry;
The third by Brussels sprouts at Christmas lunch;
The fourth by “Happy,” as opposed to “Merry.”
The fifth was breakage (none accepted blame);
The sixth was MSG (Mad Shopping Gloom);
The seventh, whether “Santa” was a name;
The eighth, a sulking child in every room.
The ninth was carols (her CD or his?);
The tenth was guests, unasked, who would not go;
Number eleven was a Christmas quiz;
The twelfth pair hissed beneath the mistletoe.
The last of all was really only fun
For lawyers. Season’s Greetings, everyone!