Poems of the Week

The Perfect Bracket to Win Your March Madness Men’s Pool

By Steve Bremner

“As in previous years, the Perfect Bracket intelligently selects upsets by projecting each
individual matchup from the ground up … Of course, you could also fill out 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 brackets
and guarantee a win in your pool by accounting for every possible outcome…”
The Washington Post

Hackety brackety
March Madness analysts
Spin calculations till
They—and we?—drop.

Then again, many might
Find the alternative

Off-Broadway Betting

by Marshall Begel

“[World Wrestling Entertainment] in talks to legalize betting on scripted matches”

We’re going to King Lear tonight.
I’ve ranked the daughters’ merits.
I’m betting fifty dollars that
Cordelia inherits.

The Best-Laid Plans

by Steven Kent

“NASA tracking asteroid that could ruin Valentine’s Day in 2046”
The Guardian

From science, now some gloomy expectations:
In years to come I’m fated for frustrations.
All dashed, my hopes of intimate relations;
I guess I’ll call and cancel reservations.

I’m Still Aboard

by Dan Campion

“Meta to Lay Off 10,000 More Employees, Mark Zuckerberg Says”

Who’s “Meta” in my universe?
I’ll keep my goggles on!
Dear Zuck will smile and fill my purse,
We’ll sail the Amazon,
Piranhas all around our boat,
But he won’t play the slob
By dunking me to keep afloat:
I still will have a job.

A Problemattic Situation

by Alex Steelsmith

“Code compliance official finds alligator in North Carolina attic…
‘The workers having lunch…
kind of laughed at me when I told them…’
[the official said].”


Happily, snappily,
skeptical contractors
saw the official as
someone to mock,

certain his finding was
though they considered his
story a croc.

Munchily, crunchily,
lunch-eating laborers,
lucky they hadn’t been
chewed into shreds,

chewed on their sandwiches;
speaking, the story was
over their heads.

Finger Food

by Chris O’Carroll

“Enshrined in DeSantis lore is an episode from four years ago: During a private plane trip
from Tallahassee to Washington, D.C…. DeSantis enjoyed a chocolate pudding dessert—
by eating it with three of his fingers, according to two sources familiar with the incident.”

The Daily Beast

Ron eats pudding with his fingers.
Where he touches, his mark lingers.
You may find his prints the next
Time you read a history text
Book with yummy chocolate smears
Blotting out plantation years,
Shielding Florida’s white youth
From the unsweet taste of truth.

Working Title: Duke

by Steven Kent

“King Charles gives Prince Edward ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ title”
The Guardian

Prince Ed will never sit upon my throne,
So he deserves a dukedom of his own.
The job description’s really not exact—
No work’s required of any kind, in fact.
(These titles we invent as we see fit
And tell ourselves the world might give a spit.)

Alien Ovines

by Jerome Betts

“A former [government] adviser… has sparked anger after saying sheep ‘have got to go’
from the UK’s hillsides. … [Among other things, he notes that] ‘Sheep are not native to Britain.'”
The Independent

Yes, ban the toxic bleaters,
These woolly herbage-eaters
Not native to wet islands
But sprung from arid highlands.
Crank up the propaganda
And send them to . . . Rwanda?


by Clyde Always

“Radiographic camera containing radioactive material still missing in Houston…
Authorities believe the device… was taken from a locker in the back of a construction vehicle.”
Fox 26 Houston

A camera containing
some radioactive
material vanished
with nary a trace.

Good news for the bandits
avoiding detectives:
What’s highly unlikely?
A break in the case.

Monkeying Around

by Steven Urquhart Bell

“Great apes deliberately spin to become dizzy, say researchers”
BBC News

It’s sort of what we used to do at school:
You birled round and round until you got
So dizzy that you wobbled and collapsed,
A helpless heap of giggles, on the spot.

I’ve never been nostalgic for my youth—
The passing of it doesn’t make me blub—
But if I was as unselfconscious now,
I’d save a bloody fortune in the pub.

Luna Tik Tok

by Kevin Ahern

A time zone for the moon, it’s said
Will sync their clocks to chime
But will they turn those clocks ahead
For moonlight saving time?

God’s Gift

by Julia Griffin

“Giving the Middle Finger Is a ‘God-Given’ Right, a Quebec Judge Says”
The New York Times

When God made Adam out of dirt,
He did not make him linger
But kept directions quick and curt:
“This is a middle finger.

“I’ll give away your favorite bone
(I’ve got a special rivet),
But as for this, it’s yours alone:
It’s up to you to give it.

“This central digit lets you see
(And seeing is believing),
That giving now and then may be
Still better than receiving.”

Boris the Brazen Offers a Lesson in Filial Piety

by Philip Kitcher

“‘Ridiculous’: opponents pour scorn on Boris Johnson’s plan to knight his father”
The Guardian

Large donations to the nation
should receive a rich reward:
elevation in your station
to become a Knight or Lord.

Dad deserves the highest honors,
every Briton should agree—
he outstrips all other donors
with his greatest gift … that’s ME!

Going Ballistic

by Alex Steelsmith

“[Octopuses] were caught on camera throwing shells, silt, and algae… [Targets included] the underwater cameras.
This is the first time throwing behavior has been reported among octopuses. Though scientists aren’t certain of the
motivation, it may have something to do with ‘the octopus equivalent of personal space’…”

—National Geographic

octopus researchers
aiming their cameras are
shrewdly repelled;

breaching the spaces that
octopi occupy,
humans get shelled.

curious scientists
met with projectiles are
shocked and alarmed,

having discovered in
terms that the creatures are
very well armed.

A Parking Space Odyssey

by Stephen Gold

“Man had sex with his wife on bollard in protest after it had been erected by neighbour
to stop him parking his campervan in her space”
Daily Mail

It began with al fresco caressing,
And progressed to unseemly undressing.
But poor Lee failed to see
There was CCTV,
And the outcome was truly depressing.

For a bollard is not an erection
Well adapted to acts of affection.
It takes rare agility
To use this facility,
And it’s fraught with the risk of detection.