Poems of the Week

Semi-bluff

by Dan Campion

“After Humiliating Result in Nevada, Haley Goes After Her Own Party”
The New York Times

“None of These Candidates” raked in the chips.
My bluffing was perfect, like one of the boys’,
So why did I lose like a whale? Read my lips:
The party confused things, all mirrors and noise.

“Chaos,” that’s what they keep dealing. Bad bets.
The RNC folded, betrayed by a tell,
And dragged me down low as a prop player gets,
That bunch of stand-patters bewitched by Don’s spell.

Read ’em and weep? Not a chance. Count me in.
Stuff happens in Vegas. It stays there, they say.
I’m on to the next game, and aiming to win.
My home state will greet a shark eager to play.

Wat an Improvement

by Alex Steelsmith

“World Monuments Fund Transfers Management of Angkor Sites to Cambodia…
[E]fforts to preserve the precious relics were imperiled by the Cambodian Civil War of the 1970s…”
Artnews

The artifacts of Angkor Wat
were once imperiled; now they’re not.
Where once there raged a discontent,
we now have Angkor management.

French Kiss-off

by Stephen Gold

“One in four French aren’t having sex, poll reveals.”
The Times

Chéri, do come with me to bed.”
Lapin, you know I would,” I said.
“But though you’re hungry for amour,
And I’m entranced by your allure,
I feel an even greater need
To check up on my Facebook feed.”

Une autre nuit, and we are free
For some romantic revelry.
I hear you whisper, “Je t’adore.”
Your négligée falls to the floor.
Je t’aime, aussi, but on the whole,
I’d rather watch the Super Bowl.

Au lit I lie, un homme alone.
Since you walked out, I’m on my own.
Though désolé that you have left,
I’m not entirely bereft.
There’s so much more to life than sex.
Adieu, I must get back to X.

Ten Ways to Reconcile

Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, 2024

by Ilana Baer

Bring bonbons to the desert; later leisure
will prove that God made chocolate truffles sweet.
At dinner with your date, refuse to eat.
Contest the line dividing guilt and pleasure.
Pour glitter on your head; lament its excess.
Attend the Mass to help your pewmates flirt.
Write sonnets and love letters in the dirt
and sign with not your name, or Os, just Xs.
Become your own admirer, then repent.
Let passion make you pious; saints will swoon.
Distribute flowers every day of Lent.
Put ashes on whatever you adore:
the teddy bear, the cards, the pink balloon
now sinking to the dusty kitchen floor.

Axl Rose Hits The Big 6-2

by Paul Lander

“Some people are more famous for their contributions to music than they are for being late
to their own concerts. Axl Rose is not one of those people.”
Vice

Happy Birthday, Axl
Could’ve been days ago. But:
He just now showed up.

Down Payment

Steven Urquhart Bell

“Should more British homes be built using straw?”
BBC

In England I can see it making sense—
For Scotland to adopt it would be mad.
It’s possible we might bring back the wolf,
And what if some are really big and bad?

Falsies

by Simon MacCulloch

“Millions of dollars in sales of North Korean false eyelashes—marketed in beauty stores around the world
as ‘made in China’—
helped drive a recovery in the secretive state’s exports last year.
The processing and packaging of North Korean false eyelashes—openly conducted in neighbouring China,
the country’s largest trading partner—gives Kim Jong Un’s regime a way to skirt international sanctions
[that were intended to stall Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program], providing a vital source of foreign currency.”

Reuters

It’s really quite scary to think
That thanks to a secretive link
A nuclear stash
Can be bought for a lash
And we’re buying it each time we blink.

Comfort Like a Warm Mitten

by Marshall Begel

“When Elmo, the Muppet, innocently asked people how they were on [Twitter],
thousands of users replied, sharing their grief and despair.”
BBC

How is everyone today?
Feeling hopeless, in dismay?
Elmo can relate to struggles.
Elmo offers online snuggles.
Muppets truly understand—
Inside, we all need a hand.

Rats!! They Know!!

by Barbara Loots

“The NFL is totally RIGGED for the Kansas City Chiefs, Taylor Swift, Mr. Pfizer (Travis Kelce).
All to spread DEMOCRAT PROPAGANDA. Calling it now: [During the Super Bowl]…
Swift comes out
at the halftime show and ‘endorses’ Joe Biden with Kelce
at midfield. It’s all been an op since day one.”
Mike Crispi, advancing one of many right-wing conspiracy theories involving Swift, Kelce and the Super Bowl 

Our powerful forces are working in secret!
A handsome tight end and a popular singer
are clouding the minds and the hearts of the people
with phony romance and a vaccine humdinger!

To further our purpose of sinking the country,
we’ve rigged a whole season of fake competition,
propping up psyops to spread propaganda,
promoting our liberal plot of sedition.

Perhaps fans won’t notice in all of the uproar
the sinister message we Libs are promoting:
that justice and truth and humanity matter.
And they can insist on their freedom by voting!

Loud Love

by Bruce Bennett

“A mysterious sound is bugging Fla. residents. It might be fish mating.”
The Washington Post

Boom boom… Boom boom… Boom boom… Boom boom…
like noisy neighbors in a room
next door. It’s bugging you. You wish
they’d cut it out. Except, it’s fish.

The Cheeks of Modesty

by Julia Griffin

“Andrew Scott: sex scenes less ‘embarrassing’ for audience if one actor plays both characters”
The Guardian

I cringe and furiously doodle
Whenever two on stage canoodle;
A pair of actors making out
Has all my blush-genes breaking out.
When was a more embarrassed wreck seen
Than I, before a four-hand sex scene?
Imagine, then, how I’m delighted
To find this situation righted!
Great Scott! by his exclusive antics,
Has saved the boards for shy romantics;
For none (save Governor De Santis)
Are shamed by solo in flagrantes.

Taking the Plunge

by Steven Urquhart Bell

“Brits investing in stocks and shares fell by more than five percent last year, study finds”
Daily Express

Investing for the first time is exciting.
You keep on checking markets on your cell.
Be careful not to do it while you’re walking,
’Cos if they aren’t doing very well,

You’ll likely stare in anguish at the figures,
And likely not be watching where you stroll,
And likely make your troubles even deeper
By breaking something falling down a hole.

Nikki, Don’t Lose—Outnumber!

by Steven Kent

“Trump Campaigns in Nevada, Where He Has Virtually No Rival”
—The New York Times

It’s bound to be raucous:
Nevada’s one caucus
Won’t let voters pick Nikki Haley,
Yet Don still gets grumpy
And totally Trumpy,
Demeaning Ms. H on the daily.

His GOP rival
Now pins, for survival,
High hopes on her home state (Palmetto).
But win or lose badly,
By June she’ll be sadly
Consigned to the Never-Trump ghetto.

Rhinocerescue

by Alex Steelsmith

“First IVF rhino pregnancy could save northern white rhinos from the brink of extinction.”
USA Today

Higgledy-pigmenty,
Ceratotherium
isn’t, despite how we
label it, white.

Though the white rhino is
hardly albino, its
genecological
outlook is bright.

Villon Updated

by Dan Campion

“Academy of American Poets receives its largest-ever donation”
NPR

Fewer garrets, gutters, flops:
More bards can pay their rent!
Five-point-seven million tops
The four-point-five just spent!

Not since FDR was prez
Has US poets’ friend
Enjoyed such largess, and it says
It’s in the mood to spend.

So, line up, Laureates, don’t wait;
The snows of yesteryear
Melt quickly. Bang your old tin plate
And pray the grantors hear!