Journalism In Verse

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Near Midnight, December 2, 2016

in Ghost Ship/U.S. by

It’s always about the money, the filthy lucre, mammon, the root of all evil; we give it all these names and mouth platitudes too, one about the Good Samaritan, or the kind neighbor, or just a good man — these are such lies. The hard cold cash reality is always down to the lettuce, the cheddar, the dough-re-mi, that’s why they died. Some human being barred the door, blocked the exits, failed to up-grade the circuits, refused to spend a dime on emergency lights so he/she/we could vaca in Pompeii, play tourista in España, buy a new Beemer, bus, truck, or a wife on the side. Yeah, that’s why they died, 36 puffs of smoke float to the sky. “I love you, hold me tight, we’re not going to get out of here alive.” See, it’s always about the money, the way we turn ourselves into slaves, no bathroom breaks, no easy exits, ’cause someone might want to slip away for a few breaths of fresh air or slip in without paying the fee. Now here, today, a year later, folks way off in Washington gave away our whole damn country to a few people who already had too much. They stole our education, our healthcare, shipped our jobs off-shore for a few bucks more, broke down every damn door for a cheaper way not to pay a human wage, and yet, and yet, it is they who say the wages of sin are death, from the Halls of Congress to the smoking ruins of Ghost Ship we all claim we love each other, we all say we’re here for each other, but be sure to lock and block the entry so no one gets in without paying, so no one gets out at all. And then the flames come, and the smoke, or the Zyklon B —soldiers just following orders, burgermeisters trying to maintain order, the po-po protecting property, for dead and useless dollars that lose their value overnight you lose your soul because someone, maybe you, maybe me, wants to make an extra buck or two. What value life?

 


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After Ghost Ship [Poets Reading the News]
The Fire This Time [Poets Reading the News]


An ink stained wretch, Fred Dodsworth spent most of the last 30 years in newsrooms picking fights. The truth is a slippery bastard and he lost most of those fights. Now he writes poetry and fiction because there’s more truth to be found in fiction than in any news story ever printed.

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