Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


Be Best

in Europe/Politics by

“Je est une autre” — Rimbaud

Be best.
Je est une autre.
I is an other.
I is best.
I be best.
Tres bon!

You be best?
Non non.
You is an other
Not best!
Not best not best!
Only better.
You is better.
Be best,
Like I
Who be best!

I was better,
Ok, nice
You was better,
Too. That burned
I tried
Being worst.
Be worst!
Like, decadent.
Didn’t work.
I still better
Than other
(Folks from New Jersey
For example)
Truly worst.
Ooh, hurt.
So self-conscious!
I read: “BE BEST”
Possibly the worst
That I read!
So I did!
Once, I bas better,
Then, I bas worst,
Then, I bas best,
And still, I be best

France is
An other
And be best
Maybe, at
French poetry.
Other than that
We be best!
Best at poetry!
Just not French poetry.
Ok, there be
French poetry
From Canada!
They be best
At Quebecois poetry
From Canada.
France be best
At other French poetry
(Ok, Senegal).
We just
Be best
At French itself.
“Je est une autre”
For example, or
“Be best,”
French, but not
A translation,
Simply French,
Simply Best French,
The Best Western French
There be.
So there!

We be cool.
We skip school.
We be best
At skipping school.
Drink gin.
Be no sin
Dropping articles.
Dropping articles?
What does that mean?
Skipped school.
This gin
Be best!
Be best alcohol!
Best alcool!
Where be it from?
Where’s that?
France, I think.
Skipped school.
To drink alcohol
With you!
With I, too!

We be best!
Just some
Better being best!
I see,
It’s a test.
Some be best
And not know it
(Others, poets,
And not know it,
Possibly worst
Best they not
Know it,
Possibly best,
Best at Poet.
Here comes sash!
“Je est une autre”)
I got it,
It’s a test.
1. A man from Crete
Be best
2. A woman from Crete
Be best
3. Who is the best man?
Up to the groom!
I passed that test!
I aced that test,
Oh, you do, too?
You ace test?
You be best man?
No, that be up
To the groom.
And I’m a woman.
I would be best woman,
But I’m a man.
No pictures.
Just poem.

Melania be
Best poem.
I be
Best man.
Clear, now?
Melania is
An other.
Melania is I.
Melania is America.
Donald make
America great again!
Why not “best”?
Skipped school.
Donald skipped school,
Unlike Melania
Fluent in seven languages.

Donald likes
“Be Best”
Donald’s learning French!
“Hey, Macron,
Be best!”
Du, auch.
America — be best!
America — be French
Je suis it on the hats:
“Make America
French Again.”
I like that now,
Like that quite a bit.
Then, America be
Best French poem,
Appear in
“Best French Poetry,
Par David Lehman!
Tres tres cool!

(To be



The French are fuming at Macron for buddying up to Trump [New York Post]
‘One year is enough!’: Anti-Macron protests continue in France [Euronews]
Dear President Macron: Le bromance with President Trump won’t end well [The New Yorker]

Brian Kim Stefans is a poet, digital artist and critic in Los Angeles. He is presently completing a manuscript, Festivals of Patience, a metrical translation of 19th century French writer Arthur Rimbaud’s poetry. His forthcoming book of poems, The Future is One of Place, will appear in 2019 from Make Now Press. Recent poems have appeared in Poetry, Fence, Lana Turner and New American Writing. His poetry, digital text works (such as “The Dreamlife of Letters”), critical writing and editing can be found at He is a professor of English at UCLA. 

Image of the arrival ceremony of the President of France and Mrs. Macron.

Latest from Europe



By Candice Kelsey. Meghan Markle and her husband declare independence from the


By Michael DeMaranville. In Moscow, 25,000 gather in protest - for the

To the Blond Jester

By Adam Davis. As Brexit gets brutal, so does Boris Johnson's legacy.
Go to Top