Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016


Masters of the Universe

in Photo Challenge/Politics by

I used to walk home after school,
flip on He-Man, and watch the cartoon
eating chocolate chip cookies with milk.
The blue sky appeared soft as silk.

At the end of the show, He-Man would offer
a life lesson for us “boys and girls.”
It was usually about not telling a lie,
then there’d be an ad, a He-Man toy to buy.

I never saw He-Man conspiring with Skeletor
behind the scenes, the trash compactor
of morality kept from kids, his blond mop
rippling as he raised a sword up

and blared, “I have the power!”
No sign of a white wizard, a broker
of information, visiting He-Man
or his green tiger—that stayed mum

as the sun set on suburban California,
before He-Man married Melania
and the show morphed into a tragedy
of language, no ties to morality.

Instead, it was the white wizard who spun
the tail, and in 80’s cartoon unison
let the evil ones run—villains appearing
with a flash, and us boys and girls cheering.



Poet’s Note

“It’s hard to write about Julian Assange and his influence on well…everything. I don’t know why the sudden bout of boyhood nostalgia in the poem hit me, but I wanted to convey the change that has occurred in the world, at least in my consciousness. And I know that this is completely unacceptable today, but yes, I was a child once and I listened to He-Man.”

Alejandro Escudé received an MA from UC Davis and works as an English teacher. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles. A new book, “The Book of the Unclaimed Dead,” published by Main Street Rag Press, is now available. Alejandro is a single Dad to two great kids and lives in Los Angeles with his dog, Jake.

Latest from Photo Challenge


Whose Father?

By Jane Yolen. This Founding Father mural is stoking national controversy. Whose

To the Blond Jester

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

The Span of a Year

By Taylor Balfour. The opioid epidemic claims over 130 lives everyday. Here
Go to Top