Tuesday, December 31, 2013

As News Goes By

You must remember this
Whether new Pope
or gay kiss
Prez speaks
Important people die

Fundamental or trivial
the news goes by.

And when things happen
as they do
that's another poem or two
On that you can rely.

This poet'll keep you
wittily apprised
as news goes by.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How Joan of Arc Felt

(Apologies to the Smiths)

In this fast-paced
modern news age

a Fox blonde
has one concern

Megyn's just discovered

Some Santas
are darker than others

Some Santas
are darker than others

Some Santas are "brothers"
or even
Muslim-like colors.

Send her your tchotchkes
the ones with White Jesus
and she'll be just fine.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Unrest Will Follow

(Apologies to En Vogue)

Inspire loathing
with words they choose
to describe themselves
and also maybe you.

Putin forgive them
for putting on airs
by saying Russia's women
don't have it quite fair.

They might support
the gay pride colors
it doesn't mean they'll make
Parliament kiss each other.

Free Pussy Riot
and let Greenpeacers go

Support human rights
and "amnesty"
won't be shallow.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sign of the Times

(Apologies to Ace of Base)

They saw him sign
right with their own two eyes
they saw him sign

through speeches commanding
the deaf got brave

Newhoudt saw him sign
right with her own two eyes
she saw him sign

apparently he just walked right up
and with millions watching thought
"What could go wrong?"

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Restless Peace

Changes in laws
don't change
the minds of the powerful

neither those
of the elite ruling party

nor those
of the rank-and-file citizens
granted access
to selective democracy.

But Nelson Mandela
accepted the long fight's
journey into day

and negotiated
with the night

because freedom
had no other choice.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grateful Living

(NaNoWriMo quote: just the word "grateful" in the title)

Gratitude means more
than hand-waving
dirty history

or placing modern suffering
safely in a box
labeled "Things We Can't Change"

at the very bottom
with the shinier
things on top.

And maybe it's true
that Hallmark has wrought
many a trite
"holiday greeting"
to overpriced cardboard
with the term

but rest assured
that real gratitude
is work
working for the living

every day of the year.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Civil This Course

(NaNoWriMo quote: just the words "crisis" and "civil")

Scholars aren't sure Lincoln
despite his brief
unifying eloquence

connecting the sacrifices
of the dead
with the consciences
of the living

would approve of
Obama's presidency.

But they are fairly sure
that the Republicans
who undergird

their imagined

with Lincoln's actual deeds
would be considered
unneeded hindrances
to civil governance

and perhaps
thought a fool by him
beyond all doubt.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Inner Pieces

(NaNoWriMo quote: "into space")

At 1:28pm Eastern today
NASA launched
into space the MAVEN

(Mars Atmosphere
and Volatile EvolutioN)

from Cape Canaveral
Air Force Station
in Florida

(which by the way
set off car alarms
at the nearby
Kennedy Space Center).

In 10 months the rocket
will reach Mars's orbit
and then
for at least 1 Earth year

the sensors will collect
data about the gradual erosions
of Mars's atmosphere

that started billions
of years ago.

Also accompanying the craft
are more than 1100
haiku of the familiar
syllable count.

"Hey creatures of Mars
Earth-kind's got many failings
we've also got art."

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Standing Still

(NaNoWriMo quote: "Standing still")

One World Trade Center
a symbolic one thousand
seven hundred seventy-six
feet tall
including antenna

(which was ruled OK
by the Height Committee
of the Council on Tall Buildings
and Urban Habitat)

is set to open
in 2014.

On 911
the number of emergency
we stood still

(yes "we" were
in both the "With Us" and
"Against Us" lands).

and yes
we are standing

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Beat Drones On

This poet has opinions
but tries to pause
before taking sides

knowing she will be
at least in her own thoughts
her own head one

of the silent
dedicated mourners

figuring out how
to care for the right things
and protect the truth

while staying in neutral.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shot Through the Blame

(Apologies to Jon Bon Jovi)

This poet knows
enough of history
to know that
the theory of the heart

being the warehouse
and processing plant of emotion
went out with the black bile
(generally speaking).

Still Dick Cheney
has a book out now
detailing how
in the year 2012

our doctors finally gave him
a brand-new one

and this poet
cannot help but think

he gave names
(and names
and names)
a bad heart
(bad heart).

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Friday, October 11, 2013

United She Stands

Until more recently than
this regular-
(and already-exemplary-speller)
is happy to admit

she thought the Nobel
in Nobel Prize
was an alternate spelling
of Noble.

Malala Yousafzai
the girl who survived
the bullets of misguided men

did not win a prize
for her nobilty.

Yet she remains an inspiration
surely she is

but the world needs
not only the one
who stands in front

but the many
who will walk behind
in her defense.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

But Not for G(OP)

(Apologies to George Gershwin)

O's got his bills of health
but not for me

gives blacks
Latinos wealth
and takes from me.

With O' to lead the way
I'm bound like Shades of Grey

more than those Russian gays
do publicly.

It all began so well
but what an end

This is the time
rich fellas need a friend.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Monday, September 23, 2013

A New Theism

A couple of English
stand-up comedians
Sanderson Jones
and Pippa Evans
are the founders
of Sunday Assembly

a "godless congregation"
for atheists
both mainline and devout.

Right now
there are 5 churches total
3 in Britain
1 in Australia
and 1 in New York City

but they are embarking
on an 18-city worldwide tour
so watch out.

The founder of the
new Los Angeles chapter
Ian Dodd says:

"What we're trying to do
is hold on to the bath water
while throwing out the baby Jesus."

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Big Red Button

This poet has lived
the self-aware
part of her life
with Macs and/or PCs

so she knows a bit
how they function but

if it don't work
the way you want
sometimes you still gotta push
the button
and shut 'er down.

So yeah GOP

fingers crossed
the Tea Party
is so tired
through it all

they don't realize the box
still did a few useful things
when it was on.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dance to the Nye-est Star

Thank you Bill Nye
the Science Guy

for filling this poet's
young brain

(and those
of other future
liberal arts English majors)

with entertaining
but never dumbed-down
science facts.

Geology meterology
chemistry biology archaeology
(thankfully no Scientology).

And also
for having
the second-most-funky
theme song on TV
(next to Fresh Prince's).

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

These Dreams

(A few apologies to Heart for borrowing a title)

This poet sees
that these dreams
require intervals of work
followed by intervals of rest

but it's hard to dream alone
so invite your friends

and don't get too angry
if they bring along
their own dreams.

This poet will try
to follow that advice.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Walk Like the Bee Gees

If Egypt
had an anthem

when sung
did just
what it said

This poet would go with
stayin' alive
stayin' alive

not kicked around

It's alright
it's okay
live to see another day
(and lots lots more)

Something about
the New York Times.


Stayin' alive
stayin' alive.

In fact this poet
would vote
for mis-remembered
Bee Gees tunes
to become anthems
the world over.

Maybe it'll work?

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Friday, August 9, 2013


(Apologies to the King of Rock 'n' Roll)

Wise chuvak say
"Be gay or Russian."
But they can't help
falling in love with Pu'.

"Let us stay"
Would that be a sin

if they can't help
falling in love with Pu'?

Like the Volga flows
to the Caspian Sea
they'll wave rainbow flags
and beg
"Pu' look at me."

Fly-fishing or thrown
from hang gliders down to sea
horse or piano
"Vladimir's so fine to me."

Take your soft iron hands
and tell gays what to do

for they can't help
falling in love with Pu'.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Old-Fashioned Notions

Republicans breaking vows
they never
meant to keep

Federal spying
democracies rising
and falling
and fledgling

this fussing over royal babies
can all leave you
and wondering

what has love got to do
got to do with it?

Tina Turner
married Erwin Bach.

There's a phrase that fits.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Her Majesty's Labour

Until further notice
all humans when born

either emerge
from vaginas
or are cut out of people
with vaginas
if we're being technical).

to clarify

a poor woman
can still give birth

and though the world
may not
be watching

it happens.

A rich man

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

G.O. Family

(Apologies to Wendy Davis and Sister Sledge)

Li'l Texan Wendy
Why sis'
you diss GOP?

Li'l single Wendy
let us be
your wedding ring.

Everyone knows they go together
pro-life and human rights.

do we ignore when guns
shoot whoever?
We won't tell no lie

all those lib'rals
lapsed right-wingers
say "Can they be that close?"
Just let us state for the record

we'll decide which rights matter most.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


We regret to inform you
that we have not
as of yet
decided what to call
Edward Snowden's leaks
of the United States'
mass surveillance programs.

we wasted
on that stupid blizzard
earlier this year.

Rest assured
you will be
immediately informed
when that decision is made.

the Media.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Why'd They Change It

(Apologies to Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon)

Istanbul or Constantinople
Call it Istanbul
not Constantinople
If you feel wronged in Constantinople
get in a Turkish fight on a moonlit night

Every one in Constantinople
lives in Istanbul
not Constantinople
so if you want change in Constantinople
go and protest in Istanbul

In Mumbai
New York
Iran and Birmingham
reasons change
but we can say
"People just want it
better some way."

So go on back to Constantinople
but please be careful
in Constantinople
around the world
not just Constantinople
"Why do these police all act like jerks?"
That's nobody's business but ...


This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monday, Monday Raise Up

(With apologies to the Mamas and the Papas and Native NC Rapper Petey Pablo)

Moral Monday
good ol' NC
Moral Monday
means a chance for democracy
Voting rights
community freedom we are guaranteed
Next Moral Monday
won't you please stand here with me.

This one's for...
North Carolina
come on and
raise up.

North Carolina
come on and
raise up.

This one's for who?

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rescue Me (Ode to OK Senator Tom Coburn)

(With apologies to Fontella Bass)

Rescue me
Tom take me in your arms

rescue me
from this godawful storm

if my food stamps
make you blue

take those too
hope that will do

Come on and rescue me

Come on Tommy
and rescue me
Come on Tommy
and rescue me

'cause I need you by my side
then feel free to ignore me.

Rescue me
I'll close my greedy hands

get a third job
I know I can

Tom I love you
Tom I want you
then feel free to ignore me.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Stealing Home

Welcome back
and Michelle.

and girls
and men

they want to be

Maybe that means

people everywhere
just want
to go home.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Update Cycle

What's breaking news to one
may be another's
ancient history.

Good night
not goodbye

they say on TV
(or used to anyway)

because there will
surely be more
news tomorrow.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Monday, April 29, 2013

On The Ground

A female soldier
pleaded guilty
to two counts of desertion
after fleeing to Canada
in 2007 
to avoid a second tour
of duty in Iraq

the desert.

She said she had become

but Canada's not sure
whether to give
her a home
because for this war

(unlike that little one
in the 60s)

she decided to enlist

which of course
is true.


This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Democracy Will Hear You Now

Wait your turn
nervous half-listening
They see you
whoops not yet... Okay go now
you speak they listen.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Between Us And Them

Detectives discovered
a rusted piece of landing gear
wedged between
an apartment building
and a mosque

and believed to be a remnant
of one of the hijacked planes
September 11 2001.

Back then this country
had lots of questions

like who did this
and why

all of which
needed to be asked but

the first question to answer

was and is "Who do we
want to be?"

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Left To Their Own Devices

The House Intelligence Committee reported
that the two bombs
at the Boston marathon
were detonated with a remote control
for toy cars.

Life is but a video game?

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Havens Addresses a Complex Issue

In 1990
before a show
at the Cellar Door
Richie Havens let the audience know
what he told someone who asked
how he felt about Washington.

"What a good question.
what a good question

so I said
'Washington's groovy'

that's what I said
and it is.

For Romans."

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Experimental Design

Today the Grand Old
Party proves Constitution
is just a theory.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Below and Beyond

Fox News
Fair and Balanced

does not mean
what you think it means

having a hot blonde bombshell
use one person and one fact
to casually imply

that becoming a devout Muslim
should have been
a clear indicator
of a future in bombing
unsuspecting New Englanders

and a man
with a trustworthy cropped haircut
saying "Yes, I agree."

Perhaps you were led astray
by the word "story".

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Friday, April 19, 2013

We're Already In It

It's a little-known fact
that starting
each Spring

you can track
the increasing liberalization
and "worldliness"
of Southern Baptist churches.

Over the decades
one will note
there's been a steady increase
in pastors who

glistening and bright red
and deep
into a lively
sermon of hellfire
and damnation

every line
on their face and hands
dedicated to making it feel
all too real

are able
to calm down
a bit
wipe off the sweat

and say

"Well maybe
some of the Devil's wrath
made it up here too.


This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Just Us

Can the world really be
just humans versus
other humans

perpetually at war
or battle or skirmish

on the ground
in the air
within ourselves?

We are the humans
with feelings spent
beyond sorrow beyond rage
towards what other humans

Sometimes it seems
like that silence
is a spectator

showing us how
to carry the burden

but that would be too easy.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Another Day in the Neighborhood

It's impossible
to know each number
in a sequence

fill in x number hurt killed
for another senseless y tragedy.

You can wake up
each morning
and grow numb
with numbers. 
Look for the helpers
said Nancy
to her son Fred

You will always find
the people who are helping.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Strength in Numbers

The word

Can it be rebranded
as a good thing?

Protective cells
that swarm

to protect and repair
their host. 

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Un-Broken Man

In a few short days
the Kool-Aid "man"
will be unveiling
his 2013 image

a down-to-earth
computer-generated celebrity.

This citizen remembers
when the commercials
changed from

a gentle picnic
on a warm spring day
with a little folk ditty
playing in the background
to an obese pitcher
busting through a wall
to offer the contents
of his glass torso
to the happy little kids.

This citizen remembers thinking
"Why didn't he break?"

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

In Case of Dinner

If a friend of yours
invites you to a nice dinner

wear a tailored suit
show good manners at all times

and make relevant intelligent
and most of all respectful points

about the deficit
about gun control
about immigration

and whatever else
he asks you about.

When it's time to go
shake his hand
and thank him for his time.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Under Pressure

Rick Santorum
was "Google-bombed"
once already

by a savage man
who usurped
his namesake

(both retroactively
and henceforth)

into every
un-Biblical act
of The Act.

But Rick you poor man
now you say

that accepting gay marriage
would be
for the GOP.

This citizen is sad
to think
that you would do that
just because
you have to betray
who you really are.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Maggie You Couldn't Have Tried Anymore

this citizen
was neither in
the place
nor time to
know you

and so 
this citizen
shall reserve judgment
but to wherever
you're called

take care of yourself.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Post-Future Perfect

When the earth 
has smashed itself
back into
its component parts

and the eternal creatures
who evolved
from the radioactivity 

can not conceive
of things like "Saturday" 
or "mail delivery" or
any "communication requiring
primitive physical movement
of atomic matter"

the Emily Post Institute
will still exist
as a sentient feather
in a black hat
slogging diligently

in the name
of the timeless virtues

and respect

through the yellow
sulfuric haze.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Zero-Sum Game

One side
stands for
will always stand
for something
for good 

and the other side
stands up
wills itself to stand
for that something
for its own good.

Math said
minus one times
minus one
make one.

Someone in history said
"The enemy
of my enemy
is my friend."

This citizen came to accept
both statements

while still doubting
the logic

but sometimes
those bleeding hearts
do push against
those reactionaries

bringing the equation
to the side of love

and though
it seems like
small reward

in a certain light
it's wonderful
that we can stand together
as approximately 1.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hold That Dough (Obama's Sort-Of Rap)

(This one goes out
to all the government workers
who are taking unpaid
time off
and to all the men and women
out there who wonder
"What's the deal
with this deal?")

Hold that dough
man I'm gonna cut a check
just for John and Jane Q
to see that I connect 

Stay with me folks
look I got the thing right here
a check for 20K
or in case it's hard to hear
twenty-thousand dollars
better make it  
last a year

I know this is symbolic
since the Feds spend this
like [snaps] 

but just know ...
just know ...

we will ...
get through this
my fellow ...

Thank you
peace out!

(Lord, I sure hope so.)

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


North Carolina
y'all fine lawmaker fellows
and women please please

don't embarrass us   
He says those nails hurt way worse
than the Bill of Rights.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

In Your Head, Zombies

Obama decided to give
a cool $100 million
to the B.R.A.I.N.

Brain Research
Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies
(one of those delightful
recursive acronyms).

Perhaps a decade from now
neuroscientists will come back
and share with the public

the news we
already knew:
humans have so
so much
untapped potential.


This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Overarching Morals

Mr. Kevin Keller
and Dr. Clay Walker
got gay-
married last year

and nobody cared
but Veronica

so soon
maybe soon baby

we can put this issue
behind us.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pont FX (Haiku)

If you're still Catholic
go see the New Guy in charge
the Old Guy chose him

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Planet B

Hey there

Life on Earth got you
feeling hurt

hold on
hold on
ooh baby

Just across the Way
is a mass just starting
its several
hundred thousand-
(give or take)

a lovely thing
poised to be
twice the size
of Jupiter

Hope we don't end
up hating
what our galaxy
may be creating

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Romnecian Omission

Romney Romney Romney
you were there
you were there
on the TV
facing Obama

Republicans were
none too excited
but obligated

trying desperately
to make you stand out
and blend in

Democrats were
terrified of this
old white guy
with the religion
That Must Not Be Named

(the further left
was occupied
this time behind
their own walls

November 6th
came and went

Obama won
with room to spare

then suddenly Romney
you were not anywhere

next month you'll be
at the Conservative Political Action Conference
you say



This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

W. Leaks

by the name of Guccifer
finally hacked his way
into several Bush
family email accounts

top secret
private data

about Senior ex-president:

pictures of him
sick in the hospital
and messages
back and forth
worried and concerned
about his health
(as was the whole nation
of course)

but then
about Junior ex-president:

with attachment
that shows that
while in office
he had spent considerable
time making

a hand-painted portrait
of himself
taking a shower
and looking into
the shower mirror.

Information wants to be free.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I'll Make Love to Your Guns

On the list of the NRA's
National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies:
the premier R&B crooners of the 90s
Boyz II Men.
What did these silky-smooth
men ever do to deserve
this irrational ire?

Boyz II Men is
the anti-hostility
the anti-
impulsiveness that leads to more
of NRA's "enemies"
than this citizen
or this nation
could ever care to count
NRA leaders

if you hear them sing
so buttery soft
and in unison

I'll hold you tight
baby all through the night

and you think about
not a beautiful woman
(or man)
in your arms
but your beautiful
shiny firearms

then that's fine

but just be aware
that some will find
your love
an ungodly abomination

yes even
Boyz II Men.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Massive Impact

Though portrayed
as a milquetoast middling
windsurfing senator
from Massachusetts
his words condemning
and making demands
of the men who'd helped to orchestrate
the bloodshed
were enough to get through
to Nixon.

And save thousands
of lives
East and West.

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Stated Clearly

If a woman who just recovered
from a concussion
can respond to
calculated naivety
smug put-downs
and even an unpaid alternate universe
presidential campaign speech

without swearing
without shouting
without running crying from the room
without even stopping to rest her eyes
because she is hopelessly boggled

then her brain is just fine
and it is they who need
their heads examined.

(They may have a
pre-existing condition.)

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.


He said it first
four years ago,
then again
four years later:
"I want to take a look
one more time."

This poem © 2013 Emily Cooper.