Saturday, May 31, 2014

For the Love of Christie

Chris Christie's career
is dead.

Long live
Chris Christie's career.

The petty low-level mobster
who still believes
he's found refuge in politics

has not completely
ruled out
running for President in 2016

and yesterday
made appearances
in Tennessee

attending a fundraiser
for Republican Senator
Lamar Alexander

and speaking
at a state Republican
dinner in Nashville.

Even the President
of Nashville's Tea Party
Ben Cunningham

called the speaking engagement
"extremely unfortunate"

but he did crash
a bachelorette party
and the ladies loved him

though they probably
didn't bring up
too many

deep political questions
and he didn't make them

so it's really too bad

because were he
not embroiled
in a few too many scandals

the poor guy
would make
a great politician.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Vetting Our Affairs

President Obama
"with considerable regret"
today accepted

Eric Shinseki's resignation
as Secretary
from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The president described
his "commitment to veterans"
as "unquestioned"

and his "service
to our country"
as "exemplary"

As with other
behemoth institutions
it's usually the case

that neither genuine mistakes
nor "on-purpose accidents"

can be squarely placed
on the shoulders of one figurehead

but regardless
seeing that figurehead

take responsibility and do
what he or she perceives as honorable
is noteworthy.

And may those Republicans
who in February rejected a bill

pushed by Senate Democrats
to expand veterans’ benefits

when the bill turns up
again next week

be able to do the same.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Words Mean More

Maya Angelou's life
was her own

but she gave
to us pieces

and standing by
to continue to describe

through ink on paper
or waves in the air.

So what does it matter
that she spoke and wrote

and taught college
and marched
and researched and sang

and reported and acted
and inaugurated

in her one life?

What does it matter

one more Renaissance woman
growing up black and poor
in the South

and becoming a figurehead
of what one person

can do and overcome
and walk through?

What does it matter
that you didn't always
think of her

but she was just there
doing what a literary
fixture does

being present

and that now any tribute
to her

comes out feeling
like a cliche
not nearly as well written

as the one life was lived?

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Infallible Deniability

There once was a church
run by big Catholics

who taught God's Word
in the form
of outdated semantics.

Responses to child abuse
were neither swift nor profuse

until Pope Francis said
he had had it.

So the pissed-off Pope
decided he'd rally

and meet with
Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley
(of Boston).

His tolerance sits
right at zero

which really shouldn't
make him a hero

but it gives dear
old Holy See some
desperately-needed "vitale".

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Out of Memory

Maybe there's something
the anti-war people
are missing

because even as technology upgrades
to do the dirty work

of more and more troops
on the ground

even as information
we can know
about a country

is so up-to-the-minute
minutely small
that we miss
the blurry big picture

even as the old guard
rightly becomes

more accommodating
to historically ignored
or shunned demographics

they still find reasons
to protest it.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

To the Republic

Congratulations Petro
"Chocolate King" Poroshenko
the billionaire confectioner

for winning
the presidential election
in Ukraine today
with 67 percent of the vote

and of course to the voters
who turned out

in record numbers despite
"Russian-backed separatist groups"

who "sought to disenfranchise
entire regions"
with "provocations and violence"

as written by Obama
in a statement today

a president whose victory

was only possible
because ceaseless calls
from citizens like him

from people who were
not running for office
just wanting a voice

were answered with laws
to reduce the degree of untruth
between America's

flagrant bellowing proclamation
of democracy

and its practice.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Friday, May 23, 2014

West's Wing

People like Allen West
who juggle

the two taxing
and multifaceted responsibilities

of hosting a Fox News show
and representing the Tea Party

can always be counted on
to bolster progressives' determination

to do right by our nation's
Thai-American immigrant female Iraq veterans
who lost both legs in combat

and won a Purple Heart
for their brave service

such as Tammy Duckworth

who like other Democrats
was thought to have diminished
the significance of Benghazi

by serving
on a special committee
to further investigate Benghazi

that consists only
of members of her party

(so unlike the GOP
they must have
an ulterior motive).

Why else would he say
"I just don’t know
where her loyalties lie"?

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Human Rights

Eighty US troops
have been sent
to neighboring Chad

in a growing international effort
to rescue the girls

kidnapped by the Nigerian
extremist group Boko Haram.

With great power
comes the great responsibility

to recognize if
and if so when and how
power should be used

so that might can make
or at least contribute
to right.

Sometimes you should stand back
sometimes you should meddle

but sadly
even morally-necessary meddling
holds risk

and the only thing to do
is prepare for it
and head into the storm.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Second Amenu-ment

On Monday
Chipotle Mexican Grill

in response
to the 10,000-signature
Moms Demand Action
for Gun Sense petition

prompted by several gun aficianados
bringing loaded semi-automatics
into a Dallas restaurant

made the decision
to ban gun-carrying customers
from the premises.

It seems unlikely
that our Founding Fathers
intended our right to bear arms

to extend to conscionably-delicious
Mexican chain restaurants

but then again
they didn't have to worry

about servers
skimping on the guac

in their carnitas burrito bowls.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Boy Genius

For anyone concerned
about Hillary Clinton's

current brain status
since last year

like the well-wisher
Karl Rove
who was responsible

for propping up
Bush's brain
for all public appearances

(also known
as being a Senior Adviser

and second in command
after Cheney

with his own
affairs of the heart)

here are words
from the concussed person herself.

"When a question is asked
it has to be answered

in a serious fashion
if it raises
a serious issue

even in
a ridiculous way."

So in short
yes concussions are terrible

requiring sensitive medical care
and generous
time allotments for healing

but she still has
more brains left

than some
of her GOP opposition
started with.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Friday, May 16, 2014

It's Their Time Now

Barbara Walters' career
outlasted the acceptable use
of the term "newswoman".

She rose
from pouring tea

as a "Girl"
on the Today show
in the 60s

to becoming synonymous
with being a willing listening ear
to the noble

and the vile
and the morally dubious.

Then she was a measured
thoughtful contributor

on her all-female
daytime discussion show

(more than a PC
demographic cross-section

meant to nominally satisfy
some quota
for tritely-chattering ladies
visibly on-screen)

"The View".

And contrary
to popular memory

Katharine Hepburn was the one
who herself brought up
that she "felt like a tree".

What response
can a good interviewer give

but to ask her
"What kind"?

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Running Azuck

Happy 30th birthday
Mark Zuckerberg.

Sorry if virtually every
news outlet

from amateur plebeian commentators

(on websites
such as Facebook)

to veteran
at-least-still-nominally credible
media networks

(on websites
such as Facebook)

has blamed you
for everything from wasting corporations
(except Facebook)
billions of dollars per year

to the hastening
of humanity's demise
by shortening our attention spans

and making us selfish
oversharing bullying narcissists

looking for ever-infinitesimally-smaller
and more frequent
means of sugary gratification
from so-called "friends".

That really mostly is unfair
for people will do
good or ill unto others

with or without enabling technologies

and regardless of what ideas
you "borrowed" from your peeps

you're a precociously
bright guy
with billions of dollars

but when lovable
Tom from MySpace
became everyone's friend

he still seemed
a little less clingy

when we
(moderately archaically
by now)

finally clicked away.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Measure of a Man

Hey Fox News
if you're recruiting
from the School
of Fairness and Balance

(the only school
that has any place
in our society)

and looking for an intern
to not-pay
to help write headlines

look no further
than here because

"Clay Aiken's
Republican Opponent

(well actually
he was an old white male

who like Aiken
was registered as a Democrat

and was actually
running against him
in the primary

but our viewers
need a controversy

so let's assume in his old age
he forgot to change
his registration)

in Race for Congressional Seat
Keith Crisco Dies

from Aiken's
Gay Waves of Subduction
That Caused Crisco to Fall and Die

at around 1:30 PM
in His Own Home."

So what if Aiken
is suspending
all his campaign activities

to pray for the man's
family and friends?

That's just code for
"Give me a sec

to catch the next
rainbow broomstick to Tijuana."

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

One "Bad" Mother

Don't be afraid
to be a mama's boy

like LeBron James
Bill Clinton
or Barack Obama.

You may develop
a healthier respect for women

sensitivity and empathy

and may everyone
go through life
with one mama figure
or more

birth or adopted
female or male

and today
tomorrow and after give props
to Anna Jarvis

who as a young woman
in 1908 started Mother's Day

(yes grammar nerds

with emphasis
on the apostrophe)

to honor her mother
after her death from cancer.

A religious social activist
she was against

the commercialization
of the holiday

so the iconic Beatles tune
"All You Need is Love"
is most fitting

(but she was curiously silent
about unauthorized and embarrassing

"throwback" pics
on social media).

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spangly Banners

Arkansas you see
by the city of Light

(an unincorporated community
in Greene County)

dear old Uncle Sam
got a bit gayer tonight.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.

Friday, May 9, 2014

He's Not an Eggplant

We love you
John Boehner

and yes Obama's
"orange is the new black" joke

at the Correspondents' Dinner
probably stung you

but is the best response
to your mean Republican peeps

really to start
a Benghazi committee?

This mistake and tragedy
has been probed

in 13 hearings
25,000 pages of documents
and 50 briefings

and trying to implicate Obama

any more
than he already has been
seems like a good way

to squander Congress's 
sweet vacation
from passing bipartisan legislation

with busy work.

This poem © 2014 Emily Cooper.