Friday, May 29, 2015

His World Is on Fire

Never minding

that the Founders didn't want
an establishment of religion
in these United States

there's no reason America
shouldn't hand the mic

to Ted Cruz's
conservative Christian rapper groupies
We Are Watchmen

so they can
set ablaze "the voice of the Founding
speaking in the contemporary tongue"

in "Set It On Fire"

which starts off decently with

"It’s like we’re back
in the late ’70s

Labor force is dead
emboldened enemies"

and one can almost hear Eminem
stressing out before going on stage
in the lines

"When power is concentrated
centrally and federally

it creates dependency
that’s mentally like leprosy"

and sounding a little
like a recent grad
with an English degree

who is just so happy
to have found paying work

but okay

not bad.

And presumably
a shout-out to God's
intelligent design in

"We are the greatest nation
that’s ever been implanted on the planet"

and of course
"we never panic
when things get rough"

but rather perform
some seductive new dance move
in the name of free trade
and right-to-work laws when

"we put our hands up on the granite
and grind for righteousness."

Then finally revealing
the buried lede

we're asked to "imagine the Reagan revolution
part two
on our fingertips."

Luckily while we're doing that
the poor intern
re-checks the assignment

realizes he's short of the word count
and pens another verse

"We the people
are the future of our nation
we’ll never relinquish it

Let the American dream die?

Nah we’d never
even think of it

We’re at the brink of it
but we’ll survive.

We’re Washington and Lincoln’s kids."

It's a somewhat tortured rhyme
but it gets the point across
has some history

and is the best we can do
in Obama's America.

Then a call-and-response
for "courageous conservatives"
to "rise up and roll out."

Finally the last verse ends

"It only takes one spark to light the fire

We’re rising
reigniting the embers
that have been burning inside."

Writing is hard

and it's mean to mock
any sincere effort

but sadly

even the greatest MC
at the Grand Old Party
probably won't get the Millennial vote

as it's not the Cruz

but the destination.

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nothing's More Interesting

Mary Ellen Mark
the iconic and prolific photographer

who captured simply
the lives of people
on the margins

for example
in a trek to New York City
in 1967

where over the next several years
she acknowledged
in black and white

the existence of prostitutes
of Vietnam War protesters

of Women's Lib marchers
of transvestites
of the homeless

of those addicted to drugs

and of Times Square

(among other folks and places)

has died at 75.

Portraying one small part of the world
"as it is"

contrary to common sense
is still an art
performed by mere humans

which means that hashtags
like #NoFilter

will never be accurate

and accuracy
is an impossible goal

but to get at anything
resembling something like truth

we need
and will always need
more filters.

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Double Rainbows Over Dublin

Congratulations Ireland

for becoming the first country

to make same-sex marriage legal
by way of popular vote

with a final tally

of 37.9 percent No
to 62.1 percent Yes.

Just like the US

(and in other ways not)

Ireland has its unfair share
of stymiers of social progress

but if God proclaims on high

His approval
of referendums passed
in the name of equality

that should convince anyone

except those
who have come around

to liking sun and rain

and appreciating everything
about them as individuals

but still get squicked out
about rainbows.

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Adult Acceptance of Transition

Robert Gates
current president
of the Boy Scouts of America

has called for an end
to the long-standing ban

on gay leaders.

When addressing the organization

during its annual meeting
he said

"We must deal
with the world as it is

not as we might wish it to be.

The status quo
in our movement’s membership standards

cannot be sustained."

There's another prominent group

that has taken the hard road
of personal introspection

as they choose to bow
to society's slowly-but-surely-changing
tide of opinion

and even say a sad farewell
to the beloved old guard

in the name
of younger
and fresh-faced leadership

which is
Worldwide Pants Incorporated.

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Six Years In

There is little
that "Bey"(once) and "Jay" (Z)
do quietly

but what has been quiet
are the couple's donations

of tens of thousands of dollars
to bail out protesters
arrested in Baltimore

at least according
to the activist "Dream Hampton"

who ghostwrote Jay Z's
2010 memoir "Decoded"

but later deleted
her original tweets
with that claim

due to a twinge
of Twitter regret.

And just as Obama
is now occasionally

tapping into his plentiful
six-year store
of accumulated moxie and chutzpah
and temerity

today he has been granted
a personal Twitter account

under the name "@POTUS"

to deal with that
of his followers.

(Luckily it's only
1.16 million so far.)

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Beale Street Blues Boy

The thrill is gone
but not forgotten.

"I never use
that word

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Cultural Currency

The lobbying group
Women On 20s

is campaigning for Harriet Tubman
to appear on the twenty-dollar bill.

Not merely someone
who routed hundreds of people
out of legal captivity

during the Civil War
she was a scout
a cook
a nurse and a spy.

Other than the "politically correct"
line of reasoning

that present occupier
of the bill
Andrew Jackson

was kind of a big meanie

given that one of her nicknames
was "Minty"

(short for her birth name Araminta)

one would get to call
a wallet full of twenties
"Minty Fresh".

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

We Would Live 4 U

The deliberately elusive Prince

has kicked off
his one-stop "Rally 4 Peace" tour

at the Royal Farms Arena
in Baltimore

with his new song
aptly titled "Baltimore."

His message is one
that mothers
and fathers

and just humans in general
and probably other species

have tried to rationalize

that "Nobody got in nobody's way
so I guess you could say
it was a good day"

but with the nagging feeling underneath
that "Peace is more
than the absence of war."

Still Fox News
will point out
that the line

"Let's take all
the guns away"

means he's lobbying
for Hillary

and maybe
that's only part of the solution

but then again
they've never claimed

to be part
of the solution. 

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Rand-some Price for Freedom

To celebrate the Appeals Court
declaring illegal the NSA's
mass phone data collection program

Rand Paul reminds you

while the government
still has access to The Interwebs
(including The Facebooks)

to head on over
to his online store

and get yourself
an NSA Spy Cam blocker

for $15.00

never minding
that you can get a whole roll
of masking tape

for one-third or less
of the price

while helping your friends
block their computers' and devices' webcams
at the same time.

But to make up for that

you'll have to buy
his thousand-dollar signed copy
of the Constitution.

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

She Comes Back to Me

If the debris
from Halley's Comet
is visible
in your part of the world

at approximately
nine in the morning
Eastern Daylight Time Wednesday

remember that
an uncaring universe

even at a negative
454 degrees Fahrenheit

is not necessarily
the same
as a "cold" universe

more like a "chill" one
perhaps just waiting for us
to clean up our own trash

and that Eminem's 2002 "Hailie's Song"
was about his daughter

who did not
spawn the comet

though she was proudly crowned
Homecoming Queen
in October 2013.

Dr. Ben Carson
thinks hip-hop is disrespectful
to modern values
of decency and respect

but nonetheless launched
his 2016 presidential campaign
with a gospel choir rendition

of her father's 2003 song
"Lose Yourself."

Barring any definite outside answer

one can only guess
that the universe

has just one message
for us

equal parts terrifying
and hopeful that

"Everything in the universe
that can happen

will happen


This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May Poll

(Sung around the May Pole)
(Adapted from old English May Day song "Padstow Hobby Horse")

Unite and unite
(Brian Russell)
and let us all unite
(Skip Andrews)

for poll-summer (Marco Rubio)
is a-coming today
(Ted Cruz)

and whither we are going
(Kerry Bowers)

we all will as-if unite
(Chris Hill)

in the Prez "Barry" scorning
(Michael Petyo) 

of May
(Michael Kinlaw).

The declared candidates
(John Dummett, Jr.)
of the GOP
they might if they would

for poll-summer is a-coming today
(Rand Paul)

they might have (Mark Everson) built a 'paign
with unkept promises

Fox News would call bold

in the Prez "Barry" scorning
of May.

The exploring maidens
(Carly Fiorina)

of the GOP and the men
(Rick Santorum)

they might if they would

for poll-summer
(Bobby Jindal)
is a-coming today
(Lindsey Graham)

they might defend the blue blood
with the stars white
(Rick Perry)
and stripes red 

in the Prez "Barry" scorning
of May
(Dr. Ben Carson).

Now fare you well
(George Pataki)
and we bid you all good cheer
(Dennis Michael Lynch)

for poll-summer (Mike Huckabee)
is a-coming today
(Jeb Bush).

Till you call still more
(Chris Christie)

unto the White House
in another year
(Donald Trump)

in the Prez "Barry" scorning
of May.

This poem © 2015 Emily Cooper.