Breaking News

[v 1.0]

this mourn­ing
77 North is dark
un­til

a pageant of
emer­gen­cy lights
and

19 Action vul­tures re­port­ing
the old­est
News there is.

[v 2.0]

this morn­ing
77 North is dark
un­til

a pageant of
emer­gen­cy lights
and

vul­tures re­port­ing
the old­est
     [19 Action]
News
there is.

[v 3.0]

this morn­ing
77 North is dark
un­til

a pageant of
emer­gen­cy lights
and

vul­tures re­port­ing
the old­est
News      [19 Action!]
there is.

[v 4.0]

this morn­ing
77 North is dark
un­til

a pageant of
emer­gen­cy lights
and

a pret­ty wom­an
         [cam­era-right]
pick­ing her teeth.

[v 5.0]

this morn­ing
77 North is dark
un­til

a pageant of
emer­gen­cy lights
and

vul­tures re­port­ing
the old­est news
there is.

[v 6.0]

this morn­ing
77 North is dark
un­til

a feast of
emer­gen­cy lights
and

vul­tures re­port­ing
the old­est news
there is.

[v 7.0]

this morn­ing
77 North is dark
un­til

a feast of
emer­gen­cy lights
and

a pret­ty wom­an
         [cam­era-right]
pick­ing her teeth.


7 thoughts on “Breaking News

  1. I think the im­agery in the 2nd and 3rd stan­zas are ef­fec­tive. I like how it por­trays the emer­gen­cy lights and the vul­tures as mod­ern ver­sions of cir­cling buz­zards. Maybe I would change “re­port­ing” to “re­port” be­cause es­sen­tial­ly both of the­se things broad­cast a mes­sage.

    I most­ly take is­sue with the 1st stan­za – it seems like the high­way would be “dark” af­ter the vol­un­tures show up, not “un­til.” Or per­haps my read­ing of dark­ness and light in the good vs. evil sense is too pedes­tri­an?

    Is the point of this po­em to com­ment on the inani­ty of news­wor­thi­ness?

    I think the read­er should know for cer­tain what is the old­est news there is – I would use the 1st stan­za to es­tab­lish that. 

    P.S. Would you agree that death is the old­est news there is?

  2. Hey Maggie, thanks for com­ment­ing and work­shop­ping my po­em. New folks are al­ways wel­come. I do agree that death is the old­est news there is, and I’m glad to see you picked up on it.

    I think ver­sion 7 of this po­em is the one I’m go­ing to stick with. The vul­ture metaphor was a bit too blunt, I think, and I think the same feel­ing comes across with the teeth pick­ing and by chang­ing “pageant” to “feast.”

    I’m not re­al­ly com­ment­ing on the inani­ty of news­wor­thi­ness so much as try­ing to un­der­stand my feel­ings about how tele­vi­sion news us­es their “first on the scene” spec­ta­cle men­tal­i­ty to prof­it from the mis­for­tune of oth­ers.

  3. i like “pageant” bet­ter than “feast.” pageant is sharper, sar­cas­tic, and al­so grooves with the idea of flash­ing lights. “feast” is ob­vi­ous in the same way vul­tures are ob­vi­ous.

    i like v1 and v7. i agree that the “pick­ing her teeth” line is richer…

    what if you con­nect the stan­zas more, some­thing like “this morning/​77 north is dark/​until/​a pageant of/​emergency lights/​illuminate/​a pret­ty woman/​camera-​right/​picking her teeth.

  4. I can’t de­cide be­tween feast or pageant my­self, so any in­put I get in re­gard to those two words is help­ful. Other than that, I think I’m go­ing to leave every­thing else as it is.

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