Exasperation Management

by Gary Hardaway

News as Pornography

The visual format of Fox News is so lurid and alarming
it's no wonder its viewers display an aroused agitation,
an almost orgasmic fear and loathing of the world.

The New American Dream:

a pistol in your pocket,
a hoodie on your wall.

Veni, Vidi, Vici

We honor fierce, quick, cunning
thought-in-action types

who serve first themselves
today no less than all recorded yesterdays.

Stop whining. We get what we reward.
We all are vanquished.


They took the business fanciers to the forest,
clubbed them like cows in a slaughterhouse,
slit their throats to accelerate and ensure death,
let the blood feed the trees and underbrush,
piled the exsanguinated bodies in compost bins
prepared for that purpose, then showered and set about  
the other work of re-fashioning the village in terms
the earth could tolerate. There was neither joy nor remorse.

It Isn't Morning in America—
the Camera's Pointed West

I say your rational self-interest in breaking shale
with secret, proprietary chemicals ends
at the groundwater my little town depends upon.

You show me spiffy diagrams of how
you shield the soil with pipe and concrete.

I say deep underground no one knows
what shifts and separations actually occur.

You say the engineers assure such separations
cannot happen. I say but they're your engineers.

You say they're professionals of great integrity.
I say redundant systems and sensors for safety.

You just blather on about the great expense
for pipe and concrete you risk already
to bring the gas to market. I say frack you

and your blue-eyed, slender spokesbitch, too.
You just buy up airtime and mineral rights,

plant a few shrubs around the wells,
buy controlling interest in the legislature
and poison the underworld for centuries to come.