The News from M—

Here, where you all are,
language is an accessory

to bodies lying in the street,
prone in government rooms,

bloated in the waterways.
Or language is an accessory

to the refutation of bodies
lying etc. This too will pass

as search vessels in the delta
pass for smuggling operations

bringing illicit food to refugees
being autocued for media 

appearances. What commerce
would you with us all. What 

coverage can you offer for 
coastal breach, aid refusal,

for the taut sinews and caught 
breath of seated uprisen monks.

More by Lytton Smith

Radar Data #12

It was in the absence of light
as when near new moon and
no moonlight; as when a part

of a picture is in shadow (as
opposed to a light); as when
in the condition of being

hidden from view, obscure,
or unknown—in concealment,
or else without knowledge

as regards to some particular;
and of the weather, season,
air, sky, sea, etc., characterized

by tempest; in times, events,
circumstances etc. subject to
tempers; inflamed, indicative,

predictive, or symbolical of
strife (harbinger of coming
trouble)—a period of darkness

occurring between one day &
the next during which a place
receives no light from the sun,

and what if it is all behind us?
I no longer fear the rain will
never end, but doubt our ability

to return to what lies passed.
On the radar, a photopresent
scraggle of interference, as if

the data is trying to pretend
something’s out there where
everything is lost.

Related Poems

I Have News for You

There are people who do not see a broken playground swing
as a symbol of ruined childhood

and there are people who don't interpret the behavior
of a fly in a motel room as a mocking representation of their thought process.

There are people who don't walk past an empty swimming pool
and think about past pleasures unrecoverable

and then stand there blocking the sidewalk for other pedestrians.
I have read about a town somewhere in California where human beings

do not send their sinuous feeder roots
deep into the potting soil of others' emotional lives

as if they were greedy six-year-olds
sucking the last half-inch of milkshake up through a noisy straw;

and other persons in the Midwest who can kiss without
debating the imperialist baggage of heterosexuality.

Do you see that creamy, lemon-yellow moon?
There are some people, unlike me and you, 

who do not yearn after fame or love or quantities of money as
                unattainable as that moon;
thus, they do not later
                        have to waste more time
defaming the object of their former ardor.

Or consequently run and crucify themselves
in some solitary midnight Starbucks Golgotha.

I have news for you—
there are people who get up in the morning and cross a room

and open a window to let the sweet breeze in
and let it touch them all over their faces and bodies.