30 January 1996 NEWSPOEM

The wealthy pay but they, well, don't pay everything, he thought. They pay most of what is paid, but never pay most of their wealth. Trapped in the margins of the news everyday, living a stiff parody of an innocent man, somehow an icon of wealth and color, bored rich aimless violent famous, like one who dies of old age and natural causes at the age of 52 in front of his bathroom mirror. And we drive between the lines of text to work every day, headlines pointing onto exit ramps, we move sluggishly in exhaust. A segment of a metal worm, we are only as interested in human rights as a newt. Heavy with fuel, he collided with a Nashville home. He was arrested on charges of disseminating child pornography over the internetr, released from prison earlier this month, was arrested again, and divorced the daughter of a celebrity. The senate has approved his plan to dismantle the military. The wealthiest ten percent of Americans will have their taxes raised to 50% of their income and the extra tax will be given directly to Americans who have never been included in a statistic or measurement. Meanwhile we, here at Newspo'erty International, have been up all night typing. Here the text is flat and travels in a straight line and we want to find a way to make it leap off the page and wrap around the random reader. It was only with naiveté and a streak of journalistic integrity which rapidly faded, that he, like Phil Ochs typing on a piano, began his redocumentation of the daily lies. In a country with skyrocketing crime/poverty rates, lacerated social spending, televised wars, he wanted only to let an unsuspecting unreader know that I was willing to mediate with a shrug and a heartbeat, a tremolo eyelash. The random men's bathroom user, library or bookstore or newspaper patron would find a fresh poem in their hands, left for exactly them. How is a newspaper not like a truncheon? Innovationless, yes, but there is no silencing history. Even a failure to publish it won't stop it from being written. If the relationship of thoughtful human to public information about U.S. foreign and domestic policy exists, it may go undocumented. Those of us at News Po'erty Intranational are typing and retying and we don't regret a single horrible or embarrassing mistake we've made so far. Our New Year's resolution was to type a News Poerm every day ANYWAY. But the opportunity to ignore the papers and shape and create the news, entirely from desire, based on what I now know, is almost untakenadvantageof thusfar. Newspoem time, 11:45 PM. It is almost time for another poem to sweep across these states. Turn off your lights and go to sleep. I'll write you a better world tomorrow.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books