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Poem The News: End Of Times... Stop Smiling

By Mason Johnson

Fridays are boring. Here are some reader-submitted poems based on CBS news articles. You're welcome. Read more "Poem the News" poems here.

Thanks, Meghan Rock, for submitting this! (Credit: Meghan Rock /

Two weeks ago, I sat, shoulders forward, face locked in a grimace, trying to figure out what to do with Poem the News. Then it came to me: end it. Just quit. It was a beautiful idea, genius in its simplicity, and with this idea in mind, I sat up from the toilet feeling about a pound lighter.

Then I flushed.

So here we are. The end. This is the end. My only friend. The end. You are the audience. The poets below are Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison in a theatre near you. As you can imagine I got a lot of poems this week. Thousands upon thousands. After cutting out the hateful, racist, innapropriate, post-modern, pre-modern, meta-modern and just plain bad poems, we were left with but a handful. They are below.

Before we get to the poems, I'd like to thank you for reading -- it's been a trip -- and also leave you with the same quote I ended last week's Poem the News:

"Poetry will always be with you, for your ally is poetry, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel poetry around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes."

Dogs Dress Up At Annual "Pug Parade"
Okay, maybe I changed a yoda quote to be about poetry. Whatever. (Credit: Phillippe Diederich/Getty Images)

Let There Be Poems!

DAYS OF OUR LIVES by Jason Bredle

Those were the days,
wondering if our TV news helicopters
would be replaced by drones,
anticipating the release
of new mobile phones,
up all night playing video games
with violent undertones
and enjoying them quite a bit
to be honest with you.
It was fun to pretend
to shoot cops in our own city
and in the comfort of our own homes.
Cool props wounded
five of our most beloved musicians
and none of them
were Vince Neil.
Beavers, we learned,
was the name of a person.
Dolce & Gabbana
introduced a perfume for babies,
we accused a consultant
of ripping off small businesses
and the government fined a woman
for riding a manatee.
Executives, college students
and body builders
took date rape drugs recreationally
and called it liquid G.
Falling in love at Wal-Mart
became commonplace.
An outraged resident
bit a spring breaker's face.
And all along what they were saying
was true: Smiling fighters were more likely
to lose.

A+ -- Jason, you're the first person to submit who's convinced me that they actually read the news. Congrats!

For the Children by Emily Mooney
Dolce & Gabbana To Release Perfume For Babies

"Per I Bambini," a new fragrance from Dolce and Gabbana,
purportedly smells like the breath of babies.
How putrid.

Babies smell like spoiled milk, spit-up, and urine.
And the funk of baby sweat trapped in the chubby creases
of their skin.

My babies smelled like Baby Magic.
I scrubbed them down to erase their baby scent, then doused them
with pink baby lotion.

They smelled of dryer sheets, detergent, and bleach.
Baby blankets, burp rags, and onesies smell vile
until scoured and softened.

Ridiculous to assert that the fragrance, meant to be worn by babies,
may console a child in unfamiliar surroundings.
Isolation is smelling only your baby self.

A+ I like babies because I'm better than them at pretty much everything.

Be Careful Who You Box With by Michelle Sinksy
Study: Smiling Fighters More Likely To Lose

He's eager to lead, weight heavy and bearing his front teeth
He's unfortunate bend, a heartbreak in unsmiling rings
And he serves the swings, with guard tucked neatly into his cheeks
He's easy to breed, and equally left feet

Left limp in the first, trade spit with this risorius-faced kid
The records you give, you know who you've fought with
And kicked in the ribs
Some kid with his platysmal whim
Cheers what he did, the lad left him lifeless

Be careful who you box with
Somebody's bound to get his teeth kicked in
This wasn't how we planned it
And now don't go asking bets we've placed
We're all reckless gamblers
Why fight the straight teeth we've been furnished with?
There's no good way to say this
Best to just take it on the chin

A+ -- Michelle! You're poem sent me to the dictionary twice, which means it's probably good.

Moon Temple
Moon Temple in her natural state.

Poem by Moon Temple
Experts Say Food May Contribute To Anger, Violent Behavior

experts know everything
eat healthy things like vegetables
do that, experts say so
do what the experts say
they are right, they are experts
experts know everything

i am imagining a cheerful nurse
about to extract bone marrow from your body
smiling and telling you
"this will only hurt a little bit"

avoid carbs, they will make you mad
the experts are right
listen to the experts
experts know everything

A+ -- Many people don't realize this, but my body is a temple. Looks like we have quite a lot in common, Moon.

Rope-A-Mope by Liza St. James
Study: Smiling Fighters More Likely To Lose

don't fool with focus mitts, smirky
if you can't hold yours past weigh-in
seen tyson's teeth? mouthpiece, whatever
if you wanna be a contender, sunshine
cut that coulda been somebody jabber
that coulda had class, welter
cause jab jab, cross-counter
peek-a-boo, anybody home
sneer like an undisputed champion
or it's always a journeyman, never a gatekeeper
check hook, southpaw stance
but no glower, no grimace
then bob and weave forever,
uppercut straight to the solar plexus
just know this:
your cauliflower ear will get you nowhere
silly tomato can
smiles are for rabbit punchers & losers like you
[long count]

A+ -- When I smile, you can only see my top teeth, which is good, since they're the straight ones. The bottom row, less so. I forgot what we were talking about.

US Kayla Mc Maroney poses with her silve
When I typed in "grumpy woman" this is what came up. Heh. (Credit: THOMAS COEX/AFP/GettyImages)

No More Poem the News No More (or women wake up grumpy) by Wyatt Sparks
Study: Women Wake Up Grumpier Than Men


this is the morning of crap
say bye bye
turn over
because this is our last outing
you always wake up so angry
i try to feed you
but you bite back
every time
so i 'm shutting the door on the room
with the candles in it
pretending you're a television woman
i'm paying for the extra electricity

A+ -- Yet again Wyatt proves he doesn't understand women or poetry (but aren't they they same thing (no)).

Study: Smiling Fighters More Likely To Lose

and you'll never win. You're yellow
even when you wear silver shorts.
Be a Rubik's cube, disorganized and twisted.

Stop holding your self-esteem together with tape.
Apathy no longer cuts it. Get mad. Live dangerous.
Step on all the cracks and break your mother's heart.

Greet the dawn with a punch to the face.
Walk around town with your wisdom teeth bared.
Empty your think tank and refill it with dirty water.

Visualize yourself twenty years down the line
with everyone back home shaking their heads.
You need to be broken to get broken in.

A+ -- I'll visualize myself twenty years down the line alright, and lemme tell you what I don't see: poetry. Not one bit.

Mason Johnson's number one survival skill is the ability to get punched in the face. He's really good at it. Follow his extraordinarily inappropriate and unintelligent twitter account here.

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