The Sunday paper came just now.
I dove right past the thick, black headlines

in a frenzied quest for the Book Section,
shrinking year by year and hidden
so far inside the folded mass, it can take
a couple passes to find it.

I prefer to encounter my world
as it appears when packaged
between covers.

Instead of bloody battlefields,
maybe some anecdotal
survey of the history of war, or armaments,
or even fashions in uniforms —

or something tracing
the rise and fall of empires,
bestowing a sense of pattern,
of the broad sweep of time
without the threat that time itself
will be swept out
from under all our feet.

Instead of tracts describing
the ongoing clashes between nations,
the scandals within institutions,
I like to read of short stories
about the everyday
people who make up
those nations and institutions.

Somehow, the discomfiting
disasters of the thick, black headlines,
trailing their dark clouds of smoke,

have been refined away,
siphoned off —civilized, when seen
through this lens. In my leisure,
I survey the hidden
life behind 'events', and find

it goes quite well
with a good cup of coffee.


by Max Reif

Comments (3)

Isn't it odd, Max, that we can read the most brutal of novels and hardly bat an eyelash, but the newspapers bring home all the blood and gore. Your poem packs a very firm, real message. Nice work. Raynette
Good juxtaposition of what is. (Snazzy title) Lovely writing, Cy
I love the way you can create an engaging dramatic poetic narrative through insight into the most everyday of events. As exemplified here of course. t x