News & Current Nonsense

A collection of poems by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall

General Robert E. Lee Stands Down
Richmond, Virginia, 8 September 2021

Today his statue will be lifted down
And broken up to be museumed somewhere
Beyond the roar of cannon and musketry
Beyond the hiss of tear gas and abuse

The most sentimental mythologies
Might be the worst: moonlight and magnolias
And sweet old songs softening and perfuming
The memories of bloody chains and whips

Let us hope that the plinth is left intact –
For a new statue, a universal pact

Noah Sends out Another Dove Today

“Some other land, some other sea”
-Cavafy, “The City”

If Noah were to release that dove today
It would fall along with the olive branch
Along with all hope, blasted out of the sky
Its bloody feathers fluttering to earth

Among refugees who haven’t the right papers

So, Newsreaders on National Public Radio, So, Like

Dear NPR Newsreaders:

You don’t have to begin most stories with “So”
Nor the rest of the reports with “So, like”
You could begin with a useful noun, you know
And speak professionally into that open mike

Robin Hood and Jacques Derrida

As the first stars came out above the leaves
Of Merry Sherwood, the lads in peaceful repose
Put away their after-supper mending of gear
And idled over their ale of October brewing

Then Robin Hood spoke to Allan-a-Dale:

Don’t sing to us of Neo-Post-Colonial White Supremacist Patriarchal People-of-Color Matriarchal LGBTQTY Non-Binary Feminist Chomskian Existentialist (existentialist – how quaint) Hegelian Post-Structuralist Logocentric Sausurian Psychoanalytical Post-Modern Marxist Jungian New Critical Cognitive Scientific Neo-Anarchic Canon-Repudiationist Neo-Informalist Catarrhic De-Constructionism.

Sing to us
a story.


We often read about communities:

The intelligence community
The black community
The LGBT community
The arts community


The Hispanic community
The white community
The evangelical community
The educational community


One imagines a community:
Volunteer fire department, VFW
Parks, shops, a Methodist church across the street
From Our Lady of Guadalupe


But communities seem mostly to be
Lonely people stereotyping others
On the InterGossip with big ol’ words

Abraham Lincoln and Macbeth
After life’s fitful fever, he sleeps well
-Macbeth III.ii.23

To imagine a modern president
Having a favorite Shakespearean play
Is not to imagine a president at all

The Land of We’ll Get Right on It – Songs of My People

You are a valued customer
No public restrooms
We don’t carry parts for that
Restrooms out of order
We’ll be out to make a bid tomorrow morning
No public restrooms
We’ll have your mower fixed this week
Restrooms out of order
Our driver couldn’t find your house
No public restrooms
Your call is very important to us
Restrooms out of order
My best mechanic ran off with my wife
No public restrooms
Our service tech will be there between eight and four
Restrooms out of order
Our next representative will be with you shortly
No public restrooms
Restrooms out of order
We’ll call you just as soon as it’s ready
No public restrooms
The pump reader doesn’t work; I’ll just take your credit card inside
Restrooms out of order
All our representatives are busy right now
No public restrooms
Our Monday Hours are 9-11 and 1-3
Restrooms out of order
Your security question is…
No public restrooms
It’s $250 just to take the dashboard off for a look
Restrooms out of order
I charge $75 an hour starting as soon as I drive out of the shop
No public restrooms
Our breakfast menu ended at 9
Restrooms out of order
I’m just not going to make it this morning, but I’ll be there tomorrow
No public restrooms
I need you to unplug the modem and look for…
Restrooms out of order
I’ll have to call you back, honey, there’s a customer (sigh)
No public restrooms
We don’t work on that model
We don’t work on Saturdays
We don’t work
Closed for Emergency
Closed for Lunch

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