From the Archives: Matthew Rohrer's "The News Is Bad"

TIR Staff

The News Is Bad
By Matthew Rohrer
[The Iowa Review, Winter 2007]

the news is bad
coming out of the radio
in the kitchen
it's so small
just turn it off
the wind now
in the clotheslines
between the apartments
there's nothing to do
about it, it's too big
it just comes through little
radios so you can
throw them out
the window and feel
enormous in the dusk
and you can vote
but only on the characters
not the story
my pigeon peas
and caramelized onions
stick to the pan
what can I do
to stop Alberto Gonzales
I can't even kill him
they won't let us walk
up the stone path
to his neoclassical home
even if we don't want to
kill him, even if
we are just trying
to maintain kindness
in our hearts and
if we build a little gazebo
in our backyards, 
in our backyards,
a little kindness
to maintain
in the apartment
in a blanket of books
around the bed
and there's a war
going on, or let's be
honest, here, in words:
wars. Lots of wars.
And the secret wars— 
the frogmen scaling the piers
the terrible trapper
who parks his trucks
on the street
let's none of us
pay attention
to them anymore
and live like kindness
is borne on the breeze
and live all over
the whole city
and in the pine barrens
and the scrub oak
like kindness is maintained
under 3 blankets in January