(Unrevised from a poetry workshop. The idea was to write in a stream-of-conscious fashion.)

The newspaper is like the portal of Hell.
"Abandon hope, all ye who enter!"
Terrorists, cancer-like,
Sabotage the complacent homeostasis of society.
Bomb blasts maim tourists,
The everyman made scapegoat.
In Belfast at Christmas-time,
They blow up trains.
For what?
Do they even know any more?

Celebrities murder their wives,
Escape hard evidence with
Racial innuendo.
Another serial killer
(Wasn't one Jack the Ripper enough?)
Rapes and dismembers models and teenage girls.
The streams run red like the Tiber of old.
Is Rome burning?
Nero is no longer
A single man,
But legion on our streets,
In our movies which gush with blood-tragedy,
Moral sluice from the gutters
Where the homeless
Pander [sic] for booze-money.

I close the portal.
Maybe I should subscribe to the Economist.

George Chadderdon © 1996