Friday, March 26, 2010

News-Herald staff redaction

I’m practicing my redactive poetry:

Friday Welcome Melange

My talented coworkers have offered their own examples of redactive poetry today. The first comes from my nemesis and City Editor John Bertosa who used the Gettysburg Address to create a gothic riff on Jonathan Swift.

A new proposal –
We ground our poor
To add here for the living so nobly

It is the great task we take
That cause full of devotion, highly.
These shall not have died in vain.

Keeping with the theme of Illinois politicians, education reporter Sandra Klepach used Barack Obama’s victory speech. I like how she maintains the tone and adds a subtle twist.

Who doubts that America is the dream
Of our founders?
Answer this, nation. Thank the women
Young and old, rich and poor
We led cynical and fearful and doubtful
Hands of history
Working women, tonight we rode home
We will get there
This can change more

Copy editor Cheryl Sadler went the extra mile and turned my previous blog post into a haiku.

The whipping, I loved.
Dinosaur. Sculpting. Chisel.
Glenn Beck adventure.

Editorial Page Editor Michael C. Butz reworked Wilco’s “I Am Trying to Break your Heart.”

An American assassin
hiding out in the big city
Let’s forget about the cross-eyed strangers
Stop smiling

I want to glide, dreaming
Baby, hold on tight
I’ve been drinking

I don’t believe I said hello
I’d always thought you’d love me
What was I thinking

I am trying to break your heart
Drinking down the avenue
I let go of
the man who loves you

Meanwhile, I tried to turn Finnegan’s Wake into a carefree sex romp:

Eve brings us by a short sea on this side the scraggy isthmus
all the time, bland old isaac had to be seen
What clashes here of wills
What chance, What true feeling
(O my shining stars and body!)
you will rise, you must
none so soon, toofar
he swiftly stook it out again
that ought to show you what a chap he was
Annie with goodly grasp and overalls
to rise in undress – eyeful, with a burning bush
the first was he to bare arms and His crest of huroldry, horrid, horned.
His archers strung, handling his hoe.
you’re going to be fined again!
this municipal sin business

Brandon Baker reworked The Roots' “The Good, the Bad and the Desolate” from the High School High Soundtrack. (I now have just cause to add an Okayplayer tag to the blog.)

Dedicated to the cats that vocalize
Try to rise
Speaking through the mic, wise, realize
Respond when I make use with Hip-Hop that’s authentic
I represent revolutionary masters of ceremonies
Enslaved by the soundwaves, skills amaze
Insight, analytic, ‘cause I live it: Lyricism
Keep your styles, dissect ‘em
Class is in session, I’ll have all you guessin
Begin with the pen, rhyme radioactive waves on Fridays
Your style’s older, you ain’t makin’ a quota
A rap you might not see again

Cassandra Shofar has repurposed a Thomas Merton quote about the cosmic dance.

When we alone, chance
We see migrating birds
Autumn descending
A grove of junipers

When we see, a moment
We know love
Our own hearts
The poet

When we hear, old land
A quiet pond
A solitary splash
Such times

The turning, inside
Values the newness
The emptiness
The purity

Themselves, evident
All these
A glimpse
The cosmic

Finally, Tricia Ambrose turned to her favorite children’s book, Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, for inspiration.


back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

quiet, crawled, sang

strange friends, strange clothes, strange music.

back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

Son, mother, song

-Jason Lea,

P.S. Please forgive the overwhelming use of italics in this post. I wanted to differentiate between poems and my interruptions.

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