The Art of Tetman Callis Poems firefight erupts in fallujah

firefight erupts in fallujah

headline in this morning’s paper—firefight erupts in fallujah
as though a firefight were some phenomenon such as a thunderstorm
or a volcano or an earthquake or a plague
some terrifying disease

which is true

true also that headline writers
are constrained by the amount of space they must fill on a page
and the amount of time they can spend on filling it

firefight erupts in fallujah

not enough space on the page to write something more expansive or poetic
something along the lines of my god my god what have we done?
something overwrought like that to match the situation

a firefight erupts in fallujah
and there is only so much space available and the font has to be a certain size
however the headline ends up reading it must fit into the same space

pride goeth before a fall is a little too short
though it could be said to fit the facts

the headline just as well could have been
terrifying sickness persists
that one both fits the facts and the allotted space

(Copyright 2023 by Tetman Callis.)

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