Stan Usovicz contributed several pieces of his sharp, fast-paced poetry last semester and his latest contribution for The Tribe’s first issue of the new semester is my favourite one yet. The short 2 line verses of Whatever happened? cleverly reflects the fast pace of the hungry media, jumping from crisis to triviality, that the poem condemns. Usovicz’s poetry continually offers a deeply perceptive and honest portrayal of our dismissive, flippant media; from our ‘Gangnam style day in the sun’ to a ‘moment’s pause for the Earth we’re polluting.’ I would love to see this poem performed live as part of a slam poetry event as the impact of this poem hits harder when read aloud.

 

Whatever happened?

Whatever happened? The shocking new headlines, the terrible scenes
Gravitationally pull our eyes to the screen

The ‘round the clock coverage and endless reports
fill up the airtime as our nation exhorts

A war’s on in Syria, this ISIS mean crisis
Infects all our minds like a new kind of typhus

With a week’s worth attention, we begin to get peeved
“On to the next” screams our inner ADHD

The 24/7 nature of the nation’s news stations
Means our patience reaches a pure saturation

For a week we care about a missing Malaysian flight
Another few days over Ferguson’s fight

A second here for a man named Ayatollah
Shadowed by shocking outbreak of Ebola

A terrible school shooting, death, rape and looting
A moment’s pause for the Earth we’re polluting

What ever happened to anthrax?
What ever happened to the guy from the Batman Cinema attacks?
What ever happened to Chernobyl’s temporary fix to radiation?
What ever happened to India’s poor sanitation?

Each had its “Gangnam Style” day in the sun
And like the Ice Bucket Challenge, it was quickly dumped

There’s too much to care about, not enough time
Reporters write new lines for the job they’re assigned

Did we ever catch Kony? Did we even come close?
Nobody cares and nobody knows.

 

 

Stan Usovicz