Editor Christopher Writes – #PoemADayForAYear: 31/05/15 + 01/06/15

Today I finished my degree. Well, I submitted the final essay for my degree. Whether or not I have finished it – as in passing it – remains to be seen.

I hold my hands up that, given I struggled to get to grips with the course material and the concepts therein, I did not study as hard as I perhaps should have done. In between working, having a break-down, writing bad poetry, playing too much X-Box and trying to get a business off the ground – as well as my addiction to cuddles with Keri – I have perhaps not given the course the attention it merits.

I started very badly with this module. A mark of 48. Lowest I have ever received in all my endeavors in higher education. Then I got marks of 53, 63, 65 and 70. I have continued to progress and get better at writing philosophy papers.

I do not think the last assignment will be a peak in any way, shape or form. But it is done. As long as I get above 40, I have passed and get to wear a silly hat in a few months time.

Aim high, dream big.

Because of the panic of getting the essay done, I did not do my blog yesterday, as you may have noticed. I did, as always, write the poem yesterday so this ever-increasingly-banal challenge rumbles on towards its inevitable conclusion.


Here is a poem. The prompt comes from #LQW and is ‘counterfeit’.

Con me with your
counterfeit smile,
fresh off the
underground press.
It may not be minted
but it spends the same
in my heart’s bank.
On April 15th two-thousand-and-thirteen,
I was in work, tepidly feigning interest
in some horses running down a bit of
grass whilst punters threw their mortgages
at me.
I assume I was at work. It was a day in which
time passed so it’s a safe bet.
Halfway around the world,
thousands of men and women were lining
up in Boston to run twenty-six miles.
Just towards the end of this incredible feat
of endurance, a bomb exploded.
And then another, 12 seconds later.
For many, running to feel alive
very quickly changed, in a heartbeat,
to running for their lives.
For a tragic few, that heartbeat
did not occur. They merely
stopped on Boylston Street,
agonisingly close to the finish line yet
now, as far as they will ever be.
A nation, a world halted in shock,
and was joined together in grief.
Within moments, more explosions occurred,
though this time more outwardly benign.
Flashes from cameras and commentary
shot through with the shrapnel of bias
filled broadcasts on every channel,
informing us all of death tolls, injury tolls,
damage, speculation.
A media spin from every angle.
three dead, 264 injured
25 and 7/8 miles.
Now let’s spin the globe 180 degrees.
We’re in Iraq,
exactly the same day.
In Baghdad, two car bombs
killed nine and injured sixteen.
Kirkuk. six car bombs, nine dead,
79 injured.
Tuz Khormato: three car bombs,
six dead, 67 injured.
And those attacks did not stop there.
Umm al-Maalif,
Name a place in Iraq
and there was probably an attack.
On that day, I did what most people
do when they learn of an attack
in which people are injured
but are not necessarily affected by it.
I tweeted. A little secular prayer
from me to show sympathy for those
injured or otherwise in the Boston
Marathon Bombing.
A short while later, I learned of
the blood-shed in Iraq
and I did the same.
A little heart-felt emotion
towards those who may have been
killed, injured or lost someone
in the day’s atrocities.
Twitter lost its mind with me.
I was accused of diluting the
tragedy of Boston by sending sympathy
to those in Iraq.
Where was my pride, my shame.
‘People in Iraq die every day
in some explosion or another.
The people who died in Boston
are white, are you a traitor to your race?
Fuck the Iraqis, who cares, they’re all terrorists.’
If being a traitor to my race
means being a traitor to the ignorance
of these mealy-mouthed,
abhorrent pricks,
then I guess I am.
This is what the media call
the hierarchy of death and,
unfortunately, those who allow themselves
to be informed by the misinformation
of this ignorance are guided by it.
Three dead Americans is more tragic
and more shocking 75 dead in Iraq,
according to this hierarchy of death.
What’s dozens of Iraqis compared
to three Americans? Nothing,
if you are a slave to the TV.

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