By Mason Johnson
Fridays are boring. Here are some poems. You’re welcome.
Want to submit a poem? Find out how at the bottom of this article! Read more “Poem the News” poems here.
Listen carefully. There are exactly zero poems below that are about–or even mention–the shirtless volleyball game in Top Gun.
If young, shirtless Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer can’t beat Bieber fever, is there any hope left?
That’s rhetorical. Don’t answer that. I’d given up hope long before asking that.
Anyway, below are several poems. They are about the following two news stories:
You’ll find my comments and critiques italicized below every poem. I said I’d publish three, instead I’m publishing all of them. The first three are the greatest three I received. The poems below that are just “really good.” Enjoy them.
Let There Be Poems: Top 3
Everyone in Top Gun always looks wet.
It makes me uncomfortable: the idea of 3D sweat.
And haircuts and expecting to see your own reflection
In those Ray Ban sunglasses.
And Oh God feeling like you’re wrapped in your own parachute
While floating in the water holding onto a dying 3D Goose.
This is giving me anxiety.
A+ — You made me intensely uncomfortable. Congratulations.
JUSTIN BIEBER’S BODYGUARD TREATS HIM LIKE A BIRD by Wyatt Sparks
little fists bang on
his strong box
two big balloons– a chest!
the hollow bones in his hands
BIEBER: could be Ellen Degeneres
or Miley Ray Cyrus
today there is nothing wrong with
looking like Miley Ray Cyrus
if you’re seventeen
thank you freedom, for that
BODYGUARD: has always been afraid
but not because he could be hurt
because he knew he’d crush their
little bird wings and hearts
with his incredible hands
A+ — Very rarely do people take the route of “writing a good poem” for this column. Interesting departure from the norm.
MAVERICK AND CHARLIE FINALLY REACH CRUISING ALTITUDE, HIGH ABOVE HOSTILE WATERS by Simon Jacobs
This time, I will take you
by all your senses.
Twenty-seven years after the fact
and I have never looked this young;
I am beyond pleased to inform you
that Ghost Rider is not my only name,
that today, for the first time in all my life,
I am sixty feet tall.
A+ — With all the bro-tastic goings-ons, I’d forgotten this movie had a(n unnecessary) female lead. (Not that females are unnecessary in moveis–they’re necessary and should star in and take over all moveis–just that they’re unnecessary in THIS movie. They get in the way of Maverick and Goose’s bromance.)
Runner Uppers (In No Particular Order)
HAIKU by Tom Simmons
Never saw Top Gun
That’s the theme of this poem
There’s a guy named Goose
A- — Never saw Top Gun? You’re a cretin.
Wallet empty, welts
on chest. Doc’s diagnosis
is Bieber fever.
A- — I heard different symptoms, but hey, what do I know. Here, Joel, have a shot of penicillin.
Belieber by Beach Sloth
The heart throbbed of America’s heartthrob
Across from Justin Bieber was his bodyguard bruised and beaten
Justin Bieber sat down
Justin Bieber watched the man who took a bullet for him squirm on the floor
Justin Bieber loved watching it
Justin Bieber got up
Justin Bieber looked himself in the mirror and saw a Monster….Energy Drink
Justin Bieber had forgotten where he put it
The Monster Energy Drink was still cold as ice like Justin Bieber’s cold as ice heart
Upon finishing the beverage Justin Bieber had finished one job
Upon looking at his body guard Justin Bieber knew he had another job to finish
A- — THIS REALLY GOT THE BLOOD GOIN’ WANNA PUMP SOME IRON WITH ME, BEACH? LET’S ROB A BANK.
From an Undisclosed Location Justin Bieber Looks On as His Government-Designed Automaton Replacement Fails to Maintain a “Nice Guy” Image by James Tadd Adcox
It’s not like I actually signed up for this,
the permanent tween image, the life where any hint
of adulthood is read as perversion. It’s never easy
but some people do make the transition–this is what
I tell myself–and some people, well. I could name names,
Ashley, Mary-Kate, Angus Jones, Macaulay, oh
God. But even in the success stories, there are undertones
of desperation, notes gone slightly or more-than-
slightly off. Think Drew Barrymore on Letterman’s desk, shirt raised
above her head, as though to say: Look, Old Man, see
what I’ve become. You cannot be a prophet
in your home town: who can honestly believe
the adulthood of anyone they have once
seen as a child? It is the secret we are all trying to cover up.
We weren’t always like this. We still aren’t, inside.
When I am twenty-two or twenty-five or forty
I will still see certain people, people other than me
as adults. Ancient societies, I’ve heard
forced children on the brink of adulthood to partake
in horrifying rituals, scarification, burning, eating
bad meat. If they survived, no one
had the right to deny them their place. When I reappear
my jaw will be straight, my shoulders broad, I will walk
like no child walks. You will know
that this other me, this youngster
was always the fake.
D- — You just accelerated my midlife crisis ten-fold, JTA. I miss the Top Gun poems.
Q & A With Justin Bieber’s Twitter Account by Greg Santos
a found poem
Did Justin Bieber Really Beat Up His Bodyguard?
@justinbieber: I love music. Just had to say that.
Did Justin Bieber cheat on Selena Gomez?
Did Justin Bieber throw up on stage?
Did Justin Bieber invent swag?
@justinbieber: I would like to repeat. I met MICHAEL JORDAN tonight! #SWAG
Did Justin Bieber take the paternity test?
@justinbieber: Tonight was special
Did Justin Bieber unfollow Selena Gomez?
Did Justin Bieber ever get bullied?
@justinbieber: everyday growing and learning. trying to be better. u get knocked down, u get up.
Did Justin Bieber father a child?
@justinbieber: I love my beliebers #giveback
Did Justin Bieber join the illuminati?
@justinbieber: Be there for eachother
Did Justin Bieber’s voice get deeper?
@justinbieber: “if u grow up to be a good man, the rest will all make sense” #real
A- — What’s Twitter, and does your mother know you use it, Greg?
Fun Airplane by Young Chakotay Butler
In “Tim and Eric’s Billion-Dollar Movie” (hyphen mine)
Will Ferrel plays the character of Damien Weebs
Will the IMAX 3D version of 1986’s highest-grossing movie
Become the biggest re-release of 2013?
Due to its six-day limited run from February 8th-13th
Almost certainly not
Though February 19th will see the appearance
Of a special two-disc Blu-ray set containing
Remastered 3D and 2D versions of “Top Gun”
As well as a digital copy
That you can watch on your computer or mobile device
Bomber jackets and Ray Ban Aviators might see a 1-2% jump in sales
Planes with guns
Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program
Bomber jacket and Ray Bans sales jump
Serenading Kelly McGillis
The actor who played Goose
Also portrayed that nerdy-looking doctor on ER
If you’ve recently been Googling things related to “Top Gun”
A Google search for “goose”
Displays the Wikipedia entry for “Top Gun” as the third result
With the film’s IMDB page following directly below
A Google of “goose”
I kind of like “Top Gun”
A- — Watch out, Ebert, we got a real talented movie reviewer here.
You’re all disgusting. Thank you.
Please submit more.
For next week, cozy up to the harsh, yet sympathetic realities of life and write poems about “Reluctant Thief With Hungry Family Gets Pizza.” This story is like Les Miserables. But happier.
Email poems based on the above news article to mason.johnson@CBSRadio.com with a subject line that reads “Poem the News.” I’ll pick 3 out of the batch to post. Email them no later than Friday, February 1st by 9am CST. Realize that the only payment is the fame that comes with being published by the prestigious poetry organization that is CBS.
Mason Johnson, CBS Chicago