Daily Archives: February 12, 2023

East Palatine Newspaper Poem

It’s not Chernobyl.
What it is
is East Palatine,
Ohio and it’s big,
it’s as big as miles around.

It’s not nuclear but
it is a big-ass gas burst
with a lot of dead chickens
underneath and maybe dogs
and maybe people but

we don’t know because
what it is,
is embarrassingly
lethal. There’s a lot of 
mouths to be sewn shut,

but it is not as silent as capitalism
which right now is busy
selling gas masks and 
burial plots and refusing
to look anyone in the eye — 

after all it’s not Fukushima;
what it is won’t be washed away
with the next tsunami or 
“natural disaster.” As it is
it’s not all that famous yet

and we really don’t know enough
to do anything but ignore it.
It’s not a spy balloon, not a UFO
falling from on high. Just a train
off the rails and a death plume.

Not anything
like a football game.
It won’t be in the headlines
tomorrow. Cross your fingers
and hope it isn’t what it is.