'O The Star-Spangled Banner say so misused...,' "From a Red 2008 Standard Diary," and "U.S. News Headlines in 2010"


O The Star-Spangled Banner say so misused can like the flag you we smashed up Iraq see killed a lot of people

By for no known reason the we inflamed a whole region dawn’s we inflamed a whole region early so misused light we smashed up Iraq

What The Star-Spangled Banner so like the flag proudly killed a lot of people we for no known reason hailed we smashed up Iraq

At like the flag the The Star-Spangled Banner twilight’s for no known reason last we inflamed a whole region gleaming so misused


Whose killed a lot of people broad we inflamed a whole region stripes killed a lot of people and so misused bright like the flag stars The Star-Spangled Banner

Through we smashed up Iraq the for no known reason perilous for no known reason fight so misused

O’er like the flag the we inflamed a whole region ramparts The Star-Spangled Banner we we smashed up Iraq watched killed a lot of people

Were we inflamed a whole region so so misused gallantly The Star-Spangled Banner streaming for no known reason


And like the flag the we smashed up Iraq rocket’s killed a lot of people red The Star-Spangled Banner glare we smashed up Iraq

The killed a lot of people bombs for no known reason bursting we inflamed a whole region in so misused air like the flag

Gave we smashed up Iraq proof we inflamed a whole region through so misused the like the flag night for no known reason

That killed a lot of people our The Star-Spangled Banner flag The Star-Spangled Banner was killed a lot of people still like the flag there for no known reason


O so misused say we smashed up Iraq does we inflamed a whole region that for no known reason star we inflamed a whole region spangled like the flag banner so misused yet killed a lot of people wave we smashed up Iraq

O’er The Star-Spangled Banner the we smashed up Iraq land so misused of killed a lot of people the The Star-Spangled Banner free The Star-Spangled banner

And so misused the like the flag home we smashed up Iraq of killed a lot of people the for no good reason brave we inflamed a whole region



From a Red 2008 Standard Diary

O Tuesday, November 4, 2008, Election Day (US) say Up at 8:40 after a deliciously long sleep, can just what I need for tonight, you working at the newspaper till 1:30 a.m.  see After breakfast in the kitchen trashed

By by the twins and a sleepover friend, the I finally feel it, allow myself to feel it.  dawn’s Overwhelming joy.  early Praise Jah! light I call Mom, Russ at the polls in Fla.,

What who warns me, “Beware of the evil eye.”  so I read Istvan Vas’s great poem “The Grand Finale” proudly and burst into tears of joy and fury we at what we’ve lived with for 40 years, hailed almost my entire life.

At On the way to the polls with Louisa & Charlotte the at 10:40, I mortify Louisa.  twilight’s I tap Brooklyn Borough President last Marty Markowitz on the arm and say, “Praise God!” gleaming Marty Markowitz shrugs.


Whose “You are insane,” Louisa says.  broad Everyone’s so nervous today.  stripes They can’t see what’s happening, and the legacy of two close elections.  bright Everyone’s at John Jay H.S. stars Eric says the line’s 1½ hours long.

Through I can’t wait that long. the Charlotte and I leave. perilous Eric catches us on the street. fight He offers me his place in the middle of line!

O’er That’s still no good.  the He suggests Charlotte stand in line for me.  ramparts Louisa calls me from John Jay at 11:30.  we I join her and Charlotte, and we wait until 12:25, watched bringing the total wait to one hour and 45 minutes.

Were What a fucking disgrace!  so We wait with an older woman, some 30-year-olds.  Gallantly Everyone looks blankly when I say streaming this is the most historic day in our lives.


And I’m the most boisterous person there.  the The poll workers are partly responsible for the wait, rocket’s two lazy and inefficient women.  red Charlotte comes in the booth, pulls the levers for me.  glare (Next time, she can vote.)

The Walking out past the line, I whistle, bombs “Mine eyes have seen the glory bursting of the coming of the Lord,” in further embarrassing Louisa.  air I leave a half-hour late for work.

Gave On the subway, I hear it took a half-hour at P.S. 282.  proof At the Journal, no one knows anything concrete.  through I call Russ again at the polls.  the He’s worried the turnout is sparse.  night I call Alice at the DNC at 3,

That she says everything’s going as expected.  our Rob assigns me this sensitive Alaska story flag about the EPA probe of a BP oil spill by Carlton, was driving around Nevada polling places.  still Sam says at 6 the exit polls show: “Landslide.”  there What else could it be?


O Rob asked me to send Alaska to lawyers and Alix, say which I should have done much earlier. does They weighed in with a million questions.  that The story had to be pulled from A3 at 7, a total disaster.  star I took the blame for it, spangled though I think it got lost in the shuffle of Election Night.  banner I felt very glum at deadline and afterward, yet as the very first results came in, wave muddled as usual.

O’er I pigged out on ribs, pulled pork, chicken, cornbread.  the I was assigned the Bizreact story. land I couldn’t enjoy the election night rhythm, of the calling of Pennsylvania, then Ohio! the I didn’t look up from my story till Obama spoke.  free I couldn’t even call Gurien at Fox in Oakland.

And At 1, I walked out with Josh.  the He said he never thought he’d see the end of them.  home We took a cab together to Brooklyn.  of Louisa and Charlotte were up, the Emily and Natalie had just gone to sleep.  brave We celebrated for a few minutes and went to bed.



U.S. News Headlines in 2010

For Richard Kostelanetz

O Home-Sale Gauge Fell say Democrats Fight for Kennedy Seat can Bernanke Faces Tighter Vote you Birth Weights Fell see Paulson Defends Bailout

By Reclusive Novelist Salinger Dies the Obama Retreats From Cap Trade dawn’s Democrats Go It Alone on Dodd-Frank early Six Faulted Over Fort Hood light Obama Weighs 9/11 Military Trials

What Consumers Stay Glum so Obama Unveils Debt Panel proudly Mortgage Delinquencies Edge Down we Lawyers Cleared Over 9/11 Memos hailed Afghan Man Guilty in Bomb Plot

At EPA Delays Emissions Rules the Health Bill Struggles in House twilight’s Jobs, Manufacturing Stumble last Waterboarding Emails Sought gleaming Democrats Chase Health Votes


Whose EPA Makes Polluters Pay Less broad Pell Grants Face Cuts stripes Drone Kills Suspect in CIA Bombing and Vote by Vote, a Troubled Bill Was Revived bright Palin Makes Fans Uneasy stars Middle Class Drifts From Obama

Through U.S. Keeps First-Strike Strategy the Jobless Claims Rise Unexpectedly perilous Rash of Shootings in Chicago fight GOP Candidates Court Seniors

O’er Tax Deal Lifts Home Sales the Oil Spill Likely to Reach Land in Days ramparts Massey Saw No Red Flags at Coal Mine we Most People Carry Neanderthal Genes watched Delayed Cement Plugging Is a Focus

Were Public Still Backs Offshore Drilling so Obama Faults 'Cozy' Oil Setup gallantly BP Tries to Shift Blame to Transocean streaming Housing Prices Remain Weak


And House Votes to End Military Gay Ban the Tar Hits Florida as Obama Visits rocket’s Drilling Moratorium Reverberates red U.S. Nears Racial Milestone glare BP Agrees to $20 Billion Fund

The Anadarko Blames BP for Rig Disaster bombs Banks Dodge Some Bullets bursting Consumers Get a Watchdog Agency in Spy for Cuba, Unrepentant, Gets Life air Revisions Show Slower Recovery

Gave Grid Vulnerable to Cyber-Attacks proof Senate Confirms Kagan for Court through Alaska's Stevens Perishes in Crash the Illegal Immigration Slides night Get Ready for an Anti-Incumbent Wave

That Pastor Still Plans Quran Burning our Students' SAT Scores Stay in Rut flag Tea Party Claims Big Win was Americans’ Net Worth Falls still Obama Tax Credit Looks Endangered there Congress Punts on Taxes


O Cyber-Attacks Test Pentagon say Parties Heighten Pitch to Seniors does Middle Class Slams Brakes on Spending that GOP Groups Launch Massive Ad Blitz star Democrats Retrench as GOP Pulls Away spangled Deportation Program Grows banner Manufacturing Keeps Slowing yet GOP Ads Hammer Away at Stimulus wave Housing Gloom Deepens

O’er Sour Mood in Midwest, South Lifts GOP the Oklahoma Shariah Ban Halted land CIA Isn't Charged In Video Erasures of New Oil Patches Sprout Across Nation the Consumers Are Feeling More Flush free GOP Governors Plot Budget Cuts

And Federal Pay Freeze Planned the Court Strikes at Health Law home Arms Treaty Clears Senate Hurdle of Budget Brawl Begins in Congress the Economic Growth Exceeds Forecasts brave Many Judicial Picks Aren't Confirmed



Michael Ruby

Michael Ruby is a poet, literary editor and journalist. He is the author of eight poetry books, most recently Compulsive Words (BlazeVOX, 2010), American Songbook (Ugly Duckling, 2013), The Mouth of the Bay (BlazeVOX, 2019), The Star-Spangled Banner (Station Hill, 2020) and Close Your Eyes, Visions (Station Hill, 2024). His trilogy in prose and poetry, Memories, Dreams and Inner Voices (Station Hill, 2012), includes ebooks Fleeting Memories (Ugly Duckling, 2008) and Inner Voices Heard Before Sleep (Argotist Online, 2011). His other ebooks are Close Your Eyes (Argotist, 2018) and Titles & First Lines (Mudlark, 2018). He lives in Brooklyn and worked for many years as an editor of U.S. news and political articles at The Wall Street Journal.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 18:14