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Monday, December 26, 2016


by Howard Richard Debs

Merriam-Webster has succeeded in its attempt to stop “fascism” being named its word of the year: the dictionary publisher’s word of 2016 is “surreal”. —The Guardian, December 19, 2016

They sat at a table
outside of Clary’s Café
the free lance journalist
and the book editor of
the New World Post.
It was early in the morning
the literary buffs who visit
Savannah usually show up
after noon to see the place
featured in Berendt’s Midnight
in the Garden of Good and Evil
so it was mainly a few locals eating
breakfast fare hot buttered grits
and the house special egg
concoction hoppel poppel.

The Morning News squashed
my story. Too sensitive right now.
My source is reliable. She says the word
was number one in searches. She says
Merriam-Webster got a call,
I quote her in the piece:
‘Pick something else, we don’t
care how you get it done’ that’s what
they were told to do. So
they put out that tweet begging
people to look up other words.
It’s a cover-up for sure.
‘Surreal’ trumps ‘fascism’—
no way.”

Howard Richard Debs received a University of Colorado Poetry Prize at age 19. After fifty years in communications, and an Educational Press Association of America Distinguished Achievement Award, he resumed his creative pursuits. Finalist and recipient 28th Annual 2015 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Poetry Awards, his work appears internationally in numerous publications including Yellow Chair Review, Silver Birch Press, Syzygy Poetry Journal, Dime Show Review, The Clear Poetry 2015 Anthology. His essay "The Poetry of Bearing Witness" appeared in On Being - On The Blog, and his photography in select publications including Rattle online where he served as “Ekphrastic Challenge" artist and guest editor. His full length work Gallery: A Collection of Pictures and Words is forthcoming from Scarlet Leaf Publishing in early 2017.