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Saturday, June 13, 2020


by John Hodgen

Welcome back, Martin. How’s the noggin?
(Laughter.) (Applause.)
You really used your head this time, big fella. Careful when you log in.
Taking one for the team, Martin. Way to go. One for the cause.
And great job with the Fake Blood Pellet in the Ear trick.
And the old Backwards Trip and Fall Stutter Step. Worked like a charm.
All that practice paid off. A perfect 10 from the Russian judge. Terrific.
Wall to wall on OANN. And you got the CNN and MSNBC crowd alarmed.
You’re a meme now. More people have seen you fall than watched the Towers.
Score one for ANTIFA. Talk about defunding the police. Fight the power.
And you even got all the police scanner info with your secret decoder ring.
Proud of you, big guy. Let’s get started now for your next gig.
Mar-a-Lago. The old swan dive under the golf cart. Do your thing.
This is going to be big.

Editor's Note: The 75-year-old man hospitalized after he was pushed by a police officer during a peaceful protest last week in Buffalo, New York, suffered a brain injury as a result of the incident, his lawyer revealed Thursday. Kelly Zarcone said her client, activist Martin Gugino, "is starting physical therapy," which Zarcone called "a step in the right direction. As heartbreaking as it is, his brain is injured and he is well aware of that now," Zarcone said in a statement. "He feels encouraged and uplifted by the outpouring of support which he has received from so many people all over the globe. It helps. He is looking forward to healing and determining what his ‘new normal’ might look like." The New Verse News offers this poem to cheer him and those who have come to know and love Martin for his work and sacrifice. We wish him all the best.

John Hodgen is the Writer-in-Residence at Assumption University in Worcester, MA.  Hodgen won the AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry for Grace (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005).  His fifth book The Lord of Everywhere is out from Lynx House/University of Washington Press.