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Friday, March 26, 2021


by Angelica Whitehorne

I heard there was a time when the news was dropped off at your front door, tightly wrapped like a present of sorts and printed with dark black importance on the backs of dead trees, your unrolling of the world’s enrichment, the first sacrifice of your morning, right after sleeping, the last sacrifice of night and right before your first ritualistic kitchen devour. And I imagine how these readers of past would go to find a place, probably the same place as last week, and flap open the butterfly wings of the newspaper, nonchalantly hungry for the best worked happenings, so they could go into the talks of their day feeling primed, well read, and ready, aficionado on stock prices, lost dogs, drug scandals. And how sweet it must have been to read the typing of the world, curated and succinct. And even more how sublime it must have been to have it all end, to put the paper down and be done with it, close your shades to society and its grimy violence, back deals, syrupy success stories, headlines of hazard. To go about your day untethered to it—now the news envelops us always. I open the app to see my friend’s faces and there it is, news of a baby falling from a 12-story building. I scroll to my home screen and Apple positions all the world’s affairs in front of my eyes, and it is like lightning across the window of my phone, who could manage to look away? Our world is like a car crash, no like a highway pile up, and all these news sites are like watching the fenders collide into each other over and over again. The notifications announce themselves to me this midday and I see that another story of nature’s revenge, hurricane or tsunami or landslide has come, I slide the message away, but I do not turn them off. Turning them off would be like turning away from the awful. I grow guilty whenever I do not hold the tragedy of these stories second hand, continual consumption seems the least I can do. Me and my entire generation have lost our ability to put the paper down, and so we read from morning to night and roll it all over a second time in our dreams, almost as penance for the bad news not having our name in it. 

Angelica Whitehorne is a New York artist who writes poems, pieces of fiction, and stanza-formatted rants about the world we’re living in. She’s not creative enough to write about some other world, so this one is all she’s got. She has published or forthcoming work in The Laurel Review, The Cardiff Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Mantis, Ruminate, and Hooligan Magazine among others.