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Monday, November 08, 2021


by Julian O. Long

Tweet from the bouche du grand oiseau

A federal appeals court suspended the Biden administration’s new vaccine requirement for private companies, delivering a major blow for one of the White House’s signature attempts to increase the number of vaccinations to corral the pandemic. The decision was issued by a panel of three judges appointed by Republican presidents in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The judges wrote that there was “cause to believe there are grave statutory and constitutional issues with the mandate,” staying the order while the court assesses it in more depth… The court gave the Justice Department until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to the challenger’s request for a more permanent halt to the mandate. —The Washington Post, November 7, 2021

So, could there be
pandemics, like georgics or
bucolics? To what lore might
they defer, not farmer talk
from the demobbed or mythic tales
cribbed from here and there.
They’d need to be straight
from the bouche du cheval
so to speak, hot off the press
pitch perfect, on point
get to the heart of the matter
etc., etc. And what if the heart
of the matter is no heart at all
now that three judges, appointed
by Trump and Reagan have delayed
the president's vaccine mandate
citing 'grave statutory and con-
stitutional issues'? Constitutional
issues, my ass! In all the blather
and politics of vaccination ob-
struction, there’s nothing to be
found resembling a constitutional
issue, or a human being for that
matter, except flipped upside down
and dying on a ventilator..

Julian O. Long is a previous contributor to The New Verse News. His poems and essays have appeared in The Sewanee Review, Pembroke Magazine, New Texas, New Mexico Magazine, and Horizon among others. His chapbook High Wire Man is number twenty-two in the Trilobite Poetry series published by the University of North Texas Libraries. A collection of his poems, Reading Evening Prayer in an Empty Church, appeared from Backroom Window Press in 2018. Other online publications have appeared or are forthcoming at The Piker Press, Better Than Starbucks, The Raw Art Review, and Litbreak Magazine.  Long has taught school at the University of North Texas, North Carolina State University, and Saint Louis University. He is now retired and lives in Saint Louis, Missouri.