A Very Enemy of the People Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the newsroom,
Not a slice of pizza was left, not even the mushroom;
The stockings were hung on the bulletin board with care,
In hopes of putting Christmas spirit in the air;
The next day’s paper was snug in its bed;
Another masterpiece waiting to be read;
Letters to the editor written in all caps,
Stories rousing brains out of long winter’s naps,
When on the police scanner arose such a clatter,
I, the night reporter, sprung up to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripping over a stylebook—like use of an em dash.
The moon on the breast of the dirty Region snow,
Gave a lustre of grime to the landscape below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But frickin’ Santa Claus and eight tiny reindeer.
The next day’s deadline had passed, but this scoop was mine;
I couldn’t stop the presses but I’d get it online.
“Santa,” I cried out, but he had no comment.
Before I could open my notebook, he was off like a comet;
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”


Joseph S. Pete is an award-winning journalist, an Iraq War veteran, an Indiana University graduate, a book reviewer, and a frequent guest on Lakeshore Phttps://oddballmagazine.com/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=feedbackublic Radio. He was named the poet laureate of Chicago BaconFest, a feat that Geoffrey Chaucer chump never accomplished. His work has appeared in Oddball Magazine, The Offbeat, The Five-Two, Chicago Literati, Dogzplot, shufPoetry, The Roaring Muse, Blue Collar Review, Lumpen, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Pulp Modern, Zero Dark Thirty and elsewhere. He once Googled the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. True story, believe it or not.