National Poetry Month, scheduled to begin today, April 1, has been cancelled due to lack of interest. “I’m disappointed,” said poetry fan Mary Hathway. “I was ready for some kick-ass parties.”
Local libraries have cancelled poetry readings and contests. “Poem-a-day” apps for the iphone are still available but can only be downloaded once a week.
National Endowment for the Arts chairman Rocco Landesman announced that April will be re-named National Short-Short Story Month. “Poetry takes too long to read,” Chairman Landesman read from a prepared statement. “Our society is crying out for brief, to-the-point material that can read in the bathroom. Across the country citizens are asking for stories to read during long pauses in dinner conversations. We believe that short-short stories will be the solution.”
Traditionally short-short stories, also known as flash fiction, are defined as works of fiction under 300 words. During the month of April only stories under 15 words will be allowed. All other stories will be banned and subject to fines.
National Short-Short Story Month will be commemorated with a new postage stamp embossed with a complete story by famed 3-word short-short story writer John Savercool.
“The short-short story lobby obviously has more insider connections than we do,” complained U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin. “They’ve got corporate funding, most notably Twitter, and private donors with buckets of cash.” Merwin declined to mention who these donors were, but sources on Capitol Hill suggest one of them is anti-poetry activist David Schwimmer.
Hours after the NEA announcement, poet Maya Angelou began what she terms a “song strike” in protest. Dressed uncharacteristically in a vintage Dior suit and spectator pumps, Angelou is sitting on the steps of the Capitol building singing “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.” Taking a short break from her singing, she announced, “I’m not going to stop until this decision is reversed.” The Poet Laureate did not join the protest. He released a statement saying that he was busy updating his resume and hoped to find employment writing copy for Groupon.
In related news, the New York offices of Vestal Review, a journal of flash fiction, were vandalized. Piles of leaves and grass clogged the sinks and toilets of the Review’s restrooms. Arrested at the scene was Beau Lamontagne, co- president of the Walt Whitman Society for the Betterment of American Youth Between the Ages of 11 and 14.