Failed State, 2007

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This article was published 10/4/2016 (2277 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

National Poetry Month: Maurice Mierau reads Failed State, 2007


Failed State, 2007

to Britney


She holds one son and grips the wheel

below the helicopter’s racket. Sean

and Jayden wasted on her man as the cops

flutter above her rattling brain—

she checked out of Promises early.

From TMZ video you know all this. 


Like an unregulated angel she sweats

the influence of her goddamn dad.

She puts the boy down and touches her head.

What she wants she wants now, Brit guns

it to the convenience store the kids


will sit and oh sh__ she has no money but

a British accent’s like a credit card, right?

Death and fat and puffy paparazzi

crowd her quick into the truck.


When she attacks Dano,

bald and umbrella-wielding she spits

on every sloppy-waisted fan


who wants her to die like an angel bleeding

in lockdown whose last hit


she can’t recall, driving, eating, wasted.



@2015 Maurice Mierau, reprinted by permission from Autobiographical Fictions, Palimpsest Press (Windsor, ON).

Maurice Mierau is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Autobiographical Fictions. His memoir Detachment won the 2016 Kobzar Literary Award. He lives in Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg Free Press will be running poems by Manitoba poets every weekday in April to celebrate National Poetry Month. The NPM in the WFP Project was edited by Ariel Gordon.