Saturday, April 9, 2011

Month of Poetry, Day 9

How to Keep Your Children Safe in the Absence of Comprehensive Chemical Regulation at the Federal Level 
(Or, Why We Need the "Nanny State" to Do its Job)

Get a PhD
in Organic Chemistry
or Toxicology.

Preferably both.

Review all of the records
of the US Patent Office, the
US FDA's Food Contact Material
approval database, and the
US EPA's Inventory Update
Rule Nonconfidential Database.

From this information,
Attempt to Infer the
Chemical Constituents
of your house paint,
your baby's teething ring and
your daughter's pajamas.

When this proves impossible,
Contract the services of a
Hacker to break into the
Confidential portion of
the IUR database,

And the computers of
Every manufacturer
of every Product
in your home
To determine who
their chemical suppliers are.

So that the hackers
Can then break into
those computers to
Ascertain the chemical formula of
Veterinarian Barbie and
Hotwheels Speed Trap and
those pants you wear every day
that you never need to iron.

Learn to say words like
Hexabromocyclododecane and
Perfluoroctane sulfonate and
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate and
Tris(chloropropyl) phosphate.

Read and evaluate all of the
Toxicological literature on
every chemical in every product
in your home.

Be sure to
Maintain your relationship
with your alma mater
so that you can access their
online subscriptions to
Scientific Journals.

(Each article
costs more than
Thirty Dollars).

Spend a few weeks
Naked, in your
Bathtub, curled in a
Fetal Position of

Throw away
all of your
Possessions and
move to a mud
hut in the

Subsist on
Parsley and
Spring Water.

Never let your
near a birthday
party, a sleep-
over or a School


  1. For some reason I haven't been commenting, but I've been enjoying the poems every day. I'm starting to get inspired to *maybe* try some myself (not for publishing online!)

    I always feel like I don't know how to write poetry. It makes no sense. I taught writing and literature for six years. But I don't write poetry. Hopefully by the end of the month, you will have gotten me to try some :).


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