Vasu’s Pessimism Poetry

Life Can Present Some Nasty Turns

Family Man Gets Laid Off

Christmas season
Gift lists
Holiday plans
Santa at the mall
The pink slip (65)

Man Gets a Grim Diagnosis

Pink of health
Routine checkup
X-ray shadow
Follow up visit
The lung cancer (67)

Student develops an addiction

Straight A student
Honors list
Debating champ
Basketball hero
The amphetamines (72)

A Child is killed

Suburban street
Seven-year old
Lemonade stand
DUI driver
The small coffin (67)

A Husband Asks for a Divorce

Candles and wine
Surprise dinner
His favorite meal
The D word (66)

A Woman is Unfaithful

Home early
Concealed flowers
Alarmed voices
Ear to the door
The infidelity (67)

A Student Takes His Own Life

Exam results
Missing roll number
Despondent boy
Wrenching shame
Qutab Minar (69)

A Terrorist Attack at a Crowded Location

Holiday tourists
Magnificent view
Sudden commotion
Human screams
Body Counts (71)


My friend Sundar named these vignettes, taken together, as “pessimism poetry.” I told him these word pictures were merely exercises in crafting succinct images of sudden and unexpected developments in people’s lives. Such things do happen, do they not? People are writing stories these days in a single “tweet” of 140 characters. The number of characters in the above stories is shown in parentheses. Perhaps the stories could be told in even fewer words, even fewer lines. As such, each vignette is roughly “half a tweet” in length or shorter.

The one below has only 46 characters:

Rajat Gupta

Goldman Sachs
Preet Bharara (46)


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