Alternative Facts, Meet Alternative Endings


I’ve long been fascinated by the idea of alternative endings in poems — writing two (or more) endings and letting readers decide which ending they prefer. Is it even poetry? Who knows. But as you do know, I believe strongly in the power of the internet to make questionable poetic choices.

So here, amidst chaos here in the U.S. over “alternative facts”, I present to you my first official “alternative ending” poem. It’s simple: Read my first two lines, and then decide which ending is right for my poem. Or write your own alternative ending in the comments!

Here goes:

Alternative Facts
by Ed DeCaria

A fact is a fact is a fact.
It’s checkable, easily tracked.

You’ll soon feel the wrath
of hard science and math —
Consider it our little pact. ;)


You and your minions
sell twisted opinions
that, or you’re totally cracked!

You decide:
How should it end?

© 2017 Ed DeCaria, All Rights Reserved

Ahhh, it feels good to be back writing random stuff here again.

And as a reminder, if you haven’t heard: Madness! Poetry 2017 is ON:

  • Authletes, apply here. And now! — I always get nervous until that 64th application is in. (As of this moment, I have only 16 applications in, so lots more to go.)
  • Teachers, register here — not as urgent, but why wait? It takes 2 minutes.

Enjoy your day!

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  • missrumphius

    Any time you can use minions in a poem you score a win! (But I do love both choices.)

  • Donna Smith

    Though facts sometimes sting
    And lies fairly sing
    It’s still better to keep truth intact.

  • EmilyDickinson

    by “Emily Dickinson”**

    A fact is a fact is a fact.

    It’s checkable, easily tracked.

    But, politics trending
    spells poetry’s ending,
    The muse doesn’t like being hacked!


    1. Political drivel
    makes poetry shrivel,
    The Muse doesn’t like being hacked!

    2. When The State rears its head
    all poetry’s dead,
    The Muse doesn’t like being hacked!

    3. Please do not confuse
    The Muse with your views,
    We all lose when poetry’s hacked!

    4. Art disappears
    when poetry fears.
    The Muse doesn’t like being hacked!

    5. When Departments of Rhyme***
    can declare art a crime
    The Muse departs feeling attacked!

    Relevant article about statistics from Guardian: *
    **The Muse feels safer now when anonymous
    ***USSR actually had “Department of Humor” Jokes must be approved by The State. We’d never do that though.

  • Buffy Silverman

    A fact is a fact is a fact
    so prove it and check that it’s backed
    by data and science
    and not your reliance
    on tweeters who rant and react!

    • Rebekah Hoeft

      Love this. It’s so easy to be quick to react to whatever floats across the screen–should probably tape this to my computer!

  • Carol Varsalona

    Ed, at the close of the night, I am so amused by your poem that it will be easy to fall asleep knowing that I greeted all my PF guests and filled my head with #poetrylove. #2 is hilarious so I say that is my choice.

  • Kay McGriff

    I like both endings! And all the ones in the comments below. How about creating a never ending poem instead of just alternative endings?

  • Mary Lee Hahn

    Glad you’re back!

  • BJ Lee

    Ha! Ed, you’ve got me going already! I often have alternate endings to my poems but I’ve never posted them for the audience to choose. It’s a brilliant idea. Is that allowable in MM? :)

    • Ed DeCaria

      I’d probably say no to that one. I wouldn’t want people to be swayed by the novelty of the idea. Same reason I’m not really allowing concrete poems any more.

      I do look forward to receiving your application soon anyways, BJ! :)

  • Tabatha

    Fun alternatives, Ed! I especially liked the challenging attitude of the narrator in the first one.

    Good for you for diving back in with the Madness…