41.

This is yr standard bearer.
A man who fails to respond
to actual events in anything
like real time, but who
doubles down on falsehoods
at any moment. This is the
plutocracy you dreamed of.

I would empathize but
I’ve never found myself
so desperate to reaffirm
a personal narrative
that I shackled myself
to a man made of bees.
Maybe in my fifties.

40.

I believe that reform is in order.
They drained the coffers before they’d
even stopped collecting the tax.

We’re going to have nukes, big league
nukes, like a father’s love. That big.
It’s going to be like all the suns

in all the galaxies chorused just for him,
all the trumpets – so cruelly named! –
will clarion out in one last harsh scream.

We will leave smoke blots on the walls
of our cozy homes. And at least there
will be no talk of Obamacare.

39.

In flags stitched over generations
rest tiny symbols of states,
places where citizens self-organized –
to a degree –

their existence within a given
arbitrary
line.
We say federalism

as if it’s a sovereign specific.
A matter for the states.
Alas, matters for the states
cannot exceed the bounds of the

Constitution, which they too often do.
Jim Crow on forward, separate and unequal.

38.

The pool is full of lizards.
It’s unclear how it happened.
We were out there with a skimmer,
the sun warming our shoulders.

It reeks of malice and spoiled meat.
The lizard talking points grate on the ears,
all hisses and sibilants.
The inner lids closing, opening.

Their flesh patched and scabrous,
they slither across one another.
Hardly room for the float chair anymore.
The seat occupied, lizards living the dream.

We are a nation of lizard brains
demanding recompense for the myth
that we were central to it all –
that we somehow deserved the best spot.

37.

As you struggle, I see you.
When you wonder if it’s safe, I stand with you.
As you seek allies, I join you.
Much is made of otherness
as a hindrance to support

and I, top of the pile,
am guilty of failing
to cross the barrier gracefully
every time (or at any time)
but we fail and try, fail, and try,

and you there at the intersection
with the sign in your hand, with the tears
of thousands before you soaking
your clothes, I see you. I stand with you.

36.

At the end of “Robin and the Seven Hoods”
Sinatra is clearly clapping on the
one and the three.

Similes abound. Trump on the stump,
referencing crap he saw on teevee once,
painfully off beat,

waiting for adulation as his numbers
drop into syphilis territory.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

35.

What’s the deal with faith? What’s the deal with discourse? What’s the deal with pansexuals? What’s the deal with modern art? What’s the deal with O’Hara? What’s the deal with Trump? What’s your take on Cassevetes? What’s the deal with Melania? What’s the deal with liberals? What’s the deal with conservatives? What’s the deal with DC? What’s the deal with the MLK Memorial? What’s the deal with FDR? What’s the deal with the new deal with the old new deal? What’s the deal with art?

I ask you, what is the deal with art?

34.

Lord, let me never
descend to cynicism
when resistance will do.

Let me retain the lessons
of those less privileged
without being an asshat.

And most, lord, above all,
let me never think that
my experience is anything

beyond a single perspective
in a universe of light
and vacuum,

inaudible.
in awe, ya gulls.

33.

I sometimes think that we
should never have domesticated cats.
Decorative fur throws all, but beneath

the veneer of tame animal
the claw, the hunt, the profound
urgency of protecting the home

against all foes. This last primal
trigger has blossomed everywhere
within our own monkey culture.

EasyD has us worked up beyond
endurance. Sanctuary meaningless.
The fire looms in the background.

Uranium, okay, it’s a thing.
It’s a really bad thing that is bad.

32.

We could just be a parliamentary monarchy
for four years. The Donald would
rant and rave and announce his greatness
and have rallies and parades

and all manner of bullshytt
and we could get on with the governing
and the application of laws and whatnot.
Of course, it would only clarify

the levels to which Congressional GOPs
are in the henhouse right now. More urgency
to defend the rights that are removed
whilst Trumples perpetuates outrage.

The glossy sheen of nonsense hiding
the dark center of the party’s heart.

31.

An enemy of the people arrived at my door today
and carried wonders within itself,
spilled out in shy riffles as I gathered it up,
brought it inside to feed it coffee and crumbs
from my scone. Enemies of the people wake me
each morning and discuss pressing, interesting,
or just plain silly things as I struggle to rise.

An enemy of the people last night told the Donald
that he was out of his cotton pickin’ mind
if he thought that the enemies of the people
would stand idly by as he lied, bald-faced,
to the people. We don’t believe you.
‘Cause we the people.
And our enemies are easy to spot.

28.

The parable of the man
with a stinky fish on his ass
is lesser known
but apropos.

A man with a stinky fish on his ass
wandered into a border town and swore
that only he could solve the rampant
problem with armadillos.

The armadillos, to be fair, were not
top of mind for the townsfolk.
There were some around, sure.
But, said the man with a stinky fish,

the armadillos were in fact a dire
and terrible threat to the safety of the town.
You had no idea, said the man
with a stinky fish on his ass, just how awful

the situation of the town actually was.
Armadillos were responsible for, like,
almost all the murders and 90% of the rest
of the town’s violent crime.

People were like, whoa. But some folks
pointed out that it was challenging to trust
a man with a stinky fish on his ass.
Some funny math happened, and the man became mayor.

Once in the mayor’s office, it didn’t take long
for the man to stink up the entire place
because of the stinky fish on his ass.
No one wanted to work there. People who did work there

ended up stinking of stinky fish.
The man with the stinky fish on his ass
grew increasingly incensed and desperate
for allies in his battle against the armadillos.

Anyway, it turned out that the stinky fish
was not merely on the man’s ass but inside
his spinal column, and the man himself was
a dying sack of hubris.

That’s the allegory – we are all of us
dying sacks of hubris.
But we can at least choose not to be ruled
by a stinky fish, or lizard people, or

good old-fashioned Russians.

27.

Shipping more than queer
Hannibal fans. Leaking
like the SS Minnow.

You let the football carrier
take photo ops
and you have the
audacity to be surprised?

Be my Valentine, Donny.

26.

Disambiguations for the confused:
Mara Lago is a Russian spy.
Mar a lego: to damage a Lego brick
such that it can no longer
be connected to other bricks.
Maral Eggos were invented
by a biologist
to boost the nutritional intake
of Caspian red deer. The nickname
was immediately slapped
with a C&D from Kellogg’s.
Mar A Lago is where white people
can watch the deconstruction
of our security apparatus
while enjoying a daiquiri
and bacon-wrapped dates.

25.

Hey punkin,
rough day?
I couldn’t
help but

notice that
your face
is haggard,
or more

haggard than
normal
because dude,
life is

misery
and pain
right up to
the time

you pass on.
Monkey
see monkey
do, Don.

Monkey see
monkey
do. You proud
monkey.

24.

Nothing we can do
will match what they do
to themselves. But.

What will they take with them
as they plummet to earth?
Porkington Trumplestein III

riding the nuke through
the upper atmosphere.
Also what they do

to themselves can’t do
anything to love, or hope,
or #blackboyjoy,

or the sudden spring
pushing into your awareness,
the ice melting,

the sun on your face
like a valediction.

23.

one night at the courts on the UO campus
I met an ex-con who could execute
a perfect baseline layup,
floating through the air,
scissoring his legs so that
our suburban-born opponent called traveling

and the guy offered to demonstrate
that he was in fact floating across.
and here, Obama in his Jordan pose
heading for the basket

and I think that this may have been the first time
I considered privilege,
on a warm spring night with a guy
with previously poor impulse control

showing a useless player how to post up
so that the Beaverton dickheads
(who beat us)
would end up in a poor height match-up next time.
Dude lived for every next time he could get.

22.

In 2018 all the rural boys
will be Donald
& the urban girls
will be Persistence
(shortened to Percy).

They will meet in college
& occasionally fall in love
& hilarity will ensue
except in the many, many
cases of domestic violence.

And we will say the world moves on
and things change and isn’t it
amazing how hate
can become
so
normal.

21.

Teach the children mercy.
Teach exceptional people exceptional things.
Teach kind people street smarts.
Teach cynics about love.

Teach a new mother the things
that mothers know after a while:
that their child is different
(like every child);

that they will not break even
if faced with gross cruelty
and indifference;

and that the lessons we convey
push the world ever forward
as they grow, and teach in turn.

Much is made of figureheads
and history books, and that’s fine.
But right now, while we live
together here, I beg you – teach.

20.

EOs anymore sound like orders –
or perhaps ordure,
call them the phantom lowing
of a dark slaughterhouse,

a handful of caretakers
whispering carefully in the gloom.
After all, Bayer//Monsanto
will grow the pigs on the trees

right next to the apples.
What is liberty to a pig?

19.

The short list of better presidents
includes Gaga,
a can of Budweiser
any of the people
in the Coke ad,

Colonel Sanders,
Nationwide Insurance,
accented voices for your GPS,
any GoDaddy spokeswoman,

George Herbert Walker Bush,
both of his sons (sharing the office
so that they can figure stuff out

together), Barack Hussein Obama,
and of course Tom Brady,

Patriot, comeback kid, big blocky face
shining out from the machine.

18.

The men beat Jamaica
but it’s the super bowl
so…

Donny kept gay marriage
but wants separate but equal
so…

F. Scott plagiarized Zelda
and had her committed
so…

We look and wait for the day
Dr. King dreamed of
but each day is a nightmare.

Each day the seconds fall off the clock
like the cherry blossoms, any day now. So.

17.

Can you imagine Whitman
in the heart of this storm
watching his America
reenact the arguments
of his time
with weapons of such
phenomenal power and scope?

Can you see Uncle Walt
in the glow of his laptop
back-lit keyboard wet
with tears
as his captain, o captain!
subverts the multitudes
and “frees” the gays

by protecting the business community
that prefers to discriminate?
Not even consoled by the notion
that his beard is on point?
Not mollified by the sheer abundance
of wonder and beauty in today’s songs?

16.

There once were two racists named Steve
who wanted us all to believe
that whites were the best
and fuck all the rest
and our reps sit and silently grieve.

The Donald grabs girls by the vag
and wants an “I’m yuge” merit badge.
They fritter and fret
and seem to forget
they can take back the office he cadged.

The nation resists all day round,
in airports, at home, at impound.
We can’t wreck it all,
but we can stand tall
and hope Congress extracts head from ground.

15.

The myth of the autodidact
is killing reality. There are no more
self-educated men than there are

pink dragons in the sky above the Capitol.
Yet we romanticize the self-read,
self-taught, bootstrapped, anti-intellectual

“I know common sense when I see it,
and the rest is just vocabulary” dude.
I met that dude at a party

and he was a blowhard jerkoff,
like the leader of the free world.

The hinges flip at the whim
of a man who thinks Frederick Douglass
is a living popular entertainer.

14.

Panjandrum was a rocket-propelled cart full
of explosives but also
panjandrum is someone who thinks
they carry great authority and influence

and I am up late, single dadding,
and I can’t not think of panjandrums,
or those who cater to their whims.

How Brad Dourif played both Piter de Vries
and Grima Wormtongue
and how we live in Dune of the Rings:

merciless houses grinding their edges
against the wheel of commerce
while above them a great evil lurks,
and forges, and fears for his footing.