Build the wall around Sesame Street
because the undocumented muppets
are the real problem.

Build walls around the courts
where the article threes hide
and say things that are hurtful.

Build the wall around Congress
because they can’t seem to operate
solely on lies.

Build the wall in each of your
crawlspaces where dark conscience
seeks release

from the insistent peal of truth
occluding the narrative.


I can imagine getting stoned
and staying stoned
for the duration of this presidency.
If they were truly evil geniuses
they would let everyone
do just that.

Don’t think for a moment
that these people
are good at anything.


Trim the fat. Cut the umbilical.
Broil the poor and serve them with toast.
Put the elderly on the ice floes –
check that.
Put the elderly on rafts of garbage
in what used to be the Arctic Ocean
and float them off to true north,
where Valhalla awaits.

The glories! Canasta day and night!
A little nook for Trump supporters
to gaze at a photo of him at table.


The answer is more tanks.
Nukes will feed the people
with their radiant glow.
We will purchase small arms
and leave them scattered
across the globe to assist
the cause of peace.
There will be a slight
improvement in the condition
of those who serve our
country but not so much
that veterans can re-enter
with dignity
(they’re mostly grunts after all
and would feel silly if
a fuss was made).

But bombs, boy, that’s
something we can all


Ides, right? Big day for a leader.
Maybe not so much for you –
far more likely to impale yourself
on the Constitution.
But Snoop Dogg and the fight before
you – how dare he call you a clown
when you’re so clearly a fool?
Not to harp on the nights, Donald,
but they must be lonely.
Surrounded by aides in case
you need a sip of water,
but alone nonetheless.
Others before you would speak about
the weight of governing,
but that’s not your problem.
Your problem is the voices.


They actually sing that champions song
before every game.
Imagine, Donny! Imagine if they’d
written a song just for you.

All the birds would be trained from birth
to harmonize with your song.
The most beautiful people would play
in the prison band, your song. Always.

Maybe someone would cross-stitch it
onto a square for a quilt – the melody
painted out in gold thread.
What a sight that would be.

Your anthem of hubris
in stereophonic sound.


No rehabilitating -care now.
It was the moment when the chords
aligned with Toto’s flight from
the wicked witch, that I knew.

How else would expressions become
regular. Iterations on
shorthand, like Ashberry,
like ice forming in the Arctic sea.

You wander through the halls, man.
It’s the memory of your father.
Must be.


Catching up with news anymore
is like “what fuckery today?”
Can’t actually stand it.
Can’t not do it.

Remember when it was enough
to get the New Yorker
and tut at the flyover states?
Remember when the big lies

were ours and sunlight was mostly
warm and welcoming
and there’s weren’t rats
the size of corgis

in the dark places that sunlight revealed?
Remember assuming things were fine?


Molotov the bill of rights
except 2, expect 2 to
prove too resilient –
girls in tutus with twenty twos
and a dream of pointe shoes –

choose instead to enshrine
that one in a little box
on the desk in the oval.
Maybe make a label, quote Rove
“all guns created equal”

or the Gipper in a cowboy hat
from the glory days, man
do you remember when we thought
that was impairment? Ah, Donald.


Courage drags Statecraft
for not having the balls
to say it to your face.

Diplomacy has sunk so deep
into the bottle that,
were he a fly,

there would be no escape –
instead he circles the interior
on purpose, living on fumes.

Bureaucracy, ever the stodgy
hedgehog, plays the long game
with History in the corner.

They await you, Donny, though
you may not be able to pick out
their faces among the friezes
on the walls. You mistake them,
perhaps, for your father, staring
from your peripheral vision.


To be so secure in your ignorance
that you don’t pause
to notice

that the hashtag you’re outraged
about is for
a TV show –

to turn to vitriol without a single
spark of curiosity
to simply

dismiss for dismissal’s sake. To be
the sort of person
who would

react first and wonder…later? Never?
Confess, reader: how nice would it be.


Seven weeks and it’s harder
to care than ever –
what will it take for the apathy
to crack? For commuter rage
to mix with race/class/gender
and become riots at the bus stops?

But I hold hope like a skipping stone
in the crook of my finger.
You could mistake it for a white power
symbol but for the gleam
emanating out from the circle
formed by index and thumb.

For now we’ll say it’s OK,
this hope, this nest, these hands.


Not a single day set aside, marked,
not a month. A chain of days
stretching from birth to death
in which gratitude is owed.

Homage to all women,
to trans women,
to women of color,
to women you know
and women you don’t,
to the women in your life
and in the lives of others,
to the struggles of women,
to the triumphs of women,
and to the sad truth that
the two are so often
delivered in unequal measure.


I meant this poem to be about hope
but the Donald put paid to that.
Maybe this poem is about interwoven
egos fighting over scraps at the table.

Maybe, instead, it could be about
disappearances – Russians dropping
like colony collapse disorder
while Trumples whistles his way past graves.

Maybe it could be about calling
slaves immigrants and praising their work ethic.
I don’t know, man.
Some days.


I think Obama has wiretapped everything.
It explains so much about my xfinity bill.
What are these “taxes and fees” if not
tariffs on the surveillance state?

That’s gotta be it, you guys.
How else do you credit this sudden
diminishing of our proud white franchise?
I was in a dither of concern
but now it’s clear that none of this
is my problem.

It’s that urban rabble with their
hippity-hop music, electing
one of their own and ruining
all this splendor for white men.


Hard not to be a little depressed.
It reduces to this.
Grandstanding on conspiracy theories.

We are in the last days of Rome
and Nero is sat
in the corner, revenge ‘bating

to a Sports Illustrated cover.
Not that one: no. One
with a wrestler on it. Oil shining

on his biceps. The Donald grunts
a furious pace. Nothing to do with

sex, even, just virility and
its discontents.


Ah to be emboldened by
the boring racism
of a world left alone
to its own petty nuisances.

To blow the whistle
and watch the dogs
scuttle out of their dark holes
to rain hatred

and baseless argument
on the next target of your
childish irk.
It must be delicious.

But the wolves, Donald,
are hungry and indiscriminate.


Team-building for canaries
as the unbreatheable air creeps north.
We are asked to figure out
how to fit our troubles in a backpack.

“Consider the weight, the space,”
intones the white male efficiency analyst,
“find ways to delegate
or write your troubles onto another

and in so doing, emigrate
beyond a world where difficulty persists,
where your task list is a
pleasure cruise in a sea of Xanax and

        shame –”
but its too late and the voices ring
in the night and the brass-balled hubris

of thinking that we can talk out of this.
That there is a well deep enough
for the vitriol and treacle that
pumps endlessly from Janus’ two pie-holes.
The spring of Lautolae, unburdened,
passing no judgment, scorching every part.


It’s our own fault.
The man’s name is
the Third.

What else could we
expect? Could we
imagine him
to be free of
that weight of name
and upbringing?

Is there a man
alive more sad?


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.


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.


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

their existence within a given
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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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,

in awe, ya gulls.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

notice that
your face
is haggard,
or more

haggard than
because dude,
life is

and pain
right up to
the time

you pass on.
see monkey
do, Don.

Monkey see
do. You proud


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.


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.


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


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.


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?


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.


The men beat Jamaica
but it’s the super bowl

Donny kept gay marriage
but wants separate but equal

F. Scott plagiarized Zelda
and had her committed

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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


Dear Donald,

How are you? I just thought I’d write to let you know that the rain still falls. The sun shines in the morning, and the course of the moon and the stars at night move in the same way that one would expect for the time and the season.

The immutable laws of physics send their love. The infinite chasm of space would like you to know that your hubris is adorable. You are a speck on a speck on a mote on a dot in the universe, and not even destroying the world will change that.

But you go ahead and try, Donny boy. It’s as good a year as any to snuff out this project.

Give the roaches my best,



Come lord Jesus, be our guest,
Donald Trump’s a palimpsest

Yahweh, Yahweh, holy cow,
Donald Trump’s a golem now

Mother Mary, help us please,
Donald Trump is made of bees

Gracious Allah, lend us aid,
Donald’s nuked our Medicaid

Honored Vishnu break it down,
Donald Trump’s a fat old clown

Hey Siddhartha, what’s the haps,
Donald Trump is full of crap

Dear Confucius, time to roll
We gave the nation to a troll


We rise against false equivalencies
and the lure of simple answers
in a complex world.

In airport food courts we rise
to advocate for those whose hope is lost.
We rise for them because

every time we see this it becomes easier
to unbend, to stand,
to do our best,

whatever that best may be.
A nation afraid makes bad choices
and fine, disenfranchised white guy,

we’ll get into your details in a bit.
Right now a Potemkin village is missing its strawman.