Poems of the Week

The Anti-Press Anti-Briefing

by James Hamby

The audio was silent,
No camera could be found,
They say that Spicey spoke;
But did he make a sound?

Most questions were not answered,
And some were met with lies—
He vanished in a huff,
But this was no surprise.

Just like the empty forest
Where trees decay and fall,
If no one’s there to hear it,
Did it occur at all?

Dems’ Fighting Words (Or: What They Were Thinking Last Monday)

by Edmund Conti

We’re going to win the South,
Starting with the Peach State.
The Carolinas also—
Followed up with each state.

We are the new-look Dems.
We kicked out every Hippy.
We’re coming, Alabama.
Hello, y’all, Mississippi.

We’re going to win Nebraska
And states we used to cry over:
Kansas, Oklahoma
And others that we fly over.

We’re going to end the losing
To GOP/Trump mania.
We’ll add the Red and keep the Blue.
Oops, there goes Pennsylvania.

Screen Idols

by Alfred Nicol

Remember when James Dean was all the rage?
The silent type, the awkward dinner guest.
Young people filled the cinemas, in thrall
to the rebel looking sideways at them all,
who spent his whole life going through a stage,
unable to get something off his chest.

But better him than this guy on the screen,
whose little eyes get lost behind his cheeks,
a would-be actor looking out of place,
still practicing to make an angry face,
who’s only memorized a single scene
and mouths the same lines every time he speaks.

Liturgy for a Cabinet Meeting

by James Hamby

Chief of Staff:The Donald be with you.
Cabinet:And also with you.
Chief of Staff:O, let us sing His greatness all our days!
Cabinet:For it is right to give our thanks and praise!
Chief of Staff:When chaos reigned throughout our lawless land
You came and filled the vast and dreadful void.
Cabinet:You’ve built this nation up by Your own hand.
Chief of Staff:The Democrats, with whom we were annoyed,
Must even now acknowledge their own sin
In questioning a President so great.
Cabinet:Let all who breathe sing praises of Your win,
Let all who see behold our country’s fate!
We sing Your praise till every tongue confess
Your vast accomplishments, your sheer success,
And every knee in humbleness is bent
Before the glories of our President!
All:An honor and a blessing, Mr. Trump,
It is to serve Your will and kiss Your rump.

Et Tu, Delta?

— New York Times headline, June 11, 2017

by Susan McLean

Hail, Caesar, you who are about to die
again upon the Public Theater stage,
garbed as a trumped-up president, thereby
sparking the Breitbart fanboys’ righteous rage.

Like you, an upstart crossed a Rubicon,
a would-be strongman, blessed with many wives.
When satirized in a play, he called upon
the drama’s sponsors to employ their knives.

Bank of America and Delta, who
seemed shocked that a director had the gall
to update Shakespeare, pointedly withdrew
their funding, the unkindest cut of all.

Bird Is the Word

by Gail White

The tweetybird sits up at night
And tries to get his language right.
He’s nearly mastered human speech
(Though thought may linger out of reach).
In answer to opposing views
He merely squawks, “Fakenews! Fakenews!”
He knows opposing him is Sad,
Investigating him is Bad,
And somewhere near the letter F
He finds the press is too Covfefe
(More syllables? With mind intent,
He thinks Cov-fe-fe’s what he meant).
At any rate, it’s quite absurd
So just enjoy the tweetybird.

The Senate Intelligence Committee Blues

by Cody Walker

I hope there are tapes,
I hope there are tapes,
political karma, it comes in all shapes

I used to hate Comey,
but now he’s my homey,
and Lordy, I hope there are tapes

I hope there are tapes,
I hope there are tapes,
hey look, it’s Big Jimbo, behind the blue drapes

I used to hate Comey,
but now he’s my homey,
and Lordy, I hope there are tapes

Red Roses and a Blue Lady

by Jerome Betts

While walking in Wales, Mrs. May
Decided just which was the day
She’d complete demolition
Of Labour’s position
And sweep the sad remnants away.

It was clear no Conservative feared
This opponent whom many deemed weird,
So she made a huge bet
On the landslide she’d get
Plus a sneer at the man with the beard.

But the grey-bobbed T. M., 8th of June,
Heard the sound of a bursting balloon.
That first exit poll
Confirmed her own goal . . .
And a chance for the straw-haired buffoon?

O hubris, what grief you have cost her!
She’s in thrall now to Ulster’s A. Foster!
Neither stable nor strong,
No doubt before long
She’ll appear on the ex-PMs’ roster.

The Sessions Sessions

by Kathleen Naureckas

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions
refused to make any confessions.
With a drawl and a smile
he defended Trump while
he recalled all of Comey’s transgressions.