Poems of the Week

Postrumpery

by Julia  Griffin

Disavowing to the sky
Come the rats, with tails held high!
Mick Mulvaney “cannot stay”:
See him nobly run away;
Grisham goes, and after her
Pads a little Pottinger.
Ever-elegant DeVos
Tiptoes past her fallen boss;
Once again from Lindsey Graham
Beams the courage of a clam;
While with outrage William Barr
Notes how nasty riots are.

In the ruins of their fame
Mark the architects of shame:
Intellectual disgrace
Stares from Mitch McConnell’s face;
And, laid low by evidence,
Pale, impermeable Pence
Learns inside his hidey-hole
Just for what he sold his soul.

1/6/21

by James Higgins

Gil-Scott Heron got it wrong.
Today I realized
that, after all, the revolution
will be televised.

Banana Republicans

by Bob McKenty

Trumpity-dumpity,
Anarchist hooligans,
Maskless seditionists
Venting their spleen,

Follow their leader, the
MAGAlomaniac,
Spreading Trump’s falsehoods and
Covid-19.

Red Flag

by Ruth S. Baker

“This is not who we are.”
—President-Elect Biden after the assault on the Capitol

You say this isn’t who we are,
But I suspect, though this may jar,
That who we are is what we do;
And if this isn’t we, then who?

The Battle of the Capitol

by Dan Campion

Let’s note that dogs came with the cops and sniffed
for bombs. The vandals didn’t bring one hound.
Of all the signals of a seismic shift,
this stark asymmetry was most profound.
We’ve all heard that canard “the dogs of war,”
but everybody knows dogs are our friends.
The K-9s checking out each nook and door
let Congress reconvene and make amends.
The Lassies, Baltos, and Old Yellers side
with civil order every time; what dog
does not take rescues as a point of pride?
Campaigns without them drift in moral fog.
Some humans howl and bay the round world’s flat.
But facts are facts, and every dog knows that.

Trump and Macbeth

by Bruce Bennett

“… To be clear, these are very different people. Macbeth is an utterly absorbing, troubling, tragic, and compelling figure. Unlike [Trump]… he is physically brave. … He is apparently faithful to his wife, has a conscience (that he overcomes), knows guilt and remorse, and has self-knowledge. He also has a pretty good command of the English language. In all these respects he is as unlike Trump as one can be.”
—Eliot A. Cohen in The Atlantic

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,…”

The eloquence, the grandeur, the despair,
The sense of life’s futility, the sorrow,
Remorse, the ruined nobleness that’s there—
All alien, of course. The “dwarfish thief”
Is what we have, in remnants of a robe,
And we can only gather in relief
And thank our lucky stars! Nor is he Job,
Though he would have us think so, in his rage
At the injustice, cruelty of his fall
And his abrupt removal from the stage.
We watch in fascination. Is this all?
Or will the Powers That Be consent to bring
Just retribution to our Would-Be King?

Who Knew?

by Nora Jay

“‘It was angry, vicious’: spate of squirrel attacks leave NYC neighborhood in fear
At least three people in Rego Park, in Queens, have been jumped upon and bitten by a possibly deranged squirrel”
The Guardian

It looked so darned attractive as it fluffed its golden pelt,
And then it started biting. Just imagine how I felt!
It turned out angry, vicious too, and possibly deranged;
And many of my neighbors now are acting quite estranged.

My dog would never trust it, so I shut my dog inside;
My cat looked very hostile and I think my hamster tried,
But when I saw those piercing eyes and opalescent teeth,
I simply had to go to it and cup my hands beneath.

And now we’re in The Guardian, and everyone’s aghast;
It hurt me, I’ve admitted it, but that’s all in the past,
And unity is what we want, so please let’s now forget.
The fact I fed it doesn’t mean this creature was my pet.

Twitter Permanently Bans Trump, Online Menace

by Nicole Caruso Garcia

Higgledy-Piggledy
President Narcissist
Boasted in tweetstorms and
Bragged on the tube.

Normal folks master the
Art of the humblebrag,
Pseudo-humility
Lost on this boob.

Sub Giudice

by Eddie Aderne

“Trump ‘refusing to pay’ Rudy Giuliani’s legal fees after falling out
President said to be offended by personal lawyer’s demand for a reported $20,000 a day”
The Guardian

The President swears he’ll refuse
These daily demands of Ru Giu’s:
“He wants 20K!
And for that I could pay
For three Hawleys, two Scotts, and a Cruz.”

Thrown Room

by Claudia Gary

“Secret Service Barred From Jared And Ivanka’s Bathrooms Rented A Toilet For $3,000 A Month”
HuffPost

Their mansion isn’t big enough
till Secret Service finds
a costly place to place its duff,
maintaining potty lines.

A Superhero Feels Superfluous (Or, Spider-Man As Contemplative Danish Prince)

by J.P. Celia

(Written on the occasion of yet another superhero movie)

He steps onto a ledge,
Unsure if he should leap
And consummate his pledge
To savage every creep
And criminal that mars
The peaceful status quo,
Then tallies up his scars,
Exhales and looks below.

He’s come to doubt the worth
Of uppercutting villains
Who plan to flood the earth
Or burgle multi-millions.
Such exploits are cosmetic.
They only treat the surface,
Which he finds antithetic
To his exalted purpose.

He wonders, what is badness?
What really hinders life?
Can’t he apportion gladness,
Not just disarm the knife
Of every goddamn mugger?
Can’t he become a savior,
Not just a costumed slugger
Who squelches misbehavior?

He longs to fight the ailments
That wreck the heart and mind,
Which are the true derailments
That mangle humankind.
Yet who has ever ended
The evil leagues within,
Who can’t be apprehended
Or powed! across the chin?

Is his vocation… worthless?
Or relegated to
Dumb, pointless battles versus
Man-Wolf and Kangaroo?
He straddles a projection,
His leggings loosely on,
Impaired by this reflection,
Suspicious of his brawn.

Guardian Shmardian

by Hank Greenspan

“Pence reveals U.S. Space Force troops will be called ‘guardians'”
CBS

Let’s stop this now before regrets:
it’s clearly time to cool our jets
and call our troops in space “cadets.”

Booster Shot

by Alex Steelsmith

“The Pfizer / BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine now rolling out in the US is approved as Comirnaty (in Europe),
with the name expected to get a nod in the US… Comirnaty is pronounced phonetically
as koe mir’ na tee.”

fiercepharma.com

“Since we know that (Pfizer’s vaccine) demonstrated more than 90% efficacy,
the p-value for the results is likely to be far less than 0.037 … With an efficacy level
this high, Pfizer’s candidate “sets a high competitive bar for its competitors.”

The Motley Fool

Maxity vaxity
Pfizer’s Comirnaty
might, if its p-value
is what they claim,

give the community
super-immunity,
boosting the company’s
pfortune and pfame.

Who Wants a Hug?

by David Southward

For lockdown blues, I don’t take drugs;
I picture rounds of thankful hugs
I’ll give my mom and dad and friends
when this goddamned pandemic ends.

I daydream cousins, uncles, aunts—
seizing the slightest circumstance
to try my virtual hugging art
on all who populate my heart.

Colleagues, book club, yoga class;
familiar faces that I pass
walking the dog; our mailman; clerks
who bag my groceries—even jerks

who’ve snubbed my real-life pleasantries
give in to a fictitious squeeze.
And on bleak days, when more self-care
is needed? Heck, I don’t stop there:

I hug all life forms within reach—
the students I don’t even teach;
cell phone vendors; dogs and cats;
Republicans and Democrats

and Independents. Without shame,
I hug the poor, the weak, the lame,
the rich and mighty—not content
until I’ve hugged the president!

Thee Behind

by Alex Steelsmith

“2020: The Worst Year Ever”
—Time Magazine

Odious, hideous
annus horribilis,
get thee behind us, and
don’t come again;

thus we admonish you
apotropaically—
adding, perhaps, “what an
annus you’ve been!”