Friday, January 20, 2017

I Do Solemnly Swear

Oath of Office

Melania or Barron, maybe old Joe Biden
will be standing by with a bucket to douse

the Bible left burning with a touch of evil.  


Gettysburg Address

A diaspora of stones make their way back, posted
by penitents keen to relieve long years of suffering. 
Late at night under desk light they put pen to paper,
insert shims of confession to wedge bits of Pennsylvania

scree into envelopes, a wary eye on talismans cocooned
in twists of tissue or sealed up tight inside zip lock bags,
ancient Alleghany seabed pocketed one hot August
afternoon in the Peach Orchard, palmed on impulse along

Cemetery Ridge, another bearing the mica glint that drew
the eye of a desultory adolescent moping in the long
shadow of Little Round Top twenty-three summers gone
now, before the untimely death of a sister or a budding career

in HR derailed on the heels of divorce, DUI and depression. 
How else to explain the plane crash, forfeiture of assets,
the shadow on the x-ray, the second one hundred year flood? 
In after hour twilight, tour buses long gone, gaudy chains

out on Route 15 humming, all with waits of an hour or more,
a National Park Service Ranger, a man about my age and mien,
doffs his flat brimmed lemon squeezer to retreat behind a desk,
leaf through a sheaf of petitions for mercy addressed in desperation. 

Silence pressing in from Culps Hill and Devils Den, the Wheatfield
and Seminary Ridge, he presses smooth a pane of stationary, eyes
closed, fingers brushing words of intention, box of stones at his feet,

heaped, indistinguishable as an unbroken line of advancing infantry.  

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Good Nyet, Trumputin

Good Nyet, Soon

Sad late night Tweets
Staged comings and goings
To and from the tower
On Fifth Avenue
Red hat, white hat, ducks ass
Hair-do, sinister Kubrickian sons
The daughter of his darkest fantasies
Pay no attention, shiny surfaces blind
Us to henchmen nominees
Foreign creditors and deals done
In the shadow of onion domes
The Constitution assaulted, old girl
Humped and humiliated as if
She were Miss Paraguay or
A high end St. Petersburg call girl
No, keep your eyes on the prize
Investigations and charges
Corruption in high places
Discovery and deposition
Congressional hearings and maybe,
Just maybe, our old pal impeachment. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017


Lines Laid Down By Others

Days of measles spent cloaked in twilight
Veil of curtains and dime store sunglasses 
Between me and a sun gone dark with evil intent
Hell bent on robbing me of sight while I was busy
Looking inward tallying up the wages of sin
Bedeviled by an itch that needed scratching
Hands sheathed in white tube sock condoms  
To ward off nails rendered poison as the fer-de-lance
Snake that glared back from a steamy jungle
Overlay in the World Book Encyclopedia
Slammed shut for the sanctuary of my coloring books
Prophylactics and perpetual twilight incompatible
With proper grip and slow waltz of a crayon 
But the germ of a lifelong unwillingness
To stay inside lines laid down by others.