The Wreck of the Abraham Lincoln

“All in a shipwrack shift their severall way”
— George Herbert

Apprentice to the bigger bully,
Christie licks his master’s hand,
as will the rest, eventually.
Lapdogs are not bred to stand.

Every person in the crowd
should have a voice. But all one tone.
Giuliani shouts so loud
he doesn’t need the microphone.

Melania’s dressed to the nines
for this commedia del arte,
but has to speak in borrowed lines
left over from another party.

Lepers and thieves they might embrace,
but someone who refused to crawl?
A man has got to know his place;
Cruz, you stand outside the wall.

Toeing the line, the acrobatic
Ryan performs with death-defying
balance — still smiling, diplomatic —
trying to sell what he’s not buying.

Trump tells us things are getting scary,
and he’s got reason, having made
a demon of his adversary.
We get the message: be afraid.

Elegy for a Daughter of the State

How were you born, my lonely Julia?
Delivered from a surrogate’s young womb?
Anonymously fathered by a cypher
To fill a sterile couple’s nursery room?
Did gloved attendants offer you the bottle?
Did foreign nannies tend your early years?
Your loving parents hired out your childhood
So they could focus on their own careers.

As soon as you could walk, you went to daycare,
Learning, too young, the pattern of your days
Which was to be, until death or retirement,
Peregrination; dawn-to-dusk malaise.
Rhythm of drudgery and entertainment,
Assessments to ensure your fitting-in;
Programs to prepare you for a future
Free of failure, fear, sickness, or sin. Continue reading Elegy for a Daughter of the State