13 ways of looking at the Donald
NEW YORK — One of Wallace Stevens’ most celebrated poems is “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” It serves as a very loose inspiration for regarding the Donald, as we must, however unpleasant that may be, in 13 ways as well. I don’t mean to cast aspersions on blackbirds, which may well resent this comparison, and think it exceedingly odious. And who can blame them?
And who can forget the Beatles’ song on the blackbird, “singing in the dead of night”? So, hear ye, blackbirds! Don’t take this personally!
Attention must also be paid to the number 13, which we all know stands as a symbol of ill omen, misfortune and bad luck, and to the fact that Stevens chose, not the nightingale, or parrot, or hummingbird—all lovely creatures of the air—but the blackbird. For birds that are black are, in the West at any rate, portents of doom and gloom; witness Edgar Allan Poe’s use of the raven. And crows, just as black, though exceedingly smart, don’t exactly inspire bursts of lyricism.
By the way, blackbirds don’t tweet. As far as I can tell, they stay as far away as they can from Twitter.
The Donald twits in the dead of night.
He mocks all who fail to include him as their hero.
And by so mocking proves them right.
He cannot know the beauty of
Inflections or that of innuendoes.
For he has neither wit nor irony.
The Donald is of no mind
Not due to any discipline
Or training in Zen
But simply because he has none.
The only moving thing in the
White House is the eye of the
Orange Man, glaring at CNN
And the New York Times.
In the dead of winter
He expresses his discontent
His mood of a decipherable cause:
How low his approval ratings.
O slick men in Congress
Why do you imagine him golden,
When all that glitters is not gold?
Think him Agent Orange,
A cancer to the body politic.
Does he have noble accents?
Do his thoughts follow lucid
Rhythms? Do pigs have
Wings, and serpents, unforked
At the sight of the
Orange Man flying into a
Rage, all the false king’s men
Cry out sharply
But laugh inwardly.
The Orange Man rides in his
Air Force One, over the vast
Country, to play at Mar-a-Lago,
His golf score of more import to him
Than the lack of health for 23 million.
Daily fears pierce him as he
Mistakes the shadows of
His vanity for reality.
In life’s learning, still an apprentice.
When the Orange Man flies
Out of sight, his courtiers gambol
At the edge. Who can leak the
Most? When Tabby’s away
The mice will play!
The Orange Man whirled and
Twirled in Washington’s light
As though he were full of delight
But it was all pantomime,
Of fear and trembling.
Such small hands!
Such a small mind!
His dress, in inverse proportion:
Fake news: Big Suit, tiny man!
Copyright L.H. Francia 2017
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