A black blackening
Stirs in the brain of the man.
It is the hatred
He bears for other brain-burdened men

Like himself.
His lips peel back comically
To reveal an impeccable row
Of bristling ships.

Dreadful sounds jam in his mouth
For a moment,
And a shudder runs through the city.
His bones rattle like rusty sabres,

His sockets eat his eyes
As he strikes his political enemy to death.

A bull is loose in the well-arranged streets,
He is knocking over the statues
Of the dead generalissimos,
He is goring the beautiful mannequins,

He is tearing open their dresses,
He is violating their navels.

The streets are now a disarray of fallen hyacinths,
And the man and the bull have
Taken over my city.
Tonight I will mourn ten thousand cats,
I will begin to bury the massacred flags.

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The Trickster

It was a cavernous mouth that the orange wig wore,
and it hungered and hungered after five courses of adulation,
and became bloated on the bedlam it sowed.
And when it didn’t get its banquets,
the mouth puckered and turned nasty,
and lit respectable senators on fire.

And the jeering crowds were not enough,
and the outraged champagne lefties were not enough.
He wanted hits and the big-time jerk-off circus
of ratings on a presidential scale.

And he obsessed over angles and entrances,
and made it his first order of state
to put up self-portraits in solemn halls of power,
to hide the terrifying defects of the trickster king
behind industrial strength spray-on tan,
to turn truth into lies and deny the lies again.

And he grew easily bored with the minutiae
that kept this inebriated world balanced on its tightrope
between fascist alligators and orgies of atomic lust.

The rope is sagging in the middle,
the tightrope walker in chief is tottering,
distracted by a shiny mirror,
the Big House pegs are all at breaking point.
Hold onto your britches earthlings,
the puckered mouth has bitten off more than it can chew!

The Gattamelata II (Padua)

Gattamelata,_Erasmo_de_Narni_(perfil)

In his arrogance, he saddles the horse
beneath the cruelty of his reason,
and deigns to ride.
He cannot let meadows be meadows,
and places smoothed stones on them,
walls and towers,

towns which he calls beautiful,
where he hoards precious things,
vases in the shape of girls and boys,
amulets that ward off death.

And he imagines a sky with eyes,
and in its terrible gaze
grows proud and secretive all at once,
and builds bronze equestrian statues
for the sentinel clouds.
But the sky is sky, and the bronze is bronze,

while the horse burdened by the man
walks in laboured circles
for the finery of the bored crowds.