October 25, 2016KR BlogBlogCurrent EventsWriting

The Mad Realtor’s Song

This is my two hundredth post for this blog, and I had planned to mark that milestone by writing about John Berryman. It’s his birthday today—a birthday we should celebrate. But, as you may have heard, Election Day approaches, the gravity of which overwhelms everything, birthday celebrations included. In my previous post, I pointed to works of art—by Matthew Lippman, Aimee Mann, and Greg Houston—that comment on the election in particularly striking ways; we can now add Laura Maylene Walter’s spectacular fairy tale, “Into Trump’s Woods,” to that list. Here’s hoping the list grows even larger in these remaining two weeks. And here’s hoping we continue to dig up works from the past that take on Trump directly (such as Episode 4104 of Sesame Street) and indirectly (such as Isabella Gardner’s wonderfully prescient “The Last Trump,” published in Poetry in 1951).

In that spirit, here’s a small offering: a poem that uses Lewis Carroll’s “Mad Gardener’s Song” stanza to poke a bit at the Republican nominee. (Note: the sixth stanza appeared previously in Poets Opposing Evil Trump: A Poetry NI E-Anthology.) Potential Trump voters: look! And look again! Is this really the human being you want representing our country?


The Mad Realtor’s Song

He thought he saw a Common Racist
Say uncommon things:
He looked again, and found it was
A raptor’s sharpened wings.
“The whole world’s now a no-fly zone—
From Seoul to Coral Springs.”

He thought he saw a Weary Exile
Wash against the rocks:
He looked again, and found it was
The Trumps, comparing cocks.
(Please keep this image front and center,
At the ballot box.)

He thought he saw six Matadors
Converse in Basque and Spanish:
He looked again, and found it was
Six guys that Trump would banish.
(The adjectives that come to mind
Are “scary,” “SAD!,” and “Klannish.”)

He thought he saw a Flight Attendant
Swig a fifth of gin:
He looked again, and found it was
Adele and Ho Chi Minh.
“Those two don’t scare me half as much
As Trump-Pence, should they win.”

He thought he saw the Fabled Pivot
Deep in Arizona:
He looked again, and found it was
A vat of spilled Corona.
“The belly of this beast is vast,”
He blubbered, à la Jonah.

He thought he saw his Sleepy Suburb
Wake in abject Terror:
He looked again, and found it was
His party’s standard-bearer.
“C’mon, he’s not a monster, guys”—
Then nothing: system error.

He thought he saw Two Politicians
Rap about Glass-Steagall:
He looked again, and found it was
A clueless grope. “Illegal!
He homes in on the crotch, this guy,
Just like a goddamn beagle.”

He thought he saw a Picnic Spread
Inside a Cabin Cruiser:
He looked again, and found it was
The umpteenth Trump accuser.
“I think we’ve got his tombstone figured:
Lecher. Liar. Loser.”

He thought he saw a Tonka Truck
Outside an Auto Shop:
He looked again, and found it was
Ivanka. [Cody: Stop.
They’ll all need footnotes, soon enough.
Bring out the broom and mop.]