August 22, 2017KR BlogBlogCurrent EventsEnthusiamsEthicsWriting

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a President Looking at an Eclipse


(1) In the eye of the eclipse, he sought the loyalty of Comey, the bears of Betsy DeVos, and the phantom tapping of his own phones.

 The sun: Anoint me mother of bears.

 The moon: Listen all y’all, it’s a bear-o-tage.

(2) Even before the eclipse peaks in Eastern Standard Time, a few poets have already vowed on social media: I will not write about the eclipse. A few are more direct: do not write about the eclipse. In matters of poetry, just as in politics, implicit you is never implicit.

(3) He looked at the sun because someone has to guard the gates of hell.

(4) Tucker Carlson noted that the president removing his protective glasses to squint at (or stare down, or ogle) the eclipse was “perhaps the most impressive thing any president has ever done.”

The sun: I never knew Tucker had a sense of humor.

The moon: Here’s blood in your eye.

(5) Even Icarus would know—when the elk lodges are overrun, and the salmon-filled streams are plentiful with mercury, and the cows, too sick to stand, are forklifted into slaughterhouses—that challenging the sky, even for a brief moment, is especially cruel to what seethes beneath it.

(6) He looked at the sun because it rises over Russia, which is in his backyard, although hours ahead. His ill-fenced today, another’s Trojan Horse of tomorrow.

(The moon: Trojan BEAR.)

(7) Your niece asks: Did you look at the sun too?

You hesitate.

She sighs. How long? How many times?

(8) Hey, [you]. What did we say about writing of the eclipse?

The sun: Every time he opens his mouth, someone is outside lighting a candle.

The moon: And they blame me for lunacy.

(9) The Last Guest before Dawn: the moonlighting president—or rather the human error in the high-speed wireless era, the knowing-better bad-choice push-of-red-button, the glinting neon strip across a dried up lake in the desert.

Or rather, the president moonlights as president who moonlights as [. . .]

This is not just the midnight show, half-off and all in costume.

This is a reckoning of what is do/due/you.

(10) The president takes a breath—

Together: Don’t dear moon me.

(11) You tell the moon tonight what you are writing.

The moon: Geez how do you write so fast?

You: Chronic insomnia.

She: Don’t blame me.

You: Here’s blood in our eyes.

(12) The moon is not finished.

She: Rather than wish upon the stars, think about what he’s done to the place you live on.

(13) And what did the eclipse see of us, but tusks and feathered grizzle, horns and claws. And what did it hear, by hook & chain, what rings loudest, like cathedral bells turned sirens?

And the sun said: Because darlings it’s always quite a party.

And the moon said: When someone else guards the gates of hell.