ISSUE 5: Poets In Unity - Responses to the Election of Donald Trump / POETRY

“Cutting Donald Trump’s Hair” by Robert Walicki

It’s because your truck needs to be inspected,
and he is the mechanic.
Because the grainy TV is playing
The Day The Earth Stood Still, while you wait

to be told when he’s done, how much this will cost,
because your job is to sit there and watch this greasy kid
twist wrenches, talk hunting, gloat about Trump.

It’s weeks later, but when your truck makes a noise
you never heard before, you’ll be back,
just in time to learn about gun clicks and ammunition,
of the missed opportunity of a deer as if you should feel sorry for him.

Because on the day after the election, he is laughing
when he asks if you knew about the time Donald Trump
beat up Vince McMahon, shaved his head on television
for Wrestlemania 23, The Battle of the Billionaires,

and you think how this parallel is exact. One pretend president shaving
a pretend wrestler’s head, in this era of less than truths, era of guns and running away
era of I can’t breathe, And say, The thought of two sweaty men shaving each
other isn’t something you think about but you’d pay to watch Hitler lose his
in front of millions.

You don’t think about sabotage, but you wonder if
your words will translate into loose bolts, the back wheels of your pickup spinning
off on the highway. But the credit card you hand him means
you are chained together by that thin necessity
of living, the endless get up and do it all over again.

Printing off your receipt, he lets the television speak for us,
who got arrested, who’s house burned down,
and the post truth/half-truths of recounts

folded into soundbites, of media normalizations,
and a painkiller ad for our heads hurting from Twitter feeds,
the numbing temps of November,
and this, less than a man who just said what he said just to get elected.

Whatever the hunter brought in to eat smells, but when he sits down for his break,
you can’t help but watch him shovel in his cream of something,
his big mouth opening, all that hot steam pouring out.


Robert Walicki’s work has appeared in The Kentucky Review, Red River Review and other journals. He currently has two chapbooks published: A Room Full of Trees (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014) and The Almost Sound of Snow Falling (Night Ballet Press, 2015).


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