The candidate is plucking the creases of his stone-washed jeans after his wife has crossed the hall to iron a pair of Neiman-Marcus socks when the archangel of truth trumpets his battle cry behind him. He turns to this challenge against his honesty to find feathers fluttering above the floor around a vanity table. The grim creature is naked as a G. I. Joe doll. Fragrant as brown sugar. It crouches in a sumo stance while the nominee rolls the sleeves of his white oxford and snugs an Ayn Rand cravat against his Adam’s apple. He circles the archangel, calculating angles until the vanity is behind him and he can grope for the bayonet in the miscellany drawer. A fusion of fog and fury attacks the candidate who stabs at the bald dimple of its crotch. The beautiful mouth. The monstrous, hallelujah eyes. A chandelier crashes around them as the politician flails at wisps of feathers. A whirlwind ransacks the room, shattering windows and mirrors. The daemon materializes behind the standard bearer to slam him to the floor in a half-Nelson. Vipers breed in the contender’s brain. In triumph, the archangel seeds a halt in the candidate’s hip, vanishing at the click of the wife opening the door to investigate the commotion. She helps her husband with his socks. Asks how he stubbed his toe. When she knots the laces of his Italian shoes, he retrieves a paper from his pocket with the day’s lies erased.
Michael Brockley is a 63-year old school psychologist who has worked in special education in rural northeast Indiana for 25 years. He has poetry publications in Wind, The Windless Orchard, Spitball, The Indiana Review, The Indiannual, The Spoon River Quarterly, The River City Review and The Ball State Literary Forum. Tom Koontz’ Barnwood Press published his chapbook Second Chance in 1990, and Brockley has lately placed work in Indiana publications such as Maize, Country Feedback, Flying Island, The Tipton Poetry Journal and Facing Poverty. A video of Brockley reading his “Hollywood’s Poem” which was published in Facing Poverty can be found on YouTube. His poem “When the Woman in the White Sweater Asked at the Cancelled Charles Simic Reading Asked If I Was David Shumate” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Barry Harris of the Tipton Poetry Journal.