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Tuesday, September 02, 2008


by Michael Shorb

Bush is the arrogant
white puppy in those
Advantage flea treatment
TV commercials.

He walks across a vacant
lot where an American
steel mill once stood,
smirks at some unemployed
factory dogs sitting
in a tavern scratching:

"Well there may be bugs
on some of you mugs,
but there ain't no
bugs on me," he announces brightly.

At summer camp, he leaps
from a sinking canoe
to the pier in the nick of time.

He slips in and out of Iraq.

He pees on the lawn
of the foreclosed house.

He sniffs the edge of
the VA hospital parking lot.

As the economy sinks and
all the other dogs
begin to scratch and scratch and scratch
he's an inspiration:

     ranch paid up,
     speaker fees looming

lifetime kennel club

He smirks into a mirror.

Michael Shorb's work reflects an abiding interest in myth, history, and the lyrical form, as well as a satirical focus on present day trends and events. His poems have appeared in over 100 magazines and anthologies, including The Nation, The Sun, Michigan Quarterly Review, Queen's Quarterly, Poetry Salzburg Review, Commonweal, Religious Humanism, Shoofly, Rattle, and European Judaism, as well as such anthologies as A Bell Ringing in an Empty Sky (Mho and Mho Works), To Be a Man (Tarcher Press) and Names in a Jar: 100 American Poets (Hood Press).