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Tuesday, April 26, 2016


by David Spicer

Adapted from a DonkeyHotey caricature.

I denounce the day the ogre who promised
us the world arrived, disturbing the village’s
decorum. I witnessed his ancient resolve
as he scolded and attacked the town leaders
to the students’ cheers and drumbeats,
ignored the fact that the shylocks’ siege
had doomed us. He wanted those who
murmured against him imprisoned, chuckled
at and dismissed Vera—his experienced opponent
for Mayor—called her a typist for the shylocks.
He gestured like a conductor of a mad orchestra
in his speeches, pointed at his audiences like
an angry mentor, declared victory to thunderous
fanfare when defeat seemed certain. After we
expressed hope but asked how he’d fulfill his
guarantees, he twitched, paced the interview room,
beet-faced. The day I met him, I had returned
from singing hymns in German trenches,
an asthenic figure, searching for a hero
and ready to serve, and dazzled by his gruff
wail and white-haired pledges: free goldfish
for the children, higher wages for all, a jail cell
for the untouchable shylocks. But he offered no
solutions for our bombed houses without walls,
only those vows that tumbled from his mouth
like the fantasy sausages we loved, before the elders
voted for Vera, who destroyed him at the polls,
and he vanished into the sleepy hills he called home.

David Spicer has had poems in Yellow Mama, Reed Magazine, Slim Volume, concis, Jersey Devil Press, The American Poetry Review, TheNewVerse.News, Ploughshares, Bad Acid Laboratories, Inc., Dead Snakes, and in A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism (Salo Press, 2016). He has been nominated for a Pushcart, is the author of one full-length collection of poems and four chapbooks, and is the former editor of Raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee.