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Thursday, July 21, 2016


by Ned Balbo

I don't agree with everything he says--
his followers too often turn to violence--
but who am I to argue with success?
He knows how to inflame an audience.
I'm not sure whom he'll jail or deport
to warmer climes where punishment's severe,
whom he'll select to serve him on the Court,
which lands he'll occupy or treaties tear
to fiery pieces . . . Still, I wish him well.
I'm told I have a talent for persuasion:
he might reduce the temperature in Hell
if I stand at his side to lead the nation.
I'll state my views, whatever his decree is.
You must admit, he's got some good ideas.

Ned Balbo's newest book is Upcycling Paumanok, just out from Measure Press. His previous book, The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems (Story Line) was awarded the Donald Justice Prize and the Poets' Prize. He currently teaches in the MFA program in creative writing and environment at Iowa State University.