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Thursday, August 17, 2017


by David Spicer

I shouldn’t be but I’m scared to near-death
at 4:32 in the morning after reading Huff
Puff on my computer—expecting this country’s
demons to jump from it and give me a heart
attack but I’m not that lucky, and for all it’s
worth, Stephen Stills sings into my ears so my wife
won’t wake up and then Ozzy hoarse-screams,
making me more paranoid than I already am,
while more impotent boys in Challengers kill
more women, and I haven’t slept in days—
I’m worried about the world, I’m a world-class
worrier, who am I to worry, though?,
just an old man with hair that won’t gray
and a heart that strives to stay pale, but the mad king
with the orange face—he scares me to near-death,
and I should be scared—I haven’t escaped
from my bungalow in weeks--the mad king
with the orange face haunts me: he is me,
he is you, he is himself, he is the worst thoughts
in every one of us, the worst that have invaded
every one of our hearts at one time or another
until they grow darker than evil and then the
worst thoughts escape when he beckons them
but does he have real power since he’ll self-destruct?
because we can’t give him that kind of power—
America is now the Jerusalem of the West
over something as stupid as the color
of one’s skin when it’s really one color—
the color we’ve never seen, the color
of a nation’s soul, the color that scares me
to near-death—I shouldn’t be,
and I still cower in my bungalow waiting
for the answer that may never arrive:
the hero that’ll challenge the mad king
with the orange face and the golden children—
yes, let’s have a pay-per-view of Wrestle-Kill—
we deserve this, I say—starring
The Mad King with the Orange Face
and His Golden Children against Fake News
wearing bloody zebra-skin coats, headlines,
nuns’ habits, and potpourri—we deserve this,
I say, but I’m scared to near-death
and I should be at 7:06 in the morning when
light is eons away because we’ve embraced
the night in all its Wrestle-Kill hype
and that scares me and I should be scared
and you should be, too.

David Spicer has had poems in Chiron Review, Alcatraz, Gargoyle, Third Wednesday, Reed Magazine, Santa Clara Review, Ploughshares, The American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. The author of Everybody Has a Story and four chapbooks, he’s the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books and is scheduled to have From the Limbs of a Pear Tree (Flutter Press) released in the  early Fall of 2017.