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Wednesday, October 18, 2017


by Robert S. King

Detail of a cartoon by Edel Rodriguez used as the cover of Der Spiegel, February 4, 2017.

Some swear this country is not lost.
Not lost but dead, others say.
If the lost can be found
and the dead resurrected,
the climate will heal itself,
and deus ex machina
will shout down the storm.

Lockjaw keeps my mouth shut,
though sometimes liberal booze
can pry it open; sometimes
I’d like to be a meaner drunk.
If my coffee were stronger,
I might have the nerve
for a cup of coup d’etat.
Anything addictive, prescribed or not,
keeps me from doing the right thing,
keeps me half awake, tossing and turning,
knowing why the wind howls.

After storms of nightmares,
I awake to visions of  uninsured corpses
in the street and melted polar icecaps
flooding my front yard, of our lady
of liberty staggering drunk,
of soulless suits having their way with her.

Robert S. King lives in Athens, GA, where he serves on the board of FutureCycle Press and edits Good Works Review. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including Atlanta Review, California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Hollins Critic, Kenyon Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Negative Capability, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published eight poetry collections, most recently Diary of the Last Person on Earth (Sybaritic Press 2014) and Developing a Photograph of God (Glass Lyre Press, 2014).