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Monday, December 25, 2017


by Richard Hacken

‘Twas the Eve before Yuletide, and throughout the castle
Not one gerbil was verbal, nor causing a hassle;
With our stockings suspended on pegs by the mantle,
Soon Santa would see how they gracefully dangled.
All the young ones were snoring in gentrified bunks,
Watching video dream-streams of sweet glucose junk.
My dear spouse and I sought communion with Morpheus,
Having taken our Ambien for slumber’s euphorias…
When our slackening shorter-term memory awareness
Was quite rudely attacked by loud noise from the terrace.
So we sped from the bed and we peered past the shutters,
Overlooking fatigue and dead leaves in the gutters.
Freshly frozen precip was lit up by the moon,
Granting clear luminescence almost like high noon…
When some black SUVs bolted into our view:
Armor-plated V-8s, but not one caribou.
From the middlemost window our eyes were assailed
By the sight of Alt-Santa—with his orange ducktail.
Verbosity surged with some grunts, lies and screams,
And he verbally signaled, with the accent of Queens:
Now, Donnie! Now, Kushner! Ivanka and Eric!
On, Sessions! Melania! DeVos and Rick Perry!
Wait a minute! Where’s Tiffany?
Now, Tillerson, Mattis, Now Zinke and Chao!
On, Mnuchin, Mike Pence, Wait a minute…
Where’s Ben Carson now?
Where’s Comey, where’s Flynn? Where are Priebus and Bannon?
They had useless traits that I had to abandon.
Where’s Scaramucci? Where the heck is Sean Spicer?
I’d have kept all these people if they defended me nicer.
It’s time that the Senate repeals and replaces
Every few days just a few of these faces.”
But that wasn’t all: he continued to chatter
About changes he’d make and how much they would matter.
Yuletide was losing and now it would win!
Yes, he would make Christmastime so great again!
“I’m the greatest,” he said, “of all Santas, I promise,
There’s been no Santa greater, if I want to be honest.”

“For too long it’s been Santa who subsidized
The presents and goodies for all of you guys.
Such liberal nonsense is hard to defend,
And so such generosity now has to end.
We’ll keep shipping the presents and building the toys,
But who’s going to now pay for it? The girls and the boys.
Our Department of Toys on Non-Discounted Clearance
Will be happy to debit accounts from their parents.
Our Department of Homeland-Spun Sugar-Plum Canes
Will be headed by Dr. Alt-Saccharin Gaines,
Who’s qualified, ‘cause she’s a 10, a good looker,
And an enemy of all things resembling sugar.
Our Department of Christmas’s Really True Meaning
Has a new secretary named Skepticus Leening,
Who has promised reducing bureaucratic red tape
Till Christmas can be all dissolved in a lake.”

And thus on and on further the Alt-Santa spake,
Till for so many reasons I started to quake.
I was so good and ready to be Doubting Thomas,
When he said one last time, “If I want to be honest…”

So he heard us exclaim as we turned from his face:
“You're not a real Santa. You're just a disgrace.
You’ll soon be gone. You’ll be put in your place.”

Richard Hacken is a poet-librarian
and a firm contrarian
to the reigning vulgarian.