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Monday, December 31, 2018


by George Held

Another year ends and a new year starts
and I have fewer—it’s just math—
to count on, but I’m glad to have
been born too young for WW 2
and too old for Korea and Nam

and too ancient for the all-volunteer
Army dispatched, like Caesar’s legions,
to any hot spot in the Empire,
though Afghanistan’s a region
a bit too far out for our ambition.

Another year, the President’s third
in office, on the horizon for him
to continue our retreats
from remote and alien climes
(poetic word for “region” and for rhymes)

or to launch new strikes, like missiles
out of the blue: it’s all up to him,
our grand commander-in-chief,
our modern chief executive officer
and main deal-maker and pussy-grabber.

Will this be another year of immunity
for executive privilege, the one man
above the law, for him who has slouched
from the bestial floor in Bethlehem
to rename the world like a neo-Adam,

whose jutting chin recalls Mussolini
and racist rants echo Hitler’s
and whose repeated lies outdo Goebbels’
but who knows how to talk the talk
that enthralls his adamantine Base.

Another year, or could it be our last
before the earth floods or a nuclear blast
solves our overpopulation problem?
The bourgeoisie now draw near the edge
over which many poor have lately plunged,

and the widespread wish of “Happy New Year”
seems frivolous if not a beard for fear.

A longtime contributor to the TheNewVerse.NewsGeorge Held writes from New York. His forthcoming book is Second Sight (Poets Wear Prada, 2019).