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Friday, January 06, 2023


a pantoum
by Devon Balwit

George Santos

I stand here, not a liar but a fabulist,

my doctored resumé no different than a photo filter,

a burnishing, an enhancement.

The self is always curated,


filtered depending

on mood and desired effect.

We expect an exhibition, an exhibitionist, to be curated—

people go to school for that,


making audiences cheer the desired effect.

Project success and success will follow.

Ordinary school, work, who wants that?

No one wants to be ordinary.


Success is a predictor of talent.

Have I got that backwards?

No one ordinary would have the balls

to do what I’ve done—exactly


the man you want, no looking backwards,

able to command seeming,

to calibrate popular resentments exactly,

unapologetically ruthless.


The whiners don’t seem to get how,

burnished and enhanced, a superhero,

I stand before them unapologetic,

not a liar but fabulous.

Devon Balwit walks in all weather. Her most recent collections are We Are Procession Seismograph, [Nixes Mate Books, 2017], Dog-Walking in the Shadow of Pyongyang [Nixes Mate Books, 2021] and Spirit Spout [forthcoming with Nixes Mate Books in 2023].