05.25.18
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

MICHELLE BITTING

On O'Hara's Birthday

 

The sun behind the hills
is a big bald head
as Laurie Anderson once put it

and the wind so fierce last night
it whipped the feeder
from its wire

so the squirrels got to gorge
on thistle seed all morning
leaping Errol Flynn style

from branch to ledge to Adirondack seat
whatever gullible shapes
that got in their way, smashed

mirroring my rage  
stuck here in the trough
of stormy times

where the president says
grab all you can!
the book of decency

an illusion, see
he has no clothes
trolls a midtown avenue

waving his shaft in God’s face
the tunnels of our ears  
internment camps

our bodies passed out
on the collective human cot
wings pass over

an extermination
of the soul
yes I said the soul

I know it’s indulgent
like cupcakes
but I like cupcakes

on anyone’s birthday!
real butter cream frosting
and authentic wild vanilla

the risen batter ribboned
with flecks of shaved bean
like little black bells

ringing the steeples
of your taste buds
calling you back home

wherever that is
in case you can’t remember
the place of sweetness

oh Lord
let us please
feel innocent again

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Michelle Bitting’s third collection is The Couple Who Fell to Earth (C & R Press), named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016. She has poems published or forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, NarrativeThe New York Times, The Los Angeles Review, Vinyl Poetry, Plume, Diode, Tabula Poetica, Tupelo Quarterly, the Paris-American, AJP, Green Mountains Review,  and others. Poems have appeared on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, have been nominated for Pushcart and Best of the Net prizes, (including Best of the Net 2017 from Thrush Poetry Journal) and most recently, The Pablo Neruda, American Literary Review and Tupelo Quarterly poetry contests. Michelle won the 2018 Mark Fischer Poetry Prize, and a fourth collection, Broken Kingdom won the Catamaran Prize and is due out in 2018. Michelle is a PhD candidate and joins the faculty at Loyola Marymount University this fall as a Visiting Lecturer in Poetry and Creative Writing Studies.

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 illustration:  anna_croc01

illustration: anna_croc01