Weekly poem on Trump Presidency


Matthew Lippman

Nixon Fugue - Roger Stone

August 9th, 1974 was an overcast windy day in DC
when Nixon boarded The Spirit of ‘76
parked on the South Lawn
then flew to Andrews
to hitch a ride on Air Force One
back to sunny California.
Adios, brother. Adios America.
When he stepped on the top step before getting on the small green flying machine
he did that thing, turned to the crowd, put up two peace signs, and smiled
like he was some drunk version of a well quaffed Chuck Barris.
But, this was no Gong Show
and Jean Jean The Dancing Machine was nowhere to be found.
There was only Pat.
What in the hell could she have been feeling under that pink chiffon dress?
And what might she have said to Dicky boy when the helicopter took off?
“Were you out of your fucking mind, darling?”
It wasn’t like he was out in the backyard with his boys
shooting off Roman Candles into The Sea of Tranquility
and someone accidentally killed a chicken.
They killed a country
and the Empire is still crumbling.
Stone walks up the steps of a court house in Fort Lauderdale.
When he gets to the top
he turns to the crowd, flashes two peace signs above his head
like it was him getting on that copter
while the tattoo of Nixon
seared onto his back
whispers, Atta you kid, atta you.


Matthew Lippman’s collection MESMERIZINGLY SADLY BEAUTIFUL won the 2018 Levis Prize and will be published by Four Way Books in 2020. His recent collection, A LITTLE GUT MAGIC is published by Nine Mile Books.


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