The age of Trump and I don’t mean seventy.
I’m speaking of our time, our sad era, and I don’t mean aura,
although they say it is black, a dark presence.

Democracies don’t survive men who don’t need money.
What’s an oligarch, after all, but a democrat with dough?
Boohoo. The country’s going down the drain.

Yes, that was me you heard. I often sing to myself. I talk
to myself, too. I work up little speeches on the principles of
Horace. I practice my acceptance speeches.

I exhort the troops. I declare myself available to the people.
I resign. I throw in the towel. I declare war. I accept prizes.
Cicero, from my point of view, was the man.

People are starving for the truth.
Trump talked trash for two years but now promises to deliver.
Let’s call him the garbage man who makes deliveries.

He dumps it all directly on your lawn, front and back.
Good thing your flag is flying at half-mast.
Someone shot a cop last night and the killer is on the loose.

Demosthenes doesn’t hold a candle. Cicero and other Romans, including
the historians Sallust and Tacitus, knew a thing or two. One thing clear to
them but not to him was the importance of dangerous women.

This made the Romans scary. We know it’s true; the Greeks were naïve.
Treachery and intrigue ruled the roost—what fun! Juicy parts for the likes
of Glen Close and Sharon Stone: poisoned baths and whipped backsides.

The orators were putting their lives on the line. Public pronouncements could
be caustic. Talk about the deplorables! They devised verbal assassination
plots. There were epic put-downs: ridicule and denunciations.

The despairing come together. Christians celebrate wealth. A theology
of good fortune, a belief system based on bank accounts. Let them be.
Why shouldn’t the rich be happy? Leave misery to the poor.

Trump towers over the rest of us. He went to Wharton. He and his kids
have degrees in business. Calculation is one skill he’ll need. I for one
recommend reading Machiavelli’s “The Prince.”
Why would a successful businessman want his sons and daughters in trade?
Our business class produces clerks and bondsmen only; if not from the rich,
where are our artists to come; who else can afford Manhattan rents?

Trump says bravo when he looks at himself in the mirror. Why not live like there’s
no tomorrow? Then he thinks, “fuck that. I did it all myself. Why be nice?”
The poor lack stamina. We’re the opposite of resentful; we’re grateful.

We’re set for life. Our God doesn’t believe in sharing; it’s a religion of hoarding.
Membership’s limited to the greedy, deliberately. Fuck the needy. We’ll give them
financial aid to get to Heaven; there they practice affirmative action.

John Adams, America’s Founding Father, wanted his kids to write poetry, to be artists.
I urge Trump to call his children together. If not writers, then anthropologists.
Someone in this country has to study ancient languages.

When the bombing starts his artistic son can suggest we not bomb ancient sites or
capital cities. An artistic education might come in handy. With Presidents this low,
we depend on children to write their epithets.

Just read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. He loved the Romans. Lincoln did, too.
In America today, people obsess over the right to bear arms; they want to carry
concealed weapons. Of greater power is one’s tongue. A golden voice or a pistol?

Hell is an equal opportunity employer. Hallelujah. We’d prefer, it seems, to put
a cap in our opponent’s ass. We’ll know America is back when people once again
value the power of words and the right to speak them.

Image credit:NeONBRAND

David Lohrey is from Memphis. He graduated from UC Berkeley. His plays have been produced in Switzerland, Croatia, and Lithuania.  His poetry can be found in Otoliths, Tuck Magazine, and the Cardiff Journal. His fiction can be read in Storgy Magazine, Terror House, and Literally Stories. David’s newest collection of poetry, MACHIAVELLI’S BACKYARD, was published last year by Sudden Denouement Publications.