AMERICAN GOTHIC picks up on Day One of the Trump administration, where just like a car wreck it's hard to look away. These eight sonnet-like poems try to keep up with "each new disaster," while keeping tabs on personal life as well as cultural hotspots such as the movie Lego Batman: "Does Gotham City, after crisis upon crisis, suffer/ an outrage fatigue?"
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You can’t, though you try to, look away
All day, the whole day.
Like slowing down to see a car wreck
Beside the highway, only high-tech.
Is in the air, on every screen
And channel, as if pent-up, president-elect jism—
From 18 months of being mean
At stadium rallies—splatters
Our consciousness. As if it matters.
Here’s the shot of windshield wipers
On the way to church. Here’s the victory speech—
“Now the fun begins”—the bagpipers
Piping past the plexi VIP box. And here is each
Soldier in Afghanistan
Offering congrats via satellite feed.
Too much, too much. How can anybody stand
All the God Bless USAs, the need
To smother every surface
In Oscar-carpet red? Even the tear gas
Is tinted crimson
As cops in riot gear, batons drawn, advance.
Let’s go live to the next “first dance”
At the Freedom Ball, to the chanson
“My Way,” natch.
Before midnight, cut the cake, grab a stranger’s snatch.
The party’s over, dude, ring the bell.
Funeral or wedding, or both, it’s hard to tell.