BOOK V

Around the block the red hats snaked, hissing in hot-breathed anticipation
For entry to the sanctum, holy of holies, to hear their master’s peroration.
Inside the auditorium, all was still, paced not even a stray alley cat
Not one creature was stirring, not even Cohen, the soon-to-be rat.
The MAGA banners were hung from the rafters with care,
Knowing that corpulent Trump soon would be there.

And where sat those twin fat-oozing spheres, the rump of Trump?
Resting in the Green Room, as he consumed a Big Mac or two or three
Washing them down with Dr. Pemberton’s and Atlanta’s pride,
A fizzing Coca-Cola, wonderful with fries. For the Trump never
Touched alcohol, it killed his brother, Fred Junior; but
From somewhere, perhaps from Jared the weasel, a golden bong appeared
And the lips of Trump, awaiting his moment, took a hit or two or three.

The doors were opened, and in flew the crowd,
Shouting the Trump’s name, and oh were they loud,
White were their faces, nary a degree to be found,
Their necks red like their caps, and their waists so very round.
Seething with resentment against those oh-so-smart elites,
Hating science, immigrants, and the poor, they took their oversized seats.
Despised they the graduates, making them feel so stupid,
Perhaps why for sucking Bud they were very well suited.

In the eighth row, craning his neck, clad in red plaid flannel, Johnny Jones,
Big John, they’d called him, played ball in Birmingham, lettered in it,
Still had the sweater, wore it all these decades later,
Sometime taxi man, sometime mechanic, his memory failing,
Forgetting this month – again – that pesky child support
For his bitch ex-wife. Not far away sat Amy, her botox’d lips bulging,
Once she’d reigned, prom queen of Elmore, everyone loved her,
Now her thin bones were sheathed in rippling layers of cellulite,
She feared and hated anyone with different colored skin,
Resented that she couldn’t even say it anymore, political correctness,
Only used the n-word in the safety of her living room,
With unjudging porcelain gnomes and Chia pets, and a cat, to hear.
A few rows back Bobby Rex of Montgomery unfolded his white hood,
He’d don it for Donald, sure that the Trump would approve,
After all, hadn’t the Trump’s own father marched with the Klan?
Wouldn’t the Knights soon return to restore the natural order of things?
So each in their own way awaited their orange-haired hope.

From her shining citadel in Dodger-less Brooklyn Hillary herself watched,
The rally broadcast on CNN and of course on trustworthy Fox.
“So deplorable are they all,” she muttered. “Deplorable!”
Black-haired Huma, wearing hooped earrings, Weiner’s wife,
Hillary’s most trusted, a rising star, proclaimed venerated Time,
Perked up, thought a second. “You should use that,”
“What?” wondered Hillary, and turned to her great friend, “Deplorable!”
Suggested Huma, and that made Hillary ponder. “Hmm! Perhaps I will,”
The Chosen One, anointed by blessed Obama himself, nodded to her friend.

And then: there he was on the stage, the Trump, the one, hero
To the hourly wagers, the Kramdens and the Bunkers,
Wild went they, shouting his name! The joy, the unbridled ecstasy,
To be in the presence of the Trump!
To be in the presence of the Trump! He spoke these very words to them:
“Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist
And engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes,
OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart!”
The room rumbled with applause, and the walls trembled.
“O great Trump,” they sounded as one, “Oh we hear, get your drift
Blessed by the Creator with bountiful genetic gifts!”
Blessed by the Creator with bountiful genetic gifts!” He continued,
“You know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal,
If, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat,”
If, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat,”and they all laughed,
The very thought! The Trump a bleeding heart! A taxer and spender!
The crowd responded, laughing, crying with unbridled joy,
“Never, O Beloved, would you sully your conservative flag
But tell us, O son of Fred, explain to us why you brag,
Why do you recite your resume at every stride?
Beware, beware, O Trump, the cardinal sin of pride!”

Then thoughtful Trump, hearing their plaintive cries, answered,
“They would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world
It’s true! —but when you’re a conservative Republican they try
Oh, do they do a number,” and everyone turned to the press in the back,
Bastards, twisters of the truth, their truth, immune to facts.
“That’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student,
Went there, went there, did this, built a fortune—” they turned to one another
Nodded: of course! “Yes, we see it now, O how they lie,
Blitzer and Lester and Anderson and holy Scottpelley? Why?
Knowing what you’ve done what they couldn’t, you O Trump,
Having to prove yourself, through every hoop you must jump!
So unfair! “You know I have to give my like credentials all the time,
Because we’re a little disadvantaged…” Oh the crowd was with him now!
“So disadvantaged you are, O Trump, we groan at your anguished pleas
No different than Harlem’s starving children, LA’s drug-addicted babies!”

Pity, mother of watery tears, flowed forth to the stage, but
Nothing could hold back the glorious rhetoric from the child of Cicero.
“But you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me
It would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are
Nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago.”
Big basso profundo Johnny Jones, he saw it then, the light in his brain shone,
Leapt to his feet, and sang out, “Yes, yes! All my life I never knew,
I lived in darkness, unaware, the facts in my mind so very few,
But now, the torch has been lit, I see the whole world anew,
O transcendent moment! Nuclear! Powerful! All has shifted,
The veil shrouding my abandoned intellect – lifted!”

And Amy in lovely counterpoint, Elmore’s lady of the cats,
Opened her botoxed lips, in mellifluous mezzo-soprano replied,
“Nuclear! O Trump, dweller in mine fantasies, split my atoms,
Master of cosmic mysteries, enter my chasm,
But alas! It cannot be, for cat-eyed Melania has snared you,
My hopes must needs be modest, find someone else to bare-screw
Yet for thou, or someone like thee will I ever pine,
Can there ever be one like you that would be mine?”

Johnny and Amy gazed from afar at one another, love sparked,
Ignited by the burning words of the man, nay demigod,
United in adoration, joined in wondrous rapture.
And the Trump, behind his podium, bulletproof just in case, smiled.
But he had not completed the lesson, oh, no, more to impart,
The stream of his wandering consciousness had not yet run dry.

“The power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the
Power of what’s going to happen and he was right—who would have thought?”
Yes, who would have thought an MIT PhD would be right,
“But when you look at what’s going on with the four prisoners
Now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now,
I would have said it’s all in the messenger; fellas, and it is fellas because,
You know, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now
Than the men, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years
But the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators,
So, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.”
So, and they, they just killed, they just killed us.” At these words
Bobby Rex felt a thrill, now was his moment, he threw on his white mitre
His pure tenor rang out through the hall, “O betrayal! O treachery!
So horrible the crimes, so detestable, not like your simple lechery!
Superhuman with needs to match, everyone here can relate,
Even long-tressed Melania, I’m sure, your voluptuous mate.”
At this the Slovenian beauty shot Bobby Rex a hard glance,
But he pressed on, the roaring crowd gave him another chance.
Even as the security guards came, hearing the newsmen hiss,
Some might think it unseemly, a proud Klansman in their midst.
“O orange-haired hope of the downtrodden, like me, a poor, poor white,
What’s to be done with these traitors? I say the evildoers must you smite!”

That electrified the heaving throng! The chants began, thundered in the hall,
“Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!”
“Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!” Back in Brooklyn she shivered,
The Chosen, as did all in her gleaming palace of privilege, of progress,
When, they asked themselves, did politics come to this?
A screaming mob, led a raging demagogue, sanity in doubt,
Wasn’t supposed to be like this! Mouths dropped in shock,
Seeing the incoherent one speak, and how the crowd loved it,
How could it be? And for a moment, a terrifying image,
Of herself, rotting behind cold, pitiless bars in Attica, or Sing Sing,
Filled her mind.
Filled her mind.The Trump grew weary, well-tanned eyes narrowed, strained
But determined was he, more to impart to those that loved him,
And if it was Hillary they wanted him to speak of, so be it.
“Hillary Clinton has perfected the politics of personal profit and theft.
She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund
Doing favors for oppressive regimes, and many others, in exchange for cash.”
Enraged, the multitude roared like a thousand angry bears,
“Lock her up! Lock her up!” Onward he continued, his voice never faltering
“Together, she and Bill made $153 million giving speeches to lobbyists!
CEOs, and foreign governments in the years since 2001!”
Could the auditorium hold this seething righteous supernova?

Then, a tiny voice in the balcony, a sweet young lass, all alone,
Ventured to say, “Isn’t that what Bernie is saying?
And haven’t you, O great Trump, paid those parasites, the lobbyists?”
At once they fell on her, beat her with their angry fists
Showing her that the Trump could in no way be like the white-haired Vermonter.
“Get her out of here,” ordered the Trump. And she was gone.

Could any speech by the Trump leave out Benghazi?
Ten times they’d investigated, ten times! At every one
They called long-suffering Hillary, the same questions, the same outrage,
How could she let it happen? Bony-faced Gowdy the most vicious
Hammering accusations over and over,
Hammering accusations over and over, And yet they found nothing.
But fine fodder for the Trump! As a teenager holds a match
Before an aerosol can, fascinated by the streaming flame,
Yet unaware of setting the living room curtains on fire,
So the Trump unleashed his last, furious fusillade:
“Our late Ambassador, Chris Stevens. He was left helpless to die
As Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed, when the phone rang at
3 o’clock in the morning, she was sleeping.”
The horror! How could she sleep at three in the morning?
“Ambassador Stevens and his staff in Libya made hundreds of requests for security.
Hillary Clinton’s State Department refused them all.
She started the war that put him in Libya,
Denied him the security he asked for, then left him there to die.”
They screamed, they yelled, they stomped their work boots
But he held out his tiny misshapen hands, waited for quiet,
The crowd would not be still, the raging thunder persisted,
Until they got the idea. The Trump left them with inspiring words,
“We are going to make America safe again.
We are going to make America great again – and great again
For everyone.” With that the Trump tromped off the stage.

Dumbstruck were the reporters, the analysts, the proud pundits, the experts,
They knew not what to say, their stentorian voices choked, were mute.
As the grinning initiates, newly minted acolytes of the golden-haired one
Streamed forth upon the plaza, back into the light of the day,
One timid follower of Edward R. Murrow gathered up her courage,
Held her microphone up high and approached Big Johnny Jones,
Now arm in tumescent arm with Elmore’s long-ago prom queen.
“What, oh what, is it about the Trump that so captures you?”
She really wanted to know, so did so many, they wondered at it.
Back in Brooklyn they all inched forward in their plush leather chairs,
For that was the question whose answer had so long eluded them.
Big John just answered, “Uh, what?” and so she clarified,
“The Trump, his facts are wrong, his sentences, senseless,
His words random, and hateful. Why would you all love him?”
“Oh, well,” he chuckled, in his laugh there was more than a little spite,
For once – for once! – the smart ones didn’t understand him!
“You see,” he answered, “The Trump speaks to us in altogether new ways,
His words do not matter, we don’t care about them, they do not faze
His spirit, his love for us, he communicates in ways you cannot know,
Beyond the ability of your simple mind, you liberal minnow.”
But that did not deter the young journalist, she did not flinch,
“Did you know,” bravely she shot back, “the Trump, once a Democrat?”
“Hah!” chortled Big John, and Amy joined in, “not in my universe!”

So inspired was he by her, that he could not restrain his basso,
Big John, quarterback and cornerback, beloved by his coach Big Jim,
So much so that Big Jim persuaded Miss Elkins to hold John back
Year after year, Jim’s manly appeal too much for her spinster shyness.
His booming voice bursting into song, Big John began,
“In our world, the man leaves every morning at eight
Works all day, goes to the bar, comes home late,
Cheers the Tide on Saturdays, more beer from his Lazy-Boy perch
Suffers a pounding hangover during Sunday church –
A small and happy world we occupy, kids, dad and mom
A good life, a solid life, worthy of a fifties sitcom!”
And Amy, her full-throated voice in full flower continued,
“Love lives in our home, in all our homes, in our neighborhood,
The happy housewife all day she prepares her husband’s food
How lucky we are, surrounded by our pure kind of folk,
Who cares the credit card companies say we’re all broke?
Good people, friends just like us, pose no threat
Man, wife, two children, yard, dog and rusting swing set.
A small and happy world we occupy, kids, dad and mom
A good life, a solid life, worthy of a fifties sitcom!”

Then: a trio, as white-hooded Bobby Rex joined in,
“O the Trump, answer to our prayers! Making America great,
Putting things back the way they used to be, that’s your fate.”
The reporter did not respond, could not think of a question,
As if she were talking to aliens from another world,
With a philosophy beyond her stunned comprehension.

In living color on CNN they all saw it, Hillary, Mook and Podesta
Huma and Bill and Donna, they took it all in, the scene unfolding.
“How,” wondered Bill aloud, speaking for all, “do we fight that?”