BOOK VIII

Across many-peopled America, land of the melting pot,
The first Tuesday after the first Monday, the great reckoning,
Approached. The armies of the Trump, son of Fred, and Hillary, Bill’s wife
Arrayed themselves against one another on the well-trod field
For the final confrontation, the war’s climax. From CNN to Fox to NBC
Terrible war cries, echoing from network to network through the airwaves
Of emails and collusion, of felonies and misdemeanors, of Democrats
The party of Roosevelt, the New Deal’s author, and Kennedy,
And Republicans, bearing the mantle of Lincoln, freer of slaves
Inheritors all of the country’s great gifts storming against one another,
Raging without control, rampaging from one talk show to the next.
Sound bite after terrible sound bite, inflicting deep wounds,
Heavy blows, yet none gave in, never flinching, returning to the fight.
Gingrich, the Salamander, accusing, finger-waving, “Hillary
And the Democrats, they had a man cruelly murdered,
Yes!” to Hannity’s shocked-shocked fans, “for leaking the emails!”
Lunging back into the fray, “The Trump stiffed his workers!
Never paid them for all their travails!” cried the furious Dems.
“Cry havoc!” Ares’ words pierced the skies, “let loose the memes of war!”

Yet on that day, that Monday, while hot battle-lust gripped the Nation,
While the minions of Ares, Fear and Anger and Hypocrisy,
Raced from coast to coast, whipped up hatred,
From red Alabama and Kentucky to blue Washington and Mass,
In Brooklyn, in an office all was still. There cool analysis
Not hot emotion reigned.
Not hot emotion reigned. And meek Mook muttered a sweet sigh of relief,
For the polls, the numbers, still showed the Woman of Wellesley
With a slight lead. Nate at Five Thirty Eight and CBS both agreed
A new President Clinton would occupy Sixteen Hundred in a few weeks,
And, as Robbie knew, numbers don’t lie, numbers are infallible,
Pristine, perfect, the percentages as holy, as trusted as scripture
All was well, but barely. Scrolling through the glistening spreadsheets,
Paging down, seeing trusty vlookup’s and hlookup’s well calc’d
The tables a-pivoting, conditional formulas a-coloring
The model! So pure! He allowed himself a moment to gloat,
To think! Another ad here, in this precinct, margin goes up by half a percent,
Or there, in that one, two percent, the numbers told no lies!
Now-disgraced Donna, she’d begged for more troops, boots on the ground,
But that would have cost, and who needed to spend, when
The truth was to be found, reality molded, in Excel!
And how could he accede to her, who humiliated Hillary,
By accepting the debate questions – no way!
Pushing his hornrims back up his well-sculpted nose,
Leaning back, for a moment of well-earned repose,
He allowed himself to dream: Director of OMB, running the budget?
Or perhaps guarding all the little people at the CFPB,
Treasury’s boss, even? Or perhaps – just perhaps – Hillary’s hero
Would ascend to Chief of Staff, a square office next to the Oval.
Blissfully his tired eyes closed.

Elsewhere in chilly Manhattan, in Washington Park
Material Madonna appeared in the mists, crooning away
Bay City’s pride, Tony’s daughter, a chanson for Hillary.

But much farther away, in onion-domed Moscow,
Someone else counted votes. Thin-haired Putin, once of the KGB,
Sat with his generals and his spies and mischief-makers.
The day before, so glorious, a Day of Military Honor,
Celebrating the October Revolution, well, once,
No more Soviets now, but a great parade down the Square of Red
Nonetheless, as patriotic as any witnessed by Stalin or Lenin!
And Putin and the others, high up on the Kremlin wall,
Looked down upon the tanks and the troops and the missiles,
Wondering, if, just maybe, the days of Slavic glory might return
For they too had spreadsheets and number-filled databases
They too, infinitely detailed models of the American populace
And they too, their predictions. It was all there,
They’d done it! Driven an axe of discord through the American skull
Split their adversary in two, one side loathing the other,
Neither even considering the Slavic source.
Their calculations, driven by their cause, their effect
Presented a different result than Mook’s. Putin, the great tactician,
The submariner’s son, slowly nodded in satisfaction,
And on his many-medaled minions evil grins appeared.
The trio spoke, again as one, “Most honored Chairman,
Lord of the Slavs and Master of All the Russias, all of them,
The bright light of ever-shifting victory shines upon us
Cold war turned cyber, triumph belongs to the descendants of Rus,
Children of Prince Igor, ancient Lord of Novgorod,
Of the valiant knights Ilya Muromets and Alyosha Popovich!
We, their children’s children, we restore our lost glory!”
But clever Putin, man of many devices, spoke not,
Waiting, waiting, for the final tally, the very last one,
The only one that truly counted.
The only one that truly counted. And in golden Trump Tower,
Gleaming in the cold winter’s sun, surrounded by barriers
They waited too, waiting the glowing screens around them
Only the privileged few, the inner circle of the Trump,
Could enter its hallowed doors. And high above, where the air is thin
Above the fog and the clouds, close, some said, to the angels,
The Trump, in his marble-floored penthouse, held court.
From his Louis the Fourteenth or Seventeenth or whatever chair,
The Capacious One, builder of casinos to milk the poor
And condos to suck from the rich, an equal opportunity leech,
Surveyed his warriors, their ranks thinner now,
Smooth-talking Manafort, Putin’s pal and Yanukovich’s,
Gone, his career torpedoed by some squealers at CIA,
Who’d said that lobbyist might soon be headed for the slammer,
And that would look bad.
And that would look bad. Gone too was fat Chris Christie,
Mouse-faced Kushner couldn’t stand the corpulent New Jerseyman,
For – and the Trump hadn’t known – Christie had once served
As the US AG for the SDNY, and had granted white-faced Jared’s dad
Charles a fourteen-month vacation in federal prison, in steamy
Alabama. How Jared hated him for that!
Alabama. How Jared hated him for that! Not that Christie was blameless,
For he had his own scandal; so what? did he protest,
So what that a few lanes from Fort Lee to the Big Apple
Were suddenly closed? So what? So what that the traffic
Backed up for a week, angry drivers trapped for days in their cars
Not his fault, no! So what if the mayor of Fort Lee was a Democrat?
Who didn’t like Christie? So what? the governor wanted to know.
Some clerk somewhere, a mixup, nothing to see here.
But the rat-like reporters and filthy federales smelled retribution,
And the US AG for the DNJ thought so too, furrowed his brows
Did throw a few bureaucrats in jail, well, just on general principles,
But now he was gunning for Christie, the Big Fish of NJ.
And so Governor Grouper left the service of the Orange One.
Lewandowski: gone; Stone: nope; Rick Gates; MIA; Caputo: outathere.

But wavy-haired Bannon still attended the Trump,
As did ever-faithful Kellyanne, whose love never faltered,
And lovely Ivanka, and of course mousey little Jared as well.
Flynn too, and Omarosa, from the TV show, and little Jeff Sessions,
Fawning over the Trump, the contractor-king.
Cat-eyed Melania was there, she’d stayed home for most of it.

“Oh Daddy,” breathed sultry Ivanka, blonde tresses falling upon her shoulders
Well-conditioned, well-curled, formed with a pearl-handled brush
He’d bought it for her, in more innocent times, used by Tsarinas.
“Dear Daddy, with my sparkling blue eyes, perfectly round, no contacts,
I can see, beloved pater familias, holder of my long-awaited inheritance,
That you are tired, exhausted even, by the travails of the past weeks.
How they have attacked you, battered you, in every way, in every state,
Yet proudly you hold yourself, returning every blow with another,
No punch unreturned, until the Wicked Woman falls in bitter defeat, as she will
On the morrow!” The Trump, his very self, his heart gladdened by her words
Sat straighter, his slumping, loose cheeks stretched into a thin smile,
Enjoying her sweet soliloquy, and – for a moment! – forbidden thoughts
Of her perfect body – no! – entered his mind – forbidden! – then banished
But only for a time, he knew, they always returned, usually at night.
And icy-eyed Melania, watching it all, read his tortured thoughts, and frowned
As Jealousy, wrecker of homes, and Disgust, entered her Slovenian mind.

They stood, facing one another, Trump to Trump, Ivanka’s soft hand
Stroking his drooping visage. “No, my darling,” spoke the Trump,
“I fear with the rise of the orange sun, so like my own fierce mane,
Will come our loss, so all the polls have decreed.”

Will come our loss, so all the polls have decreed.” “No, Daddy,”
She cried, laying her blonde tresses upon her father’s tailored suit jacket,
Pinstriped, with a designer diamond-encrusted American flag pin,
Far better than Hillary’s, couldn’t afford it, or even blessed Obama’s.
“Be of good cheer, all of you,” the Trump roused his sagging troop,
“For tomorrow, we return to the life we left, the life we loved,
Unexamined, unwatched, unreported, uninvestigated,
We’ll fly away, yes away! To Jeffrey Epstein’s in the Virgins, aptly named,
Party with his young ones, then off to the Doral, or Waikiki, or
Vancouver or Vegas, play a round of golf in Scotland!”
At this they all brightened, recalling fond memories of times of yore,
Perhaps to return! “Better than government service, right?”
The Trump, finger on the pulse, he knew how to pump up his team!

As when mighty Poseidon, lord of oceans, stirs in the wine-dark sea
Swelling a mountain-like wave, deep, strong, irresistible,
So the voice of Bannon, sonorous in its profundity
Rose, unstoppable and commanding, from a corner of the great marble hall.
“No,” began the wavy-haired warrior, Breitbart’s old boss,
“Ye with flaccid faith, which needs to be stiff, and firm, unyielding,
Like mine,” and at this Kellyanne and Ivanka shuddered.
He bowed, deeply before his lord, his master, the Trump,
Saying, “Tomorrow shall see a great victory!
One which will ring down through the generations,
For a thousand years they will sing of our triumph!
Mighty heroes! Stalwart lads and lasses! Stand your ground!
Fear not! Fret not! Take heart! History’s own hall, gabled, majestic
With heavy steps you shall enter, O my lord, Sovereign of Manhattan.
In just a day’s time, for as your mighty progenitor the divine sun
Descends tomorrow, you, dear master, decreed by Fate,
Spinner of the threads of our lives, Destiny herself,
You shall assume the reins, smite the liberals, and for all time
Hereafter to the Clintons it will be said, ‘Nevermore!’”
And in the Trump’s bleary, bloodshot eyes loving tears appeared,
His gratitude toward his loyal lieutenant swelled.
Fat hand took fat hand, and the two comrades embraced.

Seeing the Trump’s fatigue, how it sapped his strength,
Bannon took pity, “Go now, O Trump of Trumps, marshal of men,
Son of Fred, O Trumpiest, to your gold-encrusted bed,
Take your repose, sleep, let Dream come from on high,
To entertain you; we, your loyal ones, we will watch
Trusted Fox, no where else, for the latest news.”

Hearing Bannon’s wise words, the Trump nodded,
And went to bed. Alone, for Melania, queen of skin care,
Had her doubts about him.
Had her doubts about him. After brushing and flossing, twice,
In silken boxers the Trump knelt before his four-poster,
Beseeched the gods on high with his moving prayer,

Now I lay my ass to sleep, I pray the gods my foes should weep.
Every one, I’ll pay them back, into pieces them I’ll hack.
My mighty red ‘shroom well in my hand, never touching my wedding band,
Rise high and hard, for hot relief, one quick one before off to sleep.

Screw Hillary and Tim and the chubbo Chris, Paul and Bernie, please don’t miss
To hell with Joe, Barack and the rest, swat them down like little pests.

I pray the morning fart be sweet, rising from my golden seat
My millions my billions pray make them grow,
HMy millions my billions pray make them grow, dad’s very good fortune don’t let me blow.

Thus he beseeched the mighty gods on high, the far-off Olympians
And they heard his prayer, and from the cloudy peaks
The virgin Artemis conjured a Dream, and with a puff, to NYC it flew.

In a wingèd craft he flew, made of glass, transparent, so all could see
He, alone, with the pretty Ivanka, enjoying her birdlike laughter,
How she admired him! A giant among men! And below, across the lands,
In villages and hamlets, from trailer parks to campgrounds,
From Amarillo, where hundreds toil packing meat, and nuclear bombs,
to Tupelo, birthplace of Elvis, revered lord of the hips,
From flat Wichita in Kansas, Cessna’s home,
To Wheeling, along the blue-flowing Ohio River
Stout little people stood, waved, cheered for the Trump,
His heart swelled, he waved back, so good to be me,
And not you, he said it out loud, they still clapped,
How handsome, how beautiful a product of our two-legged race
They sang, in chorus, first the women, then the men too.
Now … now the Trumpian pair were naked in the forest, innocent,
As when the earth first welcomed humans to her lands,
Just he and her.

Cavorting amongst the trees, he chasing her, laughing, teasing
He the pursuer; he followed her scent, was it Chanel?
His eyes rested upon a great eagle circling above, patiently
Then, slowly, the mighty avian transformed, a vulture now —
But then her soft arms wrapped around him from behind,
Her lithe body pressed against him … for a moment … so warm … then
No! he cried, pushed her away, forbidden,
Thrust her from him! Heartbroken by his rejection,
Cold tears gushing from her well-mascara’d eyes, off she ran
Far away into the wood, he could no longer see her.
Worried now, must find her, Daddy still loves you,
He scrambled through the brush, came upon a small pond
Its still waters serene, he peered in, saw his own face,
And Love swept through him, eternal, everlasting Love,
That face! His face! He reached out, trying to grasp,
But felt another.
But felt another. “Wake up,” Bannon’s voice
Interrupted his sweet reverie.
Interrupted his sweet reverie. “You’ve won.”