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Syndic Literary Journal

We All Must Wear A Lovely Crown of Fish Heads


Francis Poole

Though the differences
were often wide and the selves
real enough to cast a shadow,
still we got along.
There was no other choice.
Because we share this–
whatever this is.
By we I mean you and me
together until the end.

We heard it many times
as the cracks grew wider.

What would prevent a
total takeover if the right
citizens agreed?
If the right armed citizens
I’m surprised it has taken
this long.
As in “Send in the Clowns.”
Now it’s “Send in the Crowns.”
Look around,
maybe they’re here.

Don’t ignore the lessons
of the dying and the dead.

No time now to be afraid.
beneficial arrangements
have been made.

Your End of Life instructions
have been tweaked a bit.
For regretfully
you have been weaponized
by a virus descended
from a bat.
You and the bat now have
something in common
besides fangs.
You are both lethal organisms.

But stay calm. Don’t worry.
We will always over sedate.
And please don’t ask to resuscitate.
This is just another stress test
on the art of keeping your cool.

I know people everywhere
are having a rough time.
The news is not good
and a billion grapevines
can’t be wrong.

What’s that sound
growing louder?
It sounds like a thick, blunt fist
pounding on a table.
Trump, Trump, Trump.
It’s like Russian Army boots
marching in Red Square.
Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump.
The sound of a wooden club
striking mud.
Then the Orifice-in-Chief speaks.
There’s only one case.
It’s just like the flu.
It will work out well.
It’s going to be just fine.
We have it totally
under control.

March 6, 2020:

Anybody right now and yesterday
that needs a test gets a test.
They’re there.
They have the tests
and the tests are beautiful.
The tests are all perfect like the letter
was perfect, the transcript was perfect.
And you know I like this stuff.
My uncle was at MIT.
He taught at MIT.

Like for a record number of years.
He was a great super-genius.
Dr. John Trump.
I like this stuff. I really get it.
People are surprised that I understand it.
Every one of these doctors said,
How do you know so much about this?
Maybe I have a natural ability.
Maybe I should have done that
rather than run for president.
I understand that whole world.
I love that world. I really do.

To all you nasty governors:
If you want more ventilators
you better play nice.
Looks like by April, you know,
in theory…it miraculously goes away.

March 26, 2020:

On reopening the country by Easter
Trump said he offered the holiday
as a deadline because,
Easter’s a very special day for me.

Wouldn’t it be great to have
all the churches full?
You’ll have packed churches
all over our country …
I think it’ll be a beautiful time.

April 20, 2020: 40,000 Americans dead.

Now we fondly remember
when there was only one death.
A him or a her I can’t recall.
The news just keeps erasing itself
wall to wall.

Nothing is permitted. Everything is true.
Go back, he said.
Go back where you came from.
You are not needed.

The man who delivers our groceries

is from Nigeria.
His name is Alpha.
I see him through the window
carrying white plastic bags
of bread, eggs and milk.
His mask is like a smile to me.
How many lives has he saved?
I yell through the glass, “Thank You”
and he waves back.

Why trade a known for an unknown?
But it happens all the time.
And you will and they will and I will
and we will.
Travel travel travel never stopping
until the Moving Finger writes
and having writ moves on.
But remember
when you’re an American vlogger
and too far from home
and the quarantine comes down
the natives won’t want you around
to contaminate their town.
Better call your embassy
and leave the camper-van behind.
Oh you don’t have dual
American-Canadian citizenship?
Bummer. The border is closed
to non-Canadians indefinitely.

What can anyone really do
now that it’s here?
And why go anywhere
at all anymore
even if you could?

And the demented choirs will sing
as the cruise ships are loaded
for the journey back
to where you first appeared
just a tiny speck on a faraway coast
wearing a lovely crown of fish heads.
Waiting for the Corona Princess
to take you to parts unknown.

But over here in Dis-united States
many believe that the Blood,
capital B, lipstick shiny crimson
and dripping, is the solution.

A reporter outside a church
filled with worshipers defying
science and common sense
asks a woman who is leaving
after the service:
“Aren’t you concerned you can
infect other people inside?”
No. I’m covered in Jesus’ blood!
They could get me sick
but I’m not.
I’m covered in Jesus’ blood!

Meanwhile Trump was having nightmares
about being covered in
Megyn Kelly’s blood,
shrieking to anyone who would listen:
You can see there was blood coming out
of her eyes, blood coming out of
her wherever.

Let’s see where “wherever” might be.
Her blood-streaked eyes, already mentioned.
Her nose? Not pretty. Too violent.
How about her anus?
Too painful?
Her “wherever” must be, of course,
the last place he’d look. Her cunt.
But he’s afraid to say
her Ruddy Bloody Cunt
lest Medusa-Kelly
pulls out her tampon
and flings it in Trump’s face
turning his tongue to stone.

And if Trump said,
“I want to wear a crown
and be worshipped
like a King or a Mullah
or a beautiful Messiah.”
and tweeted, “I am perfect
and divine. There is no one
greater in heaven or on earth.
I give you my beautiful, perfect
MAGA Sharia-Corona law.
Though the waters are
yellow and cloudy, it’s going to disappear.
One day, it’s like a miracle,
it will disappear.”

What then?
Would his worshippers say,
“Yes, God is great.
But Trump was sent by God
to save America
from the fake pandemic.
Live free and die!
It’s just that simple.”

Would they wear
American flag warpaint
on their faces, brandish their
bumpstock equipped assault rifles
and terrorize the non-believers
as blasphemers?
Would they round them up
and force them to work
in meat packing plants
and go suicide shopping
while Trump exclaims,
I’ve seen the people,
I’ve seen interviews with the people,
they’re great people?

April 30, 2020: 55,225 Americans dead.

Hundreds of protesters,
thick, chesty white men mostly,
some armed with pistols, assault rifles,
ammo clips, and bullet proof vests
stormed the Michigan State Capital
demanding the Corona Virus
stay-at-home order be ended
though it would mean more infections
and more deaths.
Some carried Trump signs.
Some waved Confederate flags.
One sign read Arbeit Macht Frei,
the Nazi slogan placed above

the entrance to the Auschwitz
concentration/death camp.
Others declaimed,
Liberty and freedom above
safety and security.
My freedom doesn’t end
where your fear begins.
Another sign shouted,
This was the American Patriot Rally.

May 1, 2020:

In the Midwest
a security guard at a Family Dollar
was shot in the head and killed
after turning a customer away
who tried to enter the store
without wearing a face mask.

Come you sinners, gather ’round Hallelujah, Hallelujah All you winners I have found.*

May 1, 2020: 66,600 Americans dead.

Pack up your troubles and just get happy Ya better chase all your cares away Sing Hallelujah, c’mon get happy Get ready for election day
The sun is shinin’, c’mon get happy Trump is waiting to take your hand Shout Hallelujah, c’mon get happy We’re goin’ to the Promised Land*
Scratched on a cell wall
in Cairo’s notorious Scorpion Prison
is a Christian prayer in Arabic
from the Book of Hours.
God, come to my assistance;
Lord, make haste to help me.

From the headlines:
Indian Hindus took a Muslim

sick with Coronavirus to a Hindu Temple
and forced him to renounce Islam
before they would take him
to a hospital.

A minister in the South held a service
before a packed congregation
and preached that God would never
allow the Corona Virus in his church.
Less than two weeks later
four members of his family were infected
and he was dead.

When religion reigns
it covers the earth
in a great flood.
That was what the Book of Noah
was saying.
Religion covered the world
like a flood
and laid it to waste.
That’s what’s happening today.
And there’s nothing
anybody can do about it.

–Francis Poole May 13, 2020
83,953 Americans dead

*After Get Happy
lyrics by Ted Koehler, Harold Arlen


Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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