The Great Exalted Orange One “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” - “The Second Coming,” W.B. Yeats Bozo the Clown and Alfred E. Newman, a preening buffoon, he hides in his hairdo. Snake-oil salesman, flam-flam man, he punishes those we believe have wounded us. A Robin Hood who steals from everyone, convincing all his disease is both blessing and a hoax. He is swampy with fraud, casting blame across the land like manna. He puckers his lips, curls tiny fingers round our delusions. We pledge alliance to the greatest ego of all egos. He has plopped his ample ass on our couch. The Great Orange One has come to leer, to grab our nasty women by their nether parts, to fondle our sacred truths. Slant-eyed, he pushes our buttons. A perverse boy scout, he proclaims his innocence. We are clay on his wheel of spin, our gullibility his merit badge. We sway in the sweep of his Machiavellian blather, his bombastic and poisonous wind. He coils, awaiting his moment. Democracy trembles in a distant corner of the Republic. Mark DeFoe, now retired, is a former chair of the English Department at Wesleyan. His work has appeared widely in chapbooks, anthologies, and textbooks in the U.S., Canada, and abroad, and in Poetry, The Paris Review, Denver Quarterly, The Yale Review, Reed, The Sewanee Review, The Anthology of Appalachian Writers, and many others.
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