March 14, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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David Lohrey




We Are the World, Not You



Our professors celebrate the death of American citizens.

Our professors hope to see our enemies win.

Our police are shot point-blank by social-justice warriors

seeking the resurrection of slavery, only this time of whites.

Dreams of integration and harmony are dead. Those who suffer

injustice are inconsolable. In their desolation, they seek

retribution. The dreams of Martin Luther King and Mandela are

forgotten. Their celebrations of the human spirit slighted and belittled.


The aggrieved openly plot the downfall of mankind. Vengeance is sought.

They yearn not to cultivate but to destroy. They hunger after death;

they thirst for blood: heads on pikes, political assassinations, mass killings,

hopes of quick getaways and eternal glory – all filmed and set to music.


The political strategists of the American left are guided by Marvel comic books.

They’ve glanced at the Bible and found it wanting. They’ve heard of the Koran,

but find submission beneath them. Theirs is to be a revolution without a book.

They’ll take their cue from Instagram. Their idea of action is public defecation.

Once in charge, the entire nation will be eating dog biscuits.


These cretins, washed-up and angry, have never worked a day in their lives.

They live in easy street at the end of the block; it’s the brown stucco

with a black picket fence. They get their kicks out of slapping

people around. They carry pepper-spray and would love to wield Tasers.

Their idea of public discourse is to call their opponents fascists. They themselves

are in training to be armed guards. This is all they would be good at:

aiming rifles at helpless people behind barbed wire or chain-link fence.

Sexual perverts, these types look forward to manhandling women and

humiliating them. They can’t wait to see their enemies on their knees.

They have the makings of true sadists. They worship Ho, Che Guevara, and Mao.


At this very moment, they are practicing spitting and shouting at the top of their

lungs. They drink too much, they shave their crotches, and they don’t bathe.

Drug-users and couch potatoes, they fantasize living in McMansions of the sort

owned by the NFL. They call themselves American progressives!

They dress in black. They’re out clubbing people and throwing acid.

Keep your doors locked. Once they get in, all bets are off.

Remember this: they are out to improve the world and you are standing in their way.

Their first wish is to see you dead. Their victory will be our end.





Literary Property



One doesn’t think of poets as money managers.

It must be nice to see one’s work issued by the government.

You have to give her credit for it, she made an industry

out of having had a hard time of it, even if today she lunches

with the likes of Oprah and Jessica Mitford.


Had there been enough good parts, she could have made

a fine actress. She would have made a powerful Josie Hogan,

a haunting wife to Macbeth, or, better yet, Hamlet’s dear mother.

Instead, she became a bestselling poet.


Something about her reminds me of a circus, a tented

carnival with a snake-man called Scaly and a three-breasted

lady. Step right up and hear her tale of unparalleled woe.

Avoid the door on the right, or you might get her confused

with the tattooed midget in yellow tights and his aqua tunic.


Tell the tale of your miserable past: how

you were beaten and mistreated, and how

you experienced unwanted advances. Why not

explain once again what it was like to have to eat

barbecued bologna on Christmas morning?

Now there’s human suffering.


The royalties mount beyond anyone’s count.

Rake it in while it lasts. There’s the 5-bedroom townhouse

in a fashionable part of Harlem, the mansion down

in swampy Carolina, a wee property along the Hudson

and, rumor has it, a pied-á-terre in a posh section of Paris.


The newest new book is just coming out in a new

waterproof edition. The text, it is said, glows in the dark,

so it can be read underwater, or you can get one that floats.

It is scheduled to appear later this month in coordination

with her new show, Big Woe, the new Broadway Musical.


Have your say, as they say, but be sure to count

your earnings. Some might say it is too much to dare.

When you wear earrings and things from Tiffany’s,

it gets harder and harder to ask for sympathy.

You might wind up like some of your devoted readers,

much too rich to notice a little girl in need of affection.





Call to Arms



A belief in God has been destroyed.

God is so 15 minutes ago, no longer 24/7.

The belief has been transferred to things.

People believe in #1.


One could never argue with true believers.

They claimed belief was sacred.

Today they believe in nothing but themselves.

Try arguing with them now.


The cliché is always used to dismiss the Other.

The retort kills. Try arguing with that.

Try getting one of them to change his mind.

The person in doubt is destroyed by the ones who know.


It’s all about whatever except when the subject comes to them.

Quite suddenly, one doesn’t hear about “been there, done that.”

They find themselves endlessly fascinating.

They believe in Vogue.


They know better, all right.

They even know what’s good for you.

They’d take your milk away; they’d kick you into the gutter,

not because they hate you, but because they know better.


The code defies the call for improvement.

They are puritans, all right, but without a theology.

What you see is what you get.

They take up now and drop the rest.


In the cause of been there, done that,

your life is sacrificed, and so goes the world.

They’d do it for your own good.

You better believe it. I do.








Yes, that was me you heard.

I often sing to myself. I talk

to myself, too. I work up little

talks on the principles of

Horace. I practice my

acceptance speeches. I exhort

the troops. I declare myself

available to the people.

I resign. I throw in the towel.

I declare war. I accept prizes.


Cicero, from my point of view,

was the man. His Greek predecessor,

Demosthenes, doesn’t hold a candle.

Cicero and those other Romans,

including the historians Sallust and

Tacitus, knew a thing or two. One

thing clear to them but not to him

was the importance of dangerous women.

This was what made the Romans scary.


We know it’s true; the Greeks were naïve.

Treachery and intrigue ruled the roost –

what fun! Juicy parts for the likes

of Glenn Close and Sharon Stone.

Poisoned baths and whipped backsides,

Olé. Nice, the gals kept it true.

The orators were putting their lives

on the line for a cause. Public

pronouncements could be caustic.


Talk about the deplorables. That’s nothing!

There were once verbal assassination plots.

There were epic put-downs: ridicule and denunciations.

Just read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

He loved the Romans. Lincoln, too.

In America today, people obsess over the right

to bear arms; they want to carry concealed

weapons. Of greater power is one’s tongue.

A golden voice or a hidden pistol? We’d prefer,

it seems, to put a cap in our opponent’s ass. We’ll

know America is back when people once again

value the power of words and the right to speak.





Presidential Surveys



How did tall and elegant become criteria for political power?

Ever since the likes of William Howard Taft and Grover Cleveland,

why has it been necessary for the President to have the profile of John F. Kennedy?

It is time for the Wall Street Journal to take a look.


Presidents seem to need the looks of a matinee idol to be elected to office;

Bunny Mellon gave millions to John Edwards

because of his kisser. Funny Bunny barely flinched

when pretty boy fizzled. Women, evidently, once had fantasies

of going to bed with Clinton; some with Hillary.


Only Wilt Chamberlain had the chance to bed as many

women as President Obama. How is it we’ve come to desire

a President with a magnificent body over one with a great mind?

Finding the answer to this might be a job for the Bill &

Melinda Gates Foundation.


Is it possible that the President’s performance in bed

is rated higher than an ability to balance the books?

The President of the United States as nothing more than

a piece of meat? Surely the Rand Corporation should get

to the bottom of this.


It can’t be true that it has come to this.

Clinton, Reagan, and Obama: three tall men

who made the ladies swoon.

One wonders what gay men might think.

Do they want to sleep with the President, too?

Maybe the Ford Foundation could conduct a survey.


Why not strip them and put them in a center-fold?

Instead of voting hope and change, we’ll celebrate

Presidential chests and shoulders. Men and women once clambered

to shake a President’s hand; now they dream of spending the night

in the Lincoln bedroom. Or would the fantasy be to fuck him?


Has the US President become nothing more than a porn star?

If so, how in the world did it come to this? America needs

to take a poll, conduct a survey of our proclivities.

Did French women want to sleep with Charles de Gaulle?

Our once great Republic is beginning to rupture, resembling

something once familiar to the likes of Tacitus and the Roman Empire.

Is it time to establish a blue-ribbon committee to ask the American

people about their depravity?






David Lohrey

David Lohrey is from Memphis, and now lives in Tokyo. He graduated from UC Berkeley. Internationally, his poetry can be found in Otoliths, Stony Thursday Anthology, Sentinel Quarterly, and Buckshot Magazine. In the US, recent poems have appeared in Poetry Circle, FRiGG, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Crack the Spine, Dodging the Rain, Literally Stories, and The Broke Bohemian. David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th century literature, was published last year, while his first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in August. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective. 

Editor review


  1. CHRISTOPHER R COVEY March 18, at 04:31

    My sentiments exactly! Loved the witty comments about free speech in 'Pronouncements'. We place less value on freedom of speech every day in our society.Too much self censorship and fear of speaking our minds.

  2. samantha lucero March 15, at 18:16

    I could read David’s work over and over, and still find something new. Such a voice.


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