December 22, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

WFP photo



David Lohrey




Known Unknown



The age of Trump and I don’t mean seventy.

I’m speaking of our time, our sad era, and I don’t mean aura,

although they say it’s black, a dark presence.


Democracies don’t survive men who don’t need money.

What’s an oligarch, after all, but a democrat with dough?

Boo hoo. The country’s going down the drain.


People are starving for the truth.

Trump talked trash for 6 months but now promises to deliver.

Let’s call him the garbage man with no pick-up.


He dumps it all directly on your lawn, front and back.

Good thing your flag is flying at half-mast.

Someone shot a cop last night and the killer’s on the loose.


Trump towers over the rest of us. He went to Wharton.

He and his kids have MBA degrees. They can use a calculator.

Calculation is one skill he’ll need. I for one recommend “The Prince.”


Why would a successful businessman want his sons in trade?

Our business class produces clerks and bondsmen only; if not from the rich,

where are our artists to come from; who else can afford New York rents?


John Adams our Founding Father wanted his kids to write poetry.

I urge Trump to call the kids together. If not writers, then anthropologists.

Someone in this country has to study ancient languages.


When the bombing starts his artistic son can recommend that we not bomb

ancient capitals like Kyoto and Helsinki. An artistic education might come in handy.

With presidents this low, we depend on children to write their epithets.









Say hello, Guido.

Why the hell not?

Even he deserves a kind word.

Even Guido rates a greeting.

Hello, Guido. Calm the fuck down.


This Guido is an American icon.

He’s my uncle. He’s my father.

I have a brother named Guido, too.

Here’s the thing: Guido’s a thug.

Guido spends his days thinking up bad things to do.


Security guards stealing from banks.

Clerks forgetting to ring customer up.

Bartenders giving away drinks.

Police robbing and raping prostitutes.

Presidents selling arms to terrorists.


Say hello to Guido, who breaks necks

for a living. His talent is stabbing people

in the back and twisting the knife.

He just bought a house on West Clover Drive.

His son wants a tricycle for his 3rd birthday.


If you don’t know who Guido is,

I’d say you are a lucky man.

You can wear the magic jacket and

distribute coffee beans from your car.

You can sleep at night with your sister.


You’ll say be nice because Guido is gay.

You’ll say remember that Guido is mentally ill.

You’ll say Guido deserves a second chance.

I say Guido should be taken out and whipped.

Somebody out to tie him up and drag him to the square.


Guido and his gang cause havoc everywhere

they go. Crime is not a misunderstanding.

Guido is not our friend. He is not your brother

nor your sister. Lunatics don’t deserve mercy. Save

it for the less fortunate; give to the March of Dimes.


You and me are just little ants trying to make a living.

Nobody asks us our opinion; nobody asks us to the mic.

How do we know what’s going on?

We don’t deserve to be stepped on.

Monsters do.





Preaching Money



The despairing come together. In America,

Christians celebrate wealth. A theology of good

fortune, a belief system based on bank accounts.

Let them be. Why shouldn’t the rich be happy?

That’s my idea. Let the poor sink; let them

experience desolation. Leave misery to the poor.


The churches can charge admission.

Let them demand entrance fees: VIP discounts.

The wealthy pay nothing; that would be fair.

I say bravo when I look at myself in the mirror.

You have to have big bucks to worship

at the church of eternal happiness.


Why not live like there’s no tomorrow?

Then I think: fuck you. I did it all myself. Why

be nice? The poor don’t have what it takes; they

lack guts. We’re the opposite. We are not

resentful; we’re grateful. Our hearts are bursting.

We’re set for life. I’m thankful, God. Thank you.


God doesn’t believe in sharing; this is a religion of hoarders.

Our parish consists of the greedy, deliberately.

Fuck the needy. They’re losers. They’re going to hell,

which is where they belong. We’ll give them financial

assistance to get there faster; they practice affirmative action.

Hell is an equal opportunity provider. Praise the Lord.






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. 

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