Poem by Luis Lázaro Tijerina


 

Der Drumpt’s Wall

I.

Heil Hitler-style, my American Faux Fuhrer…
You fading blood-star,
derivative Mussolini Poster Boy —
How shall I pose you for posterity?

An updated farce for Hadrian’s Wall—
Vallum Aellum— Jackboot, plastic pedestal,
you consummate stonewaller.
Your static garrisons, concentration camps and NATO ports,
a panorama of perfectly correct fascist salutes
from the banks of the Rio Grande
to the River Tyne.

While the American Barbarian wants a Wall
to keep everyone in except union workers,
artists, lovers, people of various conquered lands,
All the castouts, Palestinians, Muslims, Hispanics, Latinos
and Blacks that defy his way—
Aloof corporate killer.
In Roman garb – suit and tie – he swaggers on stage,
Hollywood style…
The Wall builder’s a mirror of who they are –
Smug Americans pandering to their faux emperor,
Debris floating in the Tiber: Caligula fans—
They, who will vaporize in a nuclear blast,
whimpering about the white, mushroom light,
As the capital burns, burning, burning.

What Romanticism will they convey about us,
blather and prattle about the erstwhile county we claimed?
Corinthian pillars, the Greek experience, slavish praise
for ‘Democracy’ we touted to the world,
Senate, Congress, a body of their seduction bought
or sold, their endless wars a bloody sedition,

We who lived were nothing
but paralyzed laboratory specimens,
motionless rats, waiting to be swallowed
by the sluggish cat
with his purring traps,
mouth asnarl in this fetid kingdom.
Walls, Walls, Walls, we lived amid these Walls,
burying each other alive in Walls.

II.

In springtime the Wall was built,
the people brought flowers,
songs for the man with hair spun from a dead animal.
Prophets from Wall Street came
grasping their horoscopes.

I, a subtle observer among the crowd, coughed a bit,
smile surreptitiously, and walk away.
We who never knew peace,
Syria, Egypt with its dead queens, burning in the night wind…
How could I cry, when you, citizen, could not?
Prisoners marching in broken rows, shuffling to the camps.
No one speaks, no one speaks.

Summer comes with its unbearable heat.
We whine unquenchably for water,
cure and comfort in our despair.
Then autumn lingers, cascading leaves drop
like lifeless bodies upon a Wall.

Nuclear winter after the firestorms,
the Wall speaks sermons in concrete amid firestorm-soot,
Smoke and gasses swirl in the snow,
We choke on the spittle of our vanity
and conceit.

Are we aware our lover died near the Wall?
The clash of winds, we hear them sing with nostalgia
where the Wall has cracked.

III.

Oh Polybius, ghostly old historian, you walk among us,
witnessing sacked Carthage within our Walls,
wrapped in hooded night.
What wise words might you convey?
Historian of the ancient school,
I can hear your dictates about factual inquiry,
vindictive bones, the Wall built in fantasy or reality
along the border oozing with dew, and bodily fluids,
this Wall, our ruin.

American cities and small towns praise their faux Fuhrer, master of fake news, raising their voices in song.
The Americans who gathered at the voting polls,
would do it again for their balconied god,
fattening up on the swill, rants and cheers
from the streets while television screens flicker and glare
in the rapidly dimming sunlight.
And yet, I hear another song …
Dans le Vermont
je vois des faucons volent dans les forêts,
où il n’y a pas de mur.

A Wall which was once, and is, speech,
Walls to kill us in our dreams at night,
Walls to hover along the gullies with such
transcendent beauty in Spain
and Italy, where multitudes of people live in peace,
or who lived in peace for centuries.

That Wall –war– broken upon the ground of liberty,
what we want,
bread, land and civil peace.

That bone-chilling cold winter evening,
where the solitary man walks
along Hadrian’s Wall thinking of his lover,
before she died,
before he told her he loved her
near that Wall.

 

Artwork © Matt Morris

 

Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.

Matt Morris is a fine artist and illustrator working in Vermont. He received his BFA in Illustration from the Ringling College of Art & Design, and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts. His fine art has been commissioned from around the world, and his illustrations have been found in numerous American magazines and newspapers.

 

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