Artwork © DL Polonsky

A (Fourth) Triptych of Poems
in the Manner of Tom Jenks’ “Spruce”
During the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic

“The Trump Administration Hangs Rotten on the Vine”

a mutant strain of shy Trumpers
a biological hazard by the eighteenth hole
aerosol-generating behaviours at Four Seasons Total Landscaping

the rolling daily average of the Coronapocalypse
the Trump administration hangs rotten on the vine
with obese flailing turtles and faithless electors

with COVID babies packed in isopropyl alcohol
in California they are vacuuming forests
and deep cleaning the swamp of its virulent tears

“The Trump Administration has Windmill Noise Cancer”

the forty-fifth president and his basket of maggots
anointing the shoulders of the Lord of the Flies
the goats and the elephants dog-whistle the rat lickers

the ghost of Hugo Chavez is stealing the election
the Trump administration has windmill noise cancer
individual one decompensates by the vaccine stacks

the murder hornets are awarded the Medal of Freedom
radical uncertainty is in the news crawl
tectonic fault lines fissure with grief

“The Berejiklian Government Hoist by its own Petard”

a prime minister stumbles through Waikiki sands
maintaining hand hygiene with the jewel-encrusted ewer
a royal commission into the physical distancing of Pontius Pilate

an incubation period at the Sneaky Grind Café
the Berejiklian government hoist by its own petard
a tray of cold comfort at the sewage sampling

a gold standard hefted by Kerry Chant’s lesions
the Health Minister’s name is literally hazard
and on the horizon shifts of tears rain


Clay Thistleton has taught creative writing and literary studies in universities, community colleges and not-for-profit organisations for almost two decades. He is the author of Noisesome Ghosts (Blart Books, 2018): an Elgin Award nominated collection of found poetry that investigates the phenomenon of ghosts and poltergeists that have the ability to speak or write. His current project, Never Mind the Saucers (Stranger Press, forthcoming), examines documented instances of alien-human sexual contact. Along with his son Dylan, Clay lives in New South Wales, Australia with a fluctuating number of feral cats.

DL Polonsky is a Boston area artist, writer, and filmmaker. His caricatures have appeared in The Boston Herald and His written work includes the children’s book The Letter Bandits from T.B.W. Books.