Invasion of the Mental Snatchers

deep, vain slide
our veinal sins
and thinned
by hiphop heparin
angina timpani

here comes the president
(you think, hail to the chief with shoes)
dum dum-da-dum dum-da dum da dum da dum duh
to the Press, calm practiced confidence
a man swooned, I love you
phones held high to snap selfies of the prez
face all copper tones to keep out the Covid hoax
announcing he’s the winner, he won, could he say it otherwise?
American flags for every nation we’ve neo-conned
standing in limp salutation behind him
then more music there goes the prez
dum dum-da-dum dum-da dum da dum da dum duh

Prez to the Press, the pundits to the middle people
the people who didn’t have to loot their TVs
— smashed glass panes, brokenness everywhere
gigging for food and rent and babies crying
like abstract saxes, coltranes from the get-go
born into the blues of the mighty whitey world
(if your product placement lived here, you’d be home today) —
to watch people like themselves loot democracy,
talking smack, even as they ransack each other’s minds
3 Square Deals on the table daily, kids
with a halfway decent chance of getting in Harvard
occasionally claiming to be Cherokee, edgy
where they’ll hear clarinet lectures from reedy apologists
maybe a guest lect sax from Slick Willy in shades
the Press, the pundits, but no liddle people

deep, vain
slide tromboneses, snares
a splash of brass cymbalism
herald our unoriginal sins
bloodclots thickened, liquored
arteries clogged fat with sin
our middle fingerlickin government
overflowing packaging in the bin
time to listen to Miles again
and Miles to go before I sleep
and Miles to go before I sleep


John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelancer based in Australia.  He is a former reporter for The New Bedford Standard-Times.