Sitting on a Sofa in a 1925 Bungalow
in Ann Arbor, Michigan

On my screen, I see the bronze butterfly,
Awake at the jutting podium,
Blowharding like a thief in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty promises,
The lobbyists follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my alt-right,
In a swamp of reproach between two bushes,
The droppings of last year’s candidates
Blaze up into golden parachutes.
I lean forward, as the video buffers and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats by, looking for a cabinet post.
I have wasted my life.




Cody WalkerCody Walker is the author of The Trumpiad (Waywiser, 2017), where this poem is published and from which all proceeds are donated to the ACLU. He is also the author of The Self-Styled No-Child (Waywiser, 2016) and Shuffle and Breakdown (Waywiser, 2008). His poems have appeared in The New York Times and The Best American Poetry (2015 and 2007); his essays have appeared online in The New Yorker and the Kenyon Review.

Header photo of man watching TV by Pavlofox, courtesy Pixabay.

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2 Responses

  1. Reeves Keyworth

    A riff on the James Wright poem.

  2. Jefferson Carter

    Kind of heavy-handed parody of James Wright. Here’s mine, not that anyone asked to see it:


    Like James Wright looking up
    from his hammock to see

    a bronze butterfly asleep
    like a leaf in green shadow

    & beyond the fence, last year’s sunlit
    road apples blazing gold, I look up

    & see something emblematic,
    a pastoral moment of my own.

    James Wright concluded,
    famously, saying “I have

    wasted my life.” I didn’t
    understand him. Now I do, looking up

    to see a hummingbird at the feeder,
    his gorget like dirty, torn velvet, 

    a bald patch on his crown,
    his crooked bill sipping so hard,

    perfectly concentric ripples spread
    across the sweetened water.

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