A crisp, magnificent shadow cast off a rough monster
the impotent child of fury, a cauldron of denial
this drowning man, the last ember of a raging fire
this is the vividness of desperation
no gentle voice will soothe or quiet
no hand upon hand will lend comfort
no drink will quench or satisfy
the man steps out onto the balcony
he beams as the crowd chants his name
only I can save you, he says—only me
and they don’t believe him
but they’d love to watch him try—
a step off of the brink just might be
a step in the right direction
I’m not sure what sort of frame I need to put around this week’s poem. It has political subtext, but it’s also interesting that it doesn’t have to be read as being about a political figure. There are lots of charismatic leaders who fit this mold in some way or another.
I think the thing that feels good about this poem to me is that I don’t think it is about the leader as much as it is about the crowd.
“No hand upon hand will lend comfort”
Most Overwrought Line:
“this is the vividness of desperation”
p.s. I tend to think of myself as a progressive liberal, so yes this is written with Trump in mind, who I don’t care for. If you do happen to have a positive perception of the guy, I think you’re foolish but that’s ok. Incidentally, for those who are curious, at this early point I’m most interested in Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic primary.