Yin & Yank

In his heart
he juggles for the circus
and suspends himself
of earthly concerns.
No need to note
the suppression of votes
nor the rise of the new Klan.
His plan in the guise of ignorance
entombs a solipsistic indifference.
What upends his idyllic spell,
are the inherent struggles
of an empty wallet.

But the show goes on
no matter how you call it,
no matter the uncertainty,
precarity and insecurity
of a country that largely lacks
a stacked social safety net.
Crowds show up, the beggar scowls:
his meager pittance
and oft-late repentance satisfy no one—
his ratty constitution ratified
so long ago.

Sustainable growth is an oxymoron,
he thinks, his humanity
diminishing with every quorum,
with every high-minded banality
and long-winded sermon
about the Gospel of Prosperity,
seared into the American consciousness
like some perverse scarlet letter.
His sincerity—feared in an earlier age—
seems no better than drunken rage.

The darkness of his isolation
harkens back to his birth script,
a penmanship of dysfunction
spoken in clipped and clever quips
that, in his mind, transcend
his station—out of reach
of the rich and their worth,
those who admit no fault,
pay millions in fines and do no time.
With boots on the ground,
he’s found
like most Americans
he’ll do the right thing
after trying everything else first.

Chris Kaiser’s poetry has been published in several anthologies by Moonstone Press, as well as journals such as Eastern Iowa Review, Better Than Starbucks, and The Scriblerus. His email address is Chris.newassignment@gmail.com. Read other articles by Chris.