Neu! Post-Truth Poetics DAY TWENTY-FIVE – Sandeep Parmar & James Byrne

The Wakeful Trump of Doom Must Thunder Through the Deep

(‘On the Morning of Christ’s Nativity Compos’d 1629’ – Milton)

The Fool – Sean Spicer

The face you are looking at no longer exists.
On message
then on cue,
fanning the rage script.
First deny, then deny.
Braced like a quarterback.
Apostle in warpaint.

The High Priestess – Kellyanne Conway

Pollster at the goalposts, pulling
For the slow-witted striker plagued
By bone-spurs. A mastermind
Of massacre, queen of borrowed light
In her crown of horns. Gnostic
Interviewee, confounding facts
With their alternatives.

The Magician – Reince Priebus

High-wire adjudicator
Of ‘American values’ vs. Growth
and Opportunity Projects.
Nicknamed ‘rancid’, but
Dick to his friends—
The tea-parties of Wisconsin.
‘I was once a man’, he declares
pulling something familiar
from under his cloak
and snapping its neck.

The Empress – Melania Trump

I am gold—see my son, he is also gold.
It is his mother tongue.
1600 Pennsylvania Ave is just an address.
A dress is just a way into a woman.
A woman is just a means to an end.
An end is a wife who never says never.

The Emperor – Donald Trump

Nuclear comma splice—in the year
Of the fire rooster. Caligula at the chapel
Of himself, neurosyphilitic, sexual sadist,
Horse as counsellor, sisters in his bed.
Terrible omen, a reign of four years.
This card rises to the top like heat,
Like the blast from a furnace.

The Hierophant – Paul Ryan

Orderly for anything but the coldness of failure.
This card, placed upside down, means the victory
of restriction. Belief in a God occulted by man.
He is a metalogical jostler, in the traditional sense.
Positioning sticky, he applies himself
to hero sacrifice and other peculiar seekings.

Justice – Jeff Sessions

Trellis of hate. Lynch power.
Left-hand bridesmaid to Justice.
Something old. Something borrowed
Something fated, raised like a standard
Or burned ceremoniously. Something blue.

The Devil – Steve Bannon

The harbourmaster’s sudden oar.
The overstir of an invisible hand.
Evil or injur’d merit, serpent or martyr.
This card is impervious as any recruiter
of terror. Hear war whistle from the sea.

Temperance – Nigel Farage

Whatever needs feeding is feeding on you.
Upright uprightness.
Downright excess.
A regular mucky Bombardier
in a four million semi.
Temperance to Emperor signifies
blind domination,
a vomitus grimace in the gold lift.

The Tower – Theresa May

Beware a woman bearing Royal Invitations.
Beware sharing a bed with Empire
or other genocidal dictators.
Beware the special relationship colour
CODE RED. Beware she who offers her hand
To the tyrant stumbling with vertigo,
her house crown-roofed,
her tower contorting with fire.



Sandeep Parmar is a poet, critic and Senior Lecturer in English and Co-Director of the Centre for New and International Writing at the University of Liverpool. Her books include Eidolon (Shearsman, 2015), The Marble Orchard (Shearsman, 2012) and scholarly editions of Collected Poems of Hope Mirrlees (Carcanet, 2011) and Selected Poems of Nancy Cunard (Carcanet, 2016).
James Byrne is a poet, editor and translator and Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Edge Hill University. His poetry collections include Everything Broken Up Dances (Tupelo Press, 2015), White Coins (Arc Publications, 2015), and Blood/Sugar (Arc Publications, 2009). His translations of Burmese poets, Bones Will Crow, was published in 2012 by Arc. He is Editor of The Wolf. 

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