Not the institution but the flailing thin-skinned man;
not the dignity of office but the orange perma-tan.
Not the veneration for due process and the rule of law
but the executive’s tiny fists slamming shut the door.
Not the detail-rich briefings in the situation room
but nuclear football selfies by the Mar-a-Lago pool.
Not the submission to a press, asking him to explain
but the revelling in unreality media – more after the break!
Not any reverent awe at the power that he wields
but branded tat on sale to raise family business yields.
Not the hopeful melting pot, all trying to get along
but the gilded trumpeter playing white nationalism’s song.
Not the moral of freedom, the beacon shining on the hill
but all-American carnage, the government of ill will.
Rishi Dastidar‘s poetry has been published by the Financial Times, Tate Modern and the Southbank Centre amongst many others, and has featured in the anthologies Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins) and Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe). A fellow of The Complete Works, the Arts Council England funded programme for BAME poets in the UK, he is a consulting editor at The Rialto magazine, a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective, and also serves as a chair of the writer development organization Spread The Word. His debut collection Ticker-tape is published by Nine Arches Press.