Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Walt Shulits

Is it a covert confession, his guilt gushing, 
grabbing him by the ankles and shaking until 
truth tumbles onto the nightstand

or is the photo his personal meme, the renunciation 
of a carefully cultivated carapace, an assertion of 
who he really is…or is it nothing more than the result

of an inadvertent click of a camera capturing some guy’s 
distracted dumping of daily detritus, those pistols a ho-
hum in a country with more guns than people?

So, are we looking at some kind of hieroglyph hinting 
at a heretofore hidden hatred, or a psychopath’s
preparation to perpetrate a crime, or simply

an accidental still life of a makeshift Tupperware 
container…and that question can only be answered
by examining the nature of the objects in the picture

and probing for connections…not an easy task—like 
deciphering the previous moves that led to a position 
on a chessboard, an effort infinitely less intimidating

if you know who the players are—which in this case 
we don’t…all we have is a picture of things that at first 
glance—second and third glances as well—

simply don’t belong together, increasing the probability
the Polaroid was purposely posed and passed on to 
or purloined by some predatory paparazzi

pandering to the 48 percent of the public who parrot
the pablum of partisan politicians, cheer when a six-
year old exercises his right to bear arms

and shoots his first-grade teacher, want welfare programs 
wiped out but donate to crowd-funding so a 19-year old 
football player can drive a Bentley on campus…

regardless of who produced and procured the pic,
the question of motive remains, with a plethora of 
plausible possibilities, from that inadvertent Polaroid

to the cleansing of a conflicted conscience to a cloaked 
call to action by a captain of industry, a Congressman, 
a chief justice—or any collaborator in a cabal conspiring

to crank up a coup, to mesmerize the minuscule 
minds of those minions of mediocrity, mold them 
into a militia to make America great again—

but I digress; let’s let logic clean up this mess: What are 
the chances of an accidental photo being so perfectly  
centered on the nightstand, what are the odds

of some drowsy dude dropping four coke cans and a glass 
bottle on the table and they all remain upright—yeah, right.
So it should come as no surprise that I theorize 

the photo—regardless of whether the guy’d been hiding 
something he needed to purge or denying something he 
craved to exalt—was contrived to end all the lies,

to shed a daytime disguise, lamenting possibly repenting 
pretending to be a nonsectarian humanitarian when he has
been—and probably still is

a barbarian libertarian, lusting to grind socialists into carrion, 
espousing the genetic superiority of Aryans…all this despite 
publicly pledging to give away all his wealth—

convenient camouflage for his undercover stealth— and 
donating to the Rainbow Coalition while damning them 
faggots, lesbos and he-shes to eugenic perdition.

Please don’t run; I’m nearly done—Them guns ain’t  for fun, 
he doesn’t want his country overrun by drug-dealing migrant 
scum; from his QAnon history book he’s well aware 

that Washington crossed the Delaware to kick Beaners in the 
derriere to keep them from claiming welfare and medical care 
and putting up tents on Times Square—

it’s almost more than he can bear—repressive progressives, 
woke jokers and blowhard libtards chipping away at his bill 
of rights—and he’s been ready to fight except

he can’t sleep at night; even though those cokes are caffeine-
free, every two hours he needs to pee; rather than wake up, 
hobble and wobble, he pisses in that glass bottle—let’s hope he 

doesn’t get thirsty and take a swallow—and something else requires
extreme unction: all that sugar gives him erectile dysfunction; if word 
leaked out about this bigot’s spigot, his spineless spout,

if his undercover brothers discover that he is other than 
a big-dicked mother…he’ll be corseted in a kaftan, lynched 
by the Ku Klux Clan then punji-sticked like in Vietnam, 

or an Oath Keeper will inject acid in his ureter, then chop off his 
peter, these operations ordered by his fellow hedge fund honchos, 
banker bigwigs and tech titans frightened of a public enlightened,

of disclosure that they’re all posers—lip service to going green, 
have to protect the fossil fuel machine, pious palaver opposing 
abortion yet their pregnant paramours endure surgical contortion— 

oh how they rile up the rabble, those bedraggled cattle ever 
ready for battle, get them foaming and furious with jingoistic 
vitriol compelling but spurious…and indeed they never 

personally intercede, you’ll never see them bleed, cabalists 
with a nativist creed, a breed fueled by gluttonous greed, 
happy to let sycophants do their dirty deeds:

they’ll never be held liable, out of sight with hands on the Bible while
the riffraff en masse  kick democracy’s ass, a reactionary master class 
leads to legislative impasse, autocracy under guise of democracy, 

a Christian theocracy, a border patrol of criminals on parole, 
18 new corporate tax loopholes, retraction of affirmative action, 
inaction on police overreaction against minority factions.

Please accept my regrets—we haven’t explained yet that
Buddhist amulet: I don’t think it’s for spiritual protection 
because worshipping the dollar is his predilection,

the face in the mirror his only genuflection; it’s about misdirection, 
circumspection over who controls the insurrection. He’s taken an 
approach derivative from events in times primitive, 

a deception tour de force like the Trojan horse, a symbol of compassion 
used for good old head bashing: now don’t chuckle—in your fist 
it’s a Dharmic brass knuckle that’ll make those bastards buckle.

I’m no private eye so I can’t identify the guy and he’s so sly 
he can always buy an alibi… and frankly I’m scared shitless
I’ll end up on the militia’s hit list unless I cease and desist, but

it’s clear the guy ain’t no working class lout ‘cause money and 
clout are what it’s all about, so he can strike with impunity 
to dominate the social media community, fire millions of tweets—

dopamine for his addicted sheep— rail against kikes and dikes 
but he’s still swamped by Facebook “likes” even though he’s not 
the one who writes, his anonymity so critical politically,

and the guy is definitely American—just look at the guns he’s carryin;
no other country has drive-in windows for guns—get a burger with a
bazooka while you’re on the run, shoot up dance halls just for fun.

Help, I think I’m being tailed—I could be jailed or impaled—better 
beat a retreat before things overheat and the Wagner Group 
turns me into sausage meat…but even though I’m a coward 

I don’t want democracy devoured by Fascists empowered and my 
heart is still red white and blue so before I bid adieu I’ll leave some 
clues for you to construe and then decide what to do: 

Follow the money at an electric car company, its financials in the 
shitter but the CEO still bought Twitter, clearly overreached while 
he flaunted freedom of speech, but there’s a huge ethical  breech; 

political persuasion though a brazen online invasion leading to guns 
blazin’ in the Capitol of the nation… and then there’s the hedge fund 
wizard, a Machiavellian lizard, 

trying to grab regulators by the gizzard, set up PAC after PAC so 
Congress would have his back…next turning to the Supreme Court,
the list of possible conspirators anything but short, 

their opinions of great import, the consequences impossible to thwart, 
and I know I’m being cynical but the right wing majority has been 
clinical, dare I say criminal: The Court contorted the Constitution 

as it water boarded  Roe v Wade, state gun laws were waylaid, the EPA 
effectively spayed, federal funds for church schools okayed…and finally 
there’s the red state governor, a Harvard-educated southerner—

the chump dumped Trump and hit the stump—appalling polemic 
during the pandemic, health experts aghast when he trashed 
students wearing masks,

no migrants in his backyard—all deported to Martha’s Vineyard…
okay, I guess I deserve a reproof for playing loose with the alternative 
truth; it’s uncouth to cast aspersion linking people to subversion 

but it’s in the intimacy of his privacy that man sheds his piety and 
anxiety, and if you can infiltrate that space, get behind the poker 
face, you might find more than a trace

of a disgust for the human race; the guy just might be a traitor, a civil 
rights violator or a coup instigator….and if the night stand is an indicator,
just imagine what you might learn from his refrigerator.


Walt Shulits is a retired bond market professional and lifelong paddling fanatic-canoe, sea kayak, outrigger canoe and surf ski-who stumbled upon writing poetry while searching for a non-sport activity that would give him the same sense of living in the moment as paddling. Residing in Provence, France he spends as much time as possible in his beloved Hawaii. He tries to write poems for the multitudes who find poetry as incomprehensible as Sanskrit or as unappealing as mountain oysters. Walt’s poems have appeared in Dumpster Fire, Fleas on the Dog. Gargoyle, Griffel, Pike Press, and Wingless Dreamer.

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