The Agent of Rot

Rot has an agent –

an orange bartender

he pours lies

and half-truths

like drinks from blender

he pours shots of hate

with no sign of surrender

sending his patrons

on misguided benders

The agent of rot

knows who to seek

he prays on the fearful,

the dumb, and the meek

The agent of rot

is a master of evil

he burrows in ears

like a sick twisted weevil

his whisper-warm breath

takes a crap in your ear

he laughs in your face

and fucks from the rear

With broken promises and

malevolent behavior

the gullible get

screwed by this unsavory savior

The agent of rot

is the person who serves it

aim all of your rage

at the one who deserves it

The disdainful malevolent essence of rot

the smell of the stink

the slime on the snot

the grand wizard of


The tweeter of lies

The vindictive and petty

muncher of fries

Use your vote like a shiv

and twist it in deep

Don’t ever forgive

That fat orange creep!

American Native

Slaughtered and displaced

defiled, defaced and

stripped of their grace

A culture


swallowed by time

Bludgeoned by white vanity

Split open by Christianity

Ravaged and poked

Beaten and broke

Set fire and stoked

Promised the world

And granted a sliver

Died in the snow

And bled in the river

The deceit

and the lies


their skies

and the white man’s

words strangled

their cries

Then, a felonious bribe

To the rightful tribe,

relegated to the dusty

barren yet rusty

minimal subsistence,

 tin shack existence

In America

Values and the personalization of politics

America succeeds and prospers when her citizens get along with one another. And in a country where politics often ignites passion, getting along with one another means not digging too deeply into each other’s political views.

So, Americans consciously work at not letting how we vote affect our relationships. Its not always easy, but one thing that helps us keep the peace (and the republic) is a shared set of values that transcend politics.

We might have divergent views on taxation, education, healthcare, and foreign policy, but we unite around a core set of values rooted in our humanity – values like honesty, decency, kindness, integrity, and empathy. It’s these shared values that allows you to tolerate my politics, and me to tolerate yours.  

So, what’s changed in America? Why are we so quick to disregard that unspoken rule that keeps the personal and political separate?  

I suspect Trump supporters are saying to themselves, “I’m not acting any different than I’ve acted in the past, I’m simply voting for the republican candidate – why all this outrage?”  

And I agree with them, they’re not acting any differently than they have in the past.

What’s changed this time around is not you or me – it’s the president.

The president openly derides anyone who oppose him, he mocks and puts down people, he constantly pits Americans against one another, and he’s been a human wrecking ball to the long-held American values of “welcoming the stranger, dignity for all human beings, equality under the law, respect for dissent, and love of truth”.

Donald Trump is demonstrably mean, dishonest, and apathetic. He is the antithesis of the values that we assumed transcended politics and united us as Americans.

So, when I hear a colleague, a neighbor, or a Facebook friend vociferously support the President, I process that support as an indifference to the personal (not political) values that I hold strongly — honesty, decency, kindness, integrity, and empathy.

America’s never had to deal collectively with a leader like Trump. The personalization of politics we see in our country today comes from the jarring realization that honesty, decency, kindness, integrity, and empathy do not transcend politics for Trump supporters.  

President Trump tests positive for Karma

The man who lied to the American people about the dangers of a deadly virus, putting millions at risk, and undoubtedly contributing to the death of thousands of Americans, has contracted that very same virus – forcing many of us to balance decorum and our capacity for empathy, against a genuine contempt for the President.

We humans have an innate capacity for empathy, which can be developed further though our shared experience with others, and the moral guidance of loving and nurturing parents — neither of which Donald Trump had.

Donald Trump grew up in an insular environment, where he was taught and praised for cutthroat behavior – he was raised in an environment that put a stranglehold on cultivating that innate capacity for empathy. Under such conditions, the result is usually disastrous and tragic on a “localized” level. Meaning, those who find themselves directly involved in business with Donald Trump, or those who are part of his inner circle because of familial ties, end up being hurt or damaged by his abject apathy and malignant narcissism.

Unfortunately for America (and the world), when Trump became president, the collateral damage borne from his apathy grew exponentially, metastasizing from a localized problem to a global catastrophe. Because of this, our democracy and the health of our planet are threatened.

We’ve witnessed Trump’s apathy in both behavior and policy — from his denial of climate change science, to his willingness to snatch and cage children, to callous paper towel tossing to hurricane victims, to labeling killed or wounded soldiers as “suckers and losers”, to his weak and feckless response to racial injustice.

When the traitorous and narcissistic fool who is dismantling democracy and destroying America from within, contracts a deadly virus, how do we draw upon the “better angels of our nature” and wish him well? (especially when we know in our hearts, that the President wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if the shoe were on the other foot).

Feeling empathy towards the deeply apathetic, is perhaps the truest empathy test of all. We owe it ourselves and our country to give it a try.

Baby teeth and bullets

I’m Calvin’s lonely cousin
the one without a friend
The darkly-quiet moody one
The one who couldn’t blend
I’m the smoker in the stairwell,
skipping school all day
the fall-between-the-crack-type-kid
the one who slips away

I’m the ink inside the headlines
the lead story on the news
The kid the network anchor says
was surely born to lose
I’m the details at eleven
a community in shock
I’m the often-bullied quirky kid
who lived just up the block

I’m a parent’s darkest nightmare
I’m my doctors deep concern
I’m the angst that no one seems to get
the match about to burn
I’m an issue in the social science
circles of the day
I’m the brush it underneath the rug
that never goes away

I see angels circling the sun
feathered wings and halos
golden and hand-spun
Frozen little angels
Circling the sun
bursting into rain drops
cleansing everyone

I’m the isolated Incel
The bullet in the gun
The angry white American
Who’s blaming everyone
I’m the cryptic manifesto
The video online
The AR-15 lover-boy
Who grew-up Columbine

I’m the one who gave up caring
I’m the anger and the rage
I’m the finger on the trigger
I’m the tiger in the cage

I’m the suicide by cop
On the stairway in my school
I’m the little boy with crooked teeth
That others ridiculed

I see angels circling the sun
feathered wings and halos
golden and hand-spun
Frozen little angels
Circling the sun
bursting into rain drops
cleansing everyone

Seeped in seventies

Darkly sarcastic

and sardonically wry

We hum and we dance

to American Pie

Rolling thunder over head

Kool-Aid, Keds, and Wonder Bread

Vietnam served us the blues

Cronkite was the nightly news

Worry traveled through the air

And stuck to faces everywhere

They shipped us to the VanHoff School

We learned about the golden rule

Over finger paints and duck-duck goose

and thermoses of apple juice

Mrs. V in her floral dress

sang “raise your hands”

and “clean your mess”


“before the day is done

try to touch the sun”

Jungle-gyms and trampolines

Wacky Packs

Mad Magazine

Baseball hats

and Spider bikes

Dad’s Gannset beer

Mom’s Lucky Strikes

Kick Ball, Fishing, Doorbell ditch

Watching reruns of Bewitched

Nixon, Agnew, and John Dean

Shaving cream on Halloween

Through whiffle ball

and kick the can

Johnny Carson

and Ed McMahon

Watergate was all around

in our sight

and in our sound

on the news

and in the paper

the Viet Cong

and foiled caper

It lurked and hovered


Pages written

and words were said

it wormed its way

into our head

that innocence

was finally dead

it’s all we heard

and all we read

in undercurrents

a subtext grew

a dye was cast

for me and you

we dipped our bread

into the stew

Enjoyed the dark side

of our view

and you were me

and I was you

The Ending Will Be . . .

It won’t be by fire

it won’t be by ice

not a slow-creeping glacier

or atomic device

The sun won’t implode

on apocalypse day

There won’t be four horsemen

riding our way

The Messiah won’t show

with a list in his hand

And no, heaven won’t have

one helluva band

And there won’t be any

fences to mend

or dastardly sins

we’re forced to defend

And the angel of death

will have no wings at all

she’ll be a viral and nasty

spiky red ball

aided by

an immoral fool,

who always felt

he was too cool for school

And the angel of death

will give him a task

“push lie after lie”

and don’t wear a mask”

Together they spread

Death far and wide

taking all of America

on a perilous ride

So, no

it won’t be by fire

and it won’t be by ice

not a slow creeping glacier

nr atomic device

our ending will be

too small to see

A man of no importance

A man of no importance

leans against the city’s sounds

telling every passerby

to lay their worry down

Every day at one o’clock

appears this weary warner

a bible in his bony hand

on the same street corner

A cautionary caller,

Throwing words into the wind

He warns us of our avarice

our decadence and sin

“A double-dose of Jesus Christ”

That’s what he says we need

“The grace of god the glory

Will free us from our greed!”

Most don’t even look up

Or glance in his direction

Ignoring his crusade against

The devil’s insurrection

Steadfastly undeterred

“There are souls in need of saving!”

Raining grace upon us

with his ranting and his raving

And every day at 5 o’clock

Amidst the non-compliance

He bows his head quite suddenly

Retreating into silence

And in this act of piety

Is when he’s noticed most of all

The man of no importance

Becomes important after all

Shadow beings

We are shadow beings

Mute witnesses to the pain

Dormant and unborn

Existing just outside your veins

A broken recollection

Forever misaligned

A crackling poor connection

from the corner of your mind

We’re the tiny primal platelets

That dance inside your blood

The prickly hairs

that stand up straight

The sound inside the thud

We’re the truer self

that you deny

trapped beneath your skin

your dark and dirty

devilish self

dripping wet with sin

We’re lighter than an eye lash

less visible than God

We’re the sexy ghosts that

dirty dance

upon your soul’s facade

And when your dead and buried

Decomposing in the dirt

We burrow through your belly

And steal the buttons from your shirt

Please drop the personality argument

Here is an actual response to a statement about the morality of Trump supporters versus those who oppose him:

“I’m not sure how if one thinks the president is doing a good job, it automatically means our morals are opposing?

I think you may be over simplifying what is a fairly involved subject. For example, while I often cringe while listening to him conduct briefs, and there are other facets of his personality that turn me off, I agree with the majority of the things he is doing (his policies).”

When someone makes “personality” and a poor use of language the main shortfalls of the President, then of course they’re going to overlook them in favor what the president is “doing (his policies).”  

Trump supporters use this logic all the time, and I suppose it helps them sleep at night. And actually, in the past, such logic made sense, because the person occupying the oval office usually possessed a base-line of morality, empathy, and decency.

But that’s not the case today.

What Trump supporters refuse to do is delve deeper than “personality”. They refuse to look at the role a person’s character plays in decision making.

Statements about not liking Trump’s personality, but liking his policies, is akin to saying:

 “Sure, Hitler’s spastic speeches make me cringe, but at least he’s putting Germany first.”

Relying on the “policy vs personality” argument, while ignoring an egregious lack of normative behavior, combined with the demonstrable fact that the president has no moral compass, is a faulty and dangerous thinking. 

When a selfish and immoral man gains access to political power, he’ll use that power for selfish and immoral purpose. He’ll always put his own well-being and thirst for power above the needs of people he pledged to serve. Expecting righteousness and sound governance from a man who’s lived a shallow and self-serving life, and who labels those who serve the greater good as “suckers and losers,” is absurd.

Those who refused to look at the Trump’s character in 2016 (because of a blind hatred of Hillary Clinton), have had have 4 years’ worth of examples that show President Trump puts himself above the country — and a blind hatred of Hillary Clinton is not on that ballot this time around.

What will you do come November 3rd?