Christopher Bernard: Trumplandia

The News from Trumplandia

(Adapted from the Work of Basho, John Milton, Emily Dickinson, and T. S. Eliot)

Mauled, marred, and mutilated by Christopher Bernard


Mr. Trumpollinax

When Mr. Trumpollinax walked across the United States

His laughter fell like a bull’s cock among the teacups.

I thought of W., now a shy figure in the manzanita,

And of H.W. in the shrubbery

Slobbering over the hottie on the swing.

In the palace of Mrs. Flaccus at Professor Ernest Doolittle’s

He laughed like a psychotic poodle.

His laughter was quite subversive, though renowned,

Like the old man’s demented tittering

Hidden under the dying coral reefs.

I looked for the head of Mr. Trumpollinax rolling under his limo,

Or grinning on a screen

Of a topless bar in Dubuque or Sioux Falls,

With tar sand in its hair.

I heard the beat of a satyr’s goat-like hooves over Manhattan cement

As his acrid insults devoured the afternoon.

“He is a charming man, when you get to know him.” “But after all what did he mean?”

“His pointed ears, his half-eaten eyes . . . he must be unbalanced.”

“There was something he said I might have challenged—

A thousand things, but now—”

Of the dowager Mrs. Flaccus and Professor and Mrs. Doolittle

I remember only this: a piece of toast.

And of Mr. Trumpollinax his smiling, munching teeth.



Trump Among the Nightingales


Donald Trump spreads his knees

Letting his hair hang down to laugh.

I can’t believe it! That was too easy.

Now I’ve got to perform, not half.


The circles of the stormy moon

Slide south from Fifth Avenue toward the Potomac.

Death and Sarah Palin roam

Like Monitors circling the Merrimac.


Giddy Newt and Mitch McConnell

Chortle, and Paul Ryan smiles,

The Tea Party prepares for a taste of Donald,

Nancy dances with democratic guile.


The host with someone indistinct

Converses at the door apart.

The voters who elected Trump

Are singing of the Sacred Heart:


They sang within the bloody wood

Where the old Founders beat their slaves

And kept their women properly

And burnt to dead gods in black caves.




Trump Agonistes


Eyeless in America . . .




Trump Emily


The Donald selects his own society,

Then slams the door.

With his divine majority,

Don’t be a bore.


Unmoved he notes diplomats pausing

At his locked gate.

Unmoved, a drooling journalist kneeling

On his doormat.


I’ve known him from a vast nation

Choose (assuming she’s hot) one,

Then clench the hose of his attention

Into bone.




Basho Trump


You call this a what?

It doesn’t even. Look, believe me:

My poems. They rhyme.




The Waste Trump

November is the cruellest month, breeding

Electoral victories out of the dead land, mixing

Xenophobes and white Christians, stirring

Dull brains—and I mean dull! Sad!—with autumn rain.

Spring kept us busy, covering

The world with incredulous laughter, feeding

The media with bitter tubers they took like drugs.

Summer surprised us, coming over the Cleveland gases

With more than Philadelphian love: it was fabulous!

What are the roots that clutch, which branches grow

Out of this stony rubbish?

Ech, I won! And now I gotta rule?

Boy, was this was not supposed to happen.

Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,

Is known to be the wisest woman in Queens.

Though you could have fooled me.

Here, said she, Is your card, the Tower

(A really big mother—man, it’s huge).

Here is Megan Kelly, the Lady of Fox,

The lady of situations.

Here is the Magician (he still looks like a Kenyan to me), here is the Wheel,

And here is the one-eyed merchant—wait, that can’t be right, it looks like me

They love me in Scotland—but this card

Is blank. Don’t tell me: it’s a description of the future.

I don’t find the Hanged Man, with the Republican

Bow-tie over the neoliberal tree.

I see crowds of people marching down Fifth Avenue.

Thank you, thank you. I know you hate me, but, hey,

At least you keep calling out my name.

I’m bringing the horoscope myself, by the way.

Me, I’ve always been my own fortune teller.

O O O O that Trumpeherian rag—

It’s so inelegant,

So unintelligent.

“What shall I do now? What shall I do?”

I don’t know—call Elizabeth Warren?

“I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street

With my hair down, so. [You’re kidding me!]

What shall we do tomorrow? What shall we ever do?”

Hurry up please it’s time

Well, you could have voted.

To get rid of this Unreal City.

Washington is falling down falling down falling down.

Donald’s mad againe.

Data sucks. Dayadvham Barron. Damdata.

Shame ye    shame ye    shame ye


John Milton (1608−1675): English poet, author of Paradise Lost, “Samson Agonistes,” “Lycidas” and other poems.


Matsuo Bashō (1644−1694): Poet of haiku, active during the Edo period in Japan.


Emily Dickinson (1830−1886): American poet, prolific, profoundly influential after her death, almost unpublished in her lifetime.


  1. S. Eliot (1888–1965): Anglo-American poet, author of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Waste Land.”


Christopher Bernard is co-editor of the webzine Caveat Lector. He is also a novelist and playwright. His new poetry collection, Chien Lunatique, is forthcoming.