Secretary of Poetry?

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Yes, the rumors are true. In addition to finalizing his cabinet picks, Orange Donnie has settled on the man who will serve as the next Poet Laureate of the United States. This appointment requires no congressional approval, so it’s essentially a done deal.

All we know about our new wordsmith-in-chief — whose “likeness” appears above — is that he was a drama major and captain of the surf team at Pepperdine, and serves as an operative in U.S. Special Forces, which is why his identity remains classified.

He is said to possess a net worth of over $7 billion and sizable real estate holdings on the Black Sea, including a dacha adjacent to that of Vladimir Putin with whom, it is rumored, he once took a sauna after hunting wild boar. According to Ivanka Trump, who calls herself his biggest fan, he began writing verse as a teen in Oak Lawn, Illinois, where he attended high school with Kanye West.

His most famous poem is Damn Honey Badger, I Avenge Thee, written in memory of his dog, Cliff, who suffered a premature and tragic death at the hands of a honey badger in South Africa. It is reproduced below in its entirely:

Damn Honey Badger, I Avenge Thee

presented with one commercial interruption*

(*By forthcoming executive order, all “official U.S. poetry” will be subsidized by paid advertising approved by the White House.)

My heart a-racing (thump-thump),

I chucked my javelin at the charging honey badger,

Fierce assassin of cobras, mice, and Cliff,

My erstwhile Cockapoo,

Whom yesterday the snarling beast did corner and dispatch

Near the the seventeenth green

At the 5-Star Legend Golf and Safari Resort

On Haakdoring Road in Pympopo

(where, if, in advance, you tip the maître d’

They’ll whip up ostrich chops and waffles).

Losing my balance, I fell into a morass of barbed wire, 

(Which later did I learn had been discarded by poachers)

And to which I found myself attached,

As if bestride a circus pony fashioned of cacti and malice,

Cursing, at the top of my lungs,

The flimsy running suit I’d chosen

To wear to this misadventure.

The epicenter of my lusty manhood a crimson blur,

Blood coursed down my inner thighs

Like drool down the stubble

Of a rheumatic codger with a limp and an eyepatch

who once got into it with a German corporal with a bayonet

In a foxhole outside Brussels,

Where now stands

A Krispy Kreme on Rue Sainte-Anne.

As I struggled to extricate myself

And preserve the provenance of my progeny,

The predacious badger, heir to my spear,

(Which had, alas, much missed its mark,)

Reared up on sinewy haunches,

Grasped the newfound weapon in its tiny paw

And with dexterity befitting an ophthalmologist

Hurled it with the zest of Zeus

Toward its tormentor.

Ducking my head to prevent receipt

Of its pointy warhead in or about my eye,

I sensed its fiery entrance ‘neath my ribs,

Where swollen and pus-filled, my appendix once held forth,

Before it’s untimely theft near the end of third grade

By crafty surgeons no doubt bent

On profiting from its resale in the secondary organ market.

Entangled still and bleeding ever more profusely,

I spied my foe, who sensing uncertainty

Re the severity of my wounds

(To both crotch and those regions 

Where my appendix once had tenderly lain),

Retreated unto his subterranean fortress

To acquire backup, which is to say

A whole lot more honey badgers

Each meaner-looking than the next

And wielding not javelins of lightweight aluminum

Or even the stiffer carbon fiber found in your Olympic models,

But sharpish claws and chattering teeth, set in unforgiving jaws

And honed on the bones of snake, rodent, dog…

… And momentarily, I feared,

Moi.

The following documentary footage illustrates the bloodthirsty nature of the dread honey badger and may shed a contextual light on our poet’s African experience.

© 2016 Ron Dulaney

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