transfer of power

After the election with its quills of
dread we come to the sea the way
long-haulers crash at a rest-stop after
a sleep-deprived amphetamine run
we come to offload the cargo we
never meant to carry most everything
damaged and marked return to whatever
sender mis-ordered and here too
where in the storm a week before
the sea waves indulged in a
predictable juxtaposition of fury
and grace as they swept twelve children
into the surf rescued at the last minute
but not without the retch of drowning
still in their throats.
Four years of rabid mischief
and four hundred before that
such that the blood of the
nation’s thought gone thrombic
with loss turned bat-blood dark
no longer finds the coherence
to avail against the self-
inflicted scourge the daily
broadcasts of massacres and
mascara clotted on the tube
Bluetooth of portents posted
by stay-at-home future
cadavers making tea and memes
as the dried orange gloat of
the sociopath president
puckers and floats as the emperor
of Western Trivialization.
Some called it a brand new
Incarnation and that’s when
we hung the fear curtains
put up the catastrophe
decorations sometimes stole
a kiss under the fresh cut
misgivings dangling over
our heads while forced to
listen to the sermons of the
promised extinction banquet
the hymns of mortal discontent
Zoomed into seances where
every false prophet
signed up to appear.
Then as if by a miracle
it was over or so we thought
up here in Mendocino’s
chapterless flow where
the heavy wings of fog fall
over the town then rise like
a ghost bird dissolving into light
our still-clinging sense of doom
offscouring in the sea’s swarm
of anti-depressant ions
no second thought of god
demanded or revoked in
that perennial joke
the sea keeps telling yet
apparently the punch line
wasted on those disciples
of the rage messiah wroth
as it’s said for they know their
time is short murderous
with indignation at their
savior’s sudden demise
heaving pipebombs at
the tomb’s stone that
refused to roll away
their guns catechismal
to every head as
the sea swells kept
pounding at what we
once thought
the shore to be.
Yet maybe there’s a finality
when everything turns to music
all songs converging in the
arching substrate waves at
the sub-atomic core of all
beauty and today how odd
that in the inauguration
of a president is that
power transposed into
the stature of a poet
too old for her years
too young to have
metabolized the fear
she declares is pulled now
into the retreating surf
of all the tears
that had seized us.


David Fetcho



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