He’s Making a List

A year after American politics slid downhill
on a golden escalator, we were at The Whitney.
Urs Fischer’s “Standing Julian” was
melting. The giant Schnabel candle had lost
its head by the time we got there, wax
cascading down his shoulders, the canvas
overalls splattered with paint, work-boot
laces untied—but he was taking it all in stride,
hands stuffed in the big jacket pockets
while two red fire extinguishers stood
at attention by the windows.

Almost three years after a failed coup, the
twice-impeached and much-indicted ex-
president is vowing revenge. There will be
scorched earth and heads will fall. The
strongman promises to save America from the
chaos he created. It’s going to be wild. This
time, it will be AK47s. No need for fire
extinguishers as bashing weapons
at the next insurrection.

About the Poem

Masha Gessen, who reported from St Petersburg in the 1990s, witnessed directly the transformation of Russia in the early 2000s to the repressive dictatorship under the all-powerful leader it is today. In a Vanity Fair article she wrote in 2008, she noted, “This was at a time when Russian journalists had not yet grown accustomed to seeing their colleagues murdered, and outrage was still possible.” Trump’s declarations of political vengeance and his intention to eliminate checks and balances are clear warnings of where he intends to take America.

About the Author

William Ross is a Canadian writer and visual artist living in Toronto. His poems have appeared in Rattle, Bluepepper, Humana Obscura, New Note Poetry, Cathexis Northwest Press, Topical Poetry, Heavy Feather Review, *82 Review, and Alluvium. Recent work is forthcoming in The New Quarterly.

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