top of page


(A Fable)

Adolf has a theory

he shares it with his dad:

the biome is declining fast --

it’s scheming Jews, infected bad;

only blood can cleanse the globe

the Volk must nail them to the mast.

His father laughs and kicks him out.

So roundabout and roundabout

and roundabout he goes: behind

the army’s Prussian gray, cropped

business barons in their stone estates

odd remnants of “und zu’s” and “vons”

scarred veterans who deny defeat

detesting change in any form.

He senses they’ll be glad to play.

Retrench! – Inflation is resolved.

The U.S. lends firms megabucks.

Versailles defanged, the nation booms

a volkisch grace seems far away.

He heads a comic coup, dictates

a rambling book from jail. Prosperity

is poison fruit -- the Party shrinks.

He packs up lederhosen, buys

a double-breasted suit.

Then roundabout and roundabout

and back around he goes -- revising

planks and terms and rules; conducting

minor purges till he’s sharpened all

those tools. Revisiting the barons

in a modulated tone, and churchmen

wringing hands, distressed by

godless nudie shows. He promises

all vanished things, each woman in

her place; he pledges to

de-liberalize. He shouts he’ll make

each German great, restore a fearsome

glorious state. The strippers strip

the nightclubs mock. The steps he takes

just make things worse -- hypocrisy

sells far less well than hate.

Frustration is a foaming beast.

It earns him café nicknames like

“that carpet-chewing freak.”

So roundabout and roundabout

and round again he turns, attending

to the ashes where he hopes a coal

still burns. Depression rides to rescue

when the U.S. loans come due -- as

streets fill up with misery, despair

becomes his glue. Maneuvering through outcrops

like a bottom-feeding eel, he scores

a pile of banknotes from supportive zillionaires

acquires a plane to speed campaigns,

pin-striped attire, a manufactured style.

He’s featured in a Life piece

on the decorative arts

and quoted daily in the news

as pleased to do his part. A bloated S.A.

reappears. He rises to respected

heights – still never wins the vote.

So roundabout and round he goes

as governments collapse

and offers up some cobbled swill

to unify the land. Appointed

because sponsors think he can be made

to blink, he waves triumphant

from that Chancellor’s sill.

The New Age is at hand.

First published in Such An Ugly Time (Rat's Ass Review), April 2017

bottom of page