Friday, November 4, 2016

Glass Alligators

Glass Alligators

Glass alligators
slide on their own bloat,
plagueships that float
over the muck
slurping it up, spitting it back;
it's so easy to break
if God finds the mistake
so they've learned how to make
their eyes look like toys'
too blank to annoy.

The glass alligators
stir their swizzlestick teeth
in a light liar's grin 
as they soft-lick your skin.   
(They just want to win.)
Their slick smoky sides
aren't built to hide
what's moving within:
the clockwork tossed salad

of death and money,
blood for oil, power-honey.
Their brittle scales ring
like a bad novel brings
out every cliche
on the side of a truck
to turn a quick buck,

and each soiled rotting page
bleeds the end of an age.

~Four days before the 2016 U.S. Presidential election

for grapeling, and my real friends at Real Toads

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Image: Muddy Alligators, 1917   by John Singer Sargent
Public domain


  1. Nailed the election process perfectly!

  2. I have read of how many US citizens have been left feeling traumatised by the run-up to this particular election. Like Bjorn, watching events unfold from a different part of the world, I see this as part of a greater trauma in world politics. The Northern Hemisphere is in turmoil, a third World War an ever-increasing possibility, while in my own country we are dealing with corruption at the highest level.
    Your metaphor of the crocodiles lining up on the river banks with their blank stares and open mouths is apt and incredibly vivid.
    I have learnt that politicians aside, the moral fibre of a country always shines through.

    1. Yes, Kerry, I've heard from other friends over the waters, and I think we are all in the same flotilla of sinking ships. It's globalization, in every sense of the word--the vector spreading both good and evil unlimited by borders. Thanks for you kind words.

  3. I am in awe of your gift with words.........this is fantastic, too many good lines to quote, and your closing lines knock it right out of the park. Wow. Great write.

  4. as they soft-lick your skin.
    (They just want to win.)............ Power and money - every time.

  5. glass alligators is how i would dream this. nice one

  6. The metaphor of the glass alligators is stunning... and I wonder sometimes if breaking them will fix a single thing or if we will end up with bleeding feet... so much at stake for the world right now, and it's not just the US, it's the Philippines, it's Russia (which is so very very close to us), it's France... too much to ponder. I'm glad it pulled you back to writing, after all anger is a strong force in writing poetry... Though not a Marxist I have started to read Majakovski

  7. Don't hand them your baby to kiss, that's for sure. You've provided just the slimy portrait they deserve.

  8. I wouldn't want to be an American right now, faced with such a choice! However, as others have said, the problems are world-wide.

  9. Yes... I'm afraid so
    At least you said it with style

  10. There's an ineffable irony to "glass alligator," a vigilant emptiness, fen in fishbowl, God's breath blowing these redstate monsters sublime: Somehow it makes me think of the irony of the creature who rose from the swamp promising to drain Washington's swamp--the deity of You Spot It You Got It, attacking in others the thing you are most. We have gas gators in Florida, farty old wheezers racing endlessly on perfect golf greens guzzling the aquifer away. Title's perfect, as that "quick buck" which is that "soiled rotting page" bleeding "the end of an age." The charms probably can't sway an election, but they nail us to who we are as we go through it.

  11. Impressed that you found words, Joy. I am just barely holding on over here. Alligators run damn fast, too. Argh

  12. Today Trudeau in our northern neighborhood anounced they didn't need First Nation consent to proceed with oil exploitation on tribal land. The glassholes are ubiquitous and vigorous in their pursuit of a Bosch landscape. I'm both glad and sorry for this brilliant metaphor you've penned. And yes the change in atmosphere as the storm brews has rendered me mostly silent. I don't pray, but I pray that I will speak when it matters most.

  13. Glass alligators, you have pegged the candidate backers. I read your bio. You are a badass. I loved it.

  14. Your poem oozes my feelings about the current state of affairs in our political and social world. Such a blatant mess... while the public grins and cackles, feeling entertained... on an obvious trail to the grave...


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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