Kirk Greenway

Kirk Greenway: Annuit Coeptis (1/6/2021)

Annuit Coeptis (1/6/2021)

While forming the Union into a piece of paper,
the convention’s participants felt a higher power.
Franklin said when the Speaker’s Chair was empty
“I have often looked at that behind the president
[unable] to tell whether it was rising […]
[Now] I… know that it is a rising… sun.”
Annuit Coeptis, the motto, means
“[God] favors us.”

Yet, as a deluded freak
scales those words like a punk
descending the Matterhorn,
I raised my fists in anger.

When the President T ascends
from his gold commode,
having picked his teeth,
and plucked his wig
from an orange cotton candy vendor
in a food truck on the mall,
proclaiming his tender love
for all the termites who infest us,
the roaches twitching their antennae,
the Titanic iceberg screech,
the only consolation I had
was knowing the first lady
was screwing her bodyguards at the same time.

God favors us when Qanon shamans
Sit for portraits in the House Speaker’s chair.
Cigarette girls parade through the aisles
of the Senate, zip ties in hand.
In the hallway, the Vice President makes
his escape hidden in a Persian rug,
a gift of the Shah of Iran.

Outside, they are tearing at promethean guards
who fell from the cliff
where Sisyphus turned his stone,
and indoors, they are lighting Thai stick
in the bathroom like teenagers in a bathroom.
Four would take their lives afterward.

The ellipse is filled with moths,
gleaming in their uniforms,
singing of a summer night
when the Angel of Fire will return,
his minions bearing torches.

Their wings beat a song called e pluribus unum.
Wasps, army ants, leaf cutting murder hornets,
slugs topped with MAGA hats,
and winged moths, seen rarely by day,
fly flags with a trademarked family name.
In the bowels of the Capitol,
the lawmakers are guarded
like money in a vault,
while flies swarm and kill.

The President finally orders
the AC shock treatment revive
death squads of the undead,
drones, and Gatling guns
to be turned loose
upon the crowds of NRA activists.

The day is won by law and order,
yet the rising sun chair
has been painted red and white.

Legions of custodians descend,
Cleaning the blood spray
off furniture, painting, and floor.
Shards of glass, broken marble,
nylon ropes, and zip ties
are tossed in the dumpster.

Cyclone fencing and Humvees
guard every corner. Even Columbia
who stands on top of the Capitol
gets an epoxy nose job
while the lawmakers sing again.
Sing Memory sing!

Kirk Greenway (b. 1961, Michigan) has written poetry off and on in one form or another since he was in second grade due to a school assignment. Three years later, he was first exposed to the French language and the violin, and both have intimately influenced him ever since that year. In the language, he found poetry, and in the instrument, fire. In 1983, he saw London for the first time, and his love for that city has remained. His AM paper in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, “A Metadiscourse on London Office of Works Discourse during the Surveyorship of Sir Christopher Wren,” was a sprawling historical monologue one inch thick concerning the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666, a work very different than that of T.F. Reddaway. He lives in a small blue house in Washington Grove, Maryland, with his wife of 19 years, Misook, with whom he shares two sons and clutches of wild birds.