[ California poet Dorothy Barresi nails a certain candidate on the
campaign trail: "tight tense talk & leering merit of American man" and
guess who she means. ] [https://portside.org/] 

 PORTSIDE CULTURE 

 ELECTION NOIR   [https://portside.org/2018-05-04/election-noir] 

 

 Dorothy Baressi 
 March 8, 2018
What We Did While We Made More Guns
[http://upress.pitt.edu/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=36770] 

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 _ California poet Dorothy Barresi nails a certain candidate on the
campaign trail: "tight tense talk & leering merit of American man" and
guess who she means. _ 

 , 

 

Election Noir 

By Dorothy Baressi

“You know what they used to do to guys like that in a place like
this?
They’d be carried out on a stretcher.”[1] 

—Las Vegas, 2016

Tight taut teeth and lips a little wet, a little 

hunch at the shoulders’ spite and seam. 

 

Wet lips, jaw-rubbed, _that’s swell_—

tight tense talk & leering merit of American man 

 

quick at the eye, a small mouthed man,

mean to mean on, 

 

cracked & pricked, 

_sure, sure, if that’s how you want it, _twitch-lipped, 

 

attention please! A short shocked man is getting stiffed

on a dead plot packing heat,

 

a bare-fisted havoc man coughing mid-century blood—

more cemetery press than kiss, 

 

more war more guns more prick to take it neat. 

Wet lips, nervous tick,

 

cold-clocked, cold

cock, gut shot, 

 

a tightfisted faithless twitch of a white heat man 

with a hit a hook a jab—no hunch. 

 

Pour him a stiff one, 

hand him his hat.             

 

_Where’s this train heading?_

Seething and grief, brother. Madness, seething and grief.

 

[1] The epigraph to “Election Noir” is a comment made by Donald
Trump at a presidential campaign rally in Las Vegas in February 2016,
in which he reminisced about “the old days” when a protestor
who’d interrupted his speech would have been “carried out on a
stretcher.” Trump concluded, “I’d like to punch him in the face,
I’ll tell you.”

_Dorothy Barresi is the author of four previous books of
poetry: American Fanatics; Rouge Pulp; The Post-Rapture Diner,
winner of an American Book Award, and All of the Above, winner of the
Barnard New Women Poets Prize.  She is the recipient of two Pushcart
Prizes and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and
the North Carolina Arts Council.  She is professor of English and
creative writing at California State University, Northridge. _

  

 

 

 

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