45 (Episode 1) by Cindy Hochman

In the room the women come and go / talking of Michelangelo
—T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

The jokers are wild! The king has misplaced democracy somewhere, maybe next to his eyeglasses, also lost. The bum in the leather jacket seethes and huffs, and threatens to blow the House down, along with the Ming vases. The eunuchs wrestle with the court jester in argyle socks. A few are in the amen corner with a sixpence and a six-pack, and someone’s in the War Room with Dinah. Is that Congress I see, cowering under their desks?

On cable news the pundits in the know
speak of Moscow, Mar-a-Lago, and who’s next to go.

Shoes keep dropping (left and right) into the Ninth Circuit. Natasha gives bomb to Boris. Boris gives bomb to Moose. Moose go BOOM! Pass the blinis, the vodka, and the Tomahawk missiles, and gimme all the chump change under your couches, cash on delivery (a funny thing happened on the way to the Laundromat). Here’s your Bill of Goods—and would you like a used car with that? “I just want to play golf. But I inherited a mess from my pre-de-cessor.” It’s tee time in America. Make America Golf Again. A mulligan in every pot! Watch the birdie, watch the birdie, watch the birdie. The world’s in a virtual swirl (hack, hack, hack), but the show’s been renewed for at least another season. And I hear the Kremlin is lovely this time of year.

Cindy Hochman is the president of “100 Proof” Copyediting Services and the editor-in-chief of the online journal First Literary Review-East. She is on the book review staffs of Pedestal Magazine and Clockwise Cat. Her latest chapbook is Habeas Corpus (Glass Lyre Press).