“Hellbent” by Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé


One could be strolling at the farmer’s market
In a foul mood—yet still shelling out cash
To buy heirloom tomatoes and prized beets
And some busybody is sure to take issue
With the tilt of your grin, hunched shoulders,
Your self-pity on display. Are they afraid?
“He’s becoming unhinged,” they write, they say.
Hellbent on destroying the anger in the man
And then the man inside the man. I was there,
Like Trump, mad as hell, victimized, trolled,
Scrutinized like a lab rat who refuses to eat
The cheese—I have fantasies of lighting up
A cigarette in my classroom, go scream at
The Principal, of letting them all see the results
Of a bitter, yet muted divorce. I, too, wish
To make friends with dictators, destroy
Those who speak the language as though it
Were made of flowers; my language, iron-fisted,
Uncontrolled, ruinous. Fuck the eternal press
Conference, I say. Even a bully can be bullied.
For years, I also wore my conflicts like a suit.
I wanted to force them to eat their own
Faces. I was a frightened, panicked brute.
So forgive me if I take offense when you
Call the President repugnant, aberrant,
Unhinged—as if there were a door to have
Been attached too, a house beyond the door
To love. My mood was as foul as the Leader
Of the Free Worlds’. I was repugnant,
Aberrant, and I, too, built a thousand walls.

from Poets Respond
October 6, 2019


Alejandro Escudé: “I don’t like when press outlets like CNN jump all over Trump. I don’t like the guy, but something is wrong about the way some news agencies choose to discuss issues surrounding the President. The words they use betray a kind of uniformed thinking as well. They’re bullies bullying a bully. I usually don’t give a shit what happens to bullies, but I feel for anyone trapped in a kind of social jail–and at such an advanced age too! Aggression is ugly, and ugliness doesn’t just exist on one side of the political spectrum.” (web)

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