Matthew Lippman: #NotTrump Series

Matthew Lippman: #NotTrump Series


Donald Trump got sworn in today

and all I can do is listen to Bruce Springsteen.

That stuff he put out when Carter was in office.

When New York was in the fiscal toilet.

When Jersey was the junk.


I can’t tell if listening to Bruce

is a desire to return to something gritty

and innocent

or a daydream of denial.


All I can tell is that there are no clichés anymore

because everything has to be a revolution against


Juan up at the drugstore buying his gum

before the Secret Service come with their xylophone wagon

and bellow him out

into ambulance row.


The ones screaming down my street right now are headed towards D.C.

and I’m up in my attic with the headphones

trying to bail out the siren wail

echoing between the brick.


Donald Trump put up his hand today against The Good Book

and Justice Roberts said, Go dog, go.


I put up my hand today

against the ash wood of Bruce Springsteen’s Telecaster

like it was all things decent and good.

All things kind and forthright.

An American salute.

His guitar,

an American flag of all things sexy, straightforward and dynamite,

flying here for the whole shebang, for us, humanity untrumped--


The last cliché.

The cliché of all clichés.

The rock ‘n roll garden

trying desperately not to be an anthem of weeds,

still thinking it could save the world.

Matthew Lippman is the author of four poetry collections—The New Year of Yellow (winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize, Sarabande Books), Monkey Bars, Salami Jew, and American Chew (winner of the Burnside Review of Books Poetry Prize). He is the recipient of many awards including a New York State Fine Arts Grant, and Jerome J. Shestak Poetry Prize from American Poetry Review.