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poetry Elexxxion

New York poet John Paul Davis reflects on the multitude of political candidates, their promises, their lies.

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By John Paul Davis


It's election time again. It feels like the bruises

from the last one haven't finished healing.

I mean that metaphorically; I'm not actually

healing from the last election, just walking

around rearranging matter on the earth's surface

as if nothing was wrong at all while inside

I'm aching from trying to bridge the gap

between the promises my country

made me & what it actually delivered.

It's a very large gap. Some might call it a chasm

or a canyon or a crevasse in honor

of the glaciers all melting. While I hang here

in between where we should be & where we are

holding the two together, candidates

use me for a bridge, walking across my arms

in their shoes that cost more than I make

in a pay period. The liberals are careful

not to step on my head; the conservatives

assume if I didn't want to be stepped

on I wouldn't be hanging here. The two sides pull

apart & the capitalists call this growth.

The tech companies collect data

from the percussion of my popping joints & the twang

of my stretching tendons. They can predict

how much more I will take, measured in thumbs-up

icons. All of the candidates agree we should bumble

on down to a younger republic and meddle in their election,

maybe flash our guns around & show off our drones

until the dictator who will let us taste their sweet sweet

oil wins. All of the candidates agree the best way

to raise a market is to let it eat whatever it wants

& use everyplace for its toilet & that freedom

means cleaning up after it forever. Ok, there's one

who says maybe there's a better way but all the editorials

say he's not electable. We send our soldiers

to other countries to help their unelectables

but here, we pin lies to their backs like kick me

signs, we make looping memes out of them

then decades later name a Monday after them, quote

them in speeches, make out in the shadows of their statues.


John Paul Davis writes poems, makes music and builds websites in New York City, where he lives with his wife, the actress Mahira Kakkar. His first book of poems, Crown Prince Of Rabbits, was published by Great Weather For Media in 2017. You can find out more about him at