a circle of reason / a proof that cannot
be proved or disproved / a mad mixture /

a template for order / cast, shaped, readymade
and launched / requires immediate

response (response must have no minor
errors) / a distrust, a witch hunt,

an elaborate dance / behind the scenes /
eyewitness testimony / no discussion

of the shortcomings / a lying
song; a hunch gone wrong / the plunge

of an economy; the rise of a demagogue /
lurking, scheming, webbing / it spreads

like famine / birthed from drought /
it’s birther and denier / the death of science /

a plot / a hoax / a code / a cover-up /
it spawns movements / knee-jerk / whatever

works / the uncited / the alt-right /
a need served / epistemic,

existential, self-defeating / off the cliff,
a riff, an election rigged / the rewritten,

the staged, the misplaced / towers that never fell /
a genocide erased / the Evil Incarnate /

the Machiavellian-slick / the mouse’s click /
a spiral into alienation and anomie /

a sense-making in a world otherwise
confusing / otherwise good people.


Author’s Bio

Janine Certo is author of Elixir, winner of both the 2020 New American Poetry Prize and the 2020 Lauria/Frasca Poetry Prize (forthcoming 2021, copublished by New American Press and Bordighera Press) and In the Corner of the Living (Main Street Rag). Poems are forthcoming in The Rumpus and Radar Poetry.