I haven’t been sleeping and the only REM I get
is listening to their last album with original lineup,
surprised by my sadness, the end of harmony.
The scientists agree that there have never been
more ways for the world to end, earth toasted
like a marshmallow, plague, bombs, lust, greed.
Our new sheriff has a posse and tweets to us
how his guns are quick and his gigantic hands
will swat cowards from reclaiming their land.
A computer update destroyed all my playlists
and a ghost me stays up late humming lost tunes.
One scientist warns how tiny copters, the size
of coins, can spin and target millions of heads.
The sheriff’s gun is so big that it will destroy
the town, the mountains, the rivers, the moon.
The soundtrack of youth is dangerous to recreate.
The loaded gun begs to be released, a cocky thing.
Our own fuck you, the countdown clock, points up.
Martin Ott is the author of nine books of poetry and fiction, including Underdays (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015), Sandeen Prize Winner and Forward Indies Finalist. His newest book Fake News Poems (BlazeVOX Books, 2019) takes the headline of a news story from each week as a jumping off point to explore political and personal turmoil in the first year of Trump’s presidency. His work has appeared in twenty anthologies and more than two hundred magazines, including Antioch Review, Epoch, Harvard Review, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and Zyzzyva.