“What’s unfolding now is an attempted coup by a con.”
— Tim Egan, The New York Times, Nov. 20, 2020
In Xanadu did Coup-by-Con
Via stately news bubble decree
Where Rudy, the sacred river troll, ran
Amok through caverns baseless and inscrutable to man
Down to the Four Seasons — no, not that one.
Twice the popular vote did sound
Never piercing unscalable walls girdled round
Rose gardens bright with sinuous rills
Where did blossom many a friv’lous conspiracy;
But elsewhere were norms, ancient as the hills,
At last resistant to rank shithousery.
But oh! that deep journalistic chasm which once slanted
Across White House lawns where talking heads did cover
A savage redoubt! So unfair! As holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath “Stop the Steal” banners was chanted
By dead-enders wailing for their demon-lover!
‘Twas from this chasm, with Georgian turmoil seething,
As if straight from his Base, source of all that mouth-breathing,
A mighty fountain of plots was voiced, incandescent:
Amid considered judgment only intermittent,
Huge fragments of bullshit vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy secular grain ‘neath Bill Barr’s tail:
And mid these flauncing “frauds”, these many losses
Did gum up momently the vote-count process.
Five miles meandering with hazy, baseless motions
Through courts and canvass boards the sacred river did variegate,
Reaching Electoral College caverns unresponsive to the electorate,
And so sank this tumult to a lifeless ocean;
Of all this tumult Coup-by did first learn via Fox
Ancestral, once-allied voices prophesying a pox!
On both houses beneath the dome of pleasure
Floated fair and balanced on the airwaves;
By way of Arizona, where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves,
A miracle of objective reportage, from outside the pleasure dome,
Where sun-disinfected facts still reigned!
Come 21 January would he finally reckon the damsel & her lawsuit
In a vision he once saw:
‘Twas an Upper West Side maid
On her dulcimer keyboard played,
Singing of dressing rooms at Bergdorf Goodman.
In spite of this (and others) could he revive, within His Base
The symphony and song,
To such a deep delight ’twould win another race,
That with blowing hard, loud and long,
Would build anew that alt-fact dome — perhaps merely on-air.
That sunny Capitol dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should still see them there,
And all the rest of us should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his Orange hair!
Weave a shrinking circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread
For he on Quarter-Pounders hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise/Total Landscaping
— Hal Phillips (with apologies to S.E. Coleridge)