Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Mandatory Trump Education Lesson 6

Listen Donnie

instead of both lamenting
the closure of the Trump Foundation

(which in fact
can not yet be done

as the charity is still under investigation
by the New York attorney general)

and bragging about how ethical you are
for avoiding

"even the appearance
of any conflict" of interest
by shutting it down

it would be better
to be quiet
get off Twitter

and in your own words

"continue to pursue
your "strong interest in philanthropy"

by preparing
just as Obama did

to work with people you hate

and who perhaps
also don't like you

for the next four years.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Mandatory Trump Education Lesson 5

Listen Donnie

you said you would listen
to President Obama's counsel

so believe him
when he says

“It doesn’t matter
how smart you are.

You have to have
the best information possible
to make the best decisions possible.”

You get one intelligence briefing
per week. 

That's a start. 

Now it is possible
that you like sending out information
more than receiving it

and that you don't like hearing
that your companion Vladimir Putin

swayed not only voter opinion
but yours.

But given that your medium of choice
is by design brief

and that your missives
are presumably meant to be read
by their targets

you owe the rest of the world
the same courtesy.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mandatory Trump Education Lesson 4

Listen Donnie

whether or not the US
should engage with Taiwan

as an independent state

that decision to engage should be made
with care and deliberation

by someone who has chosen
to receive the daily intelligence briefings

which you have not

instead choosing
to block your fellow Americans
on Twitter

because they make you upset.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mandatory Trump Education Lesson 3

Listen Donnie

in the process
of making America great again

you do not have time
for victory rallies

or for being a sore winner.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Mandatory Trump Education Lesson 2

Listen Donnie

when you're the president
you get certain privileges and perks

but if you had ever
read the Constitution
you might have noted

that “no Person holding any Office of Profit
or Trust under them shall
without the Consent of the Congress

accept of any present
Office or Title

of any kind whatever
from any King

or foreign State.”

When you refuse
to put your business

in a blind trust

you need to realize
that you are asking us
the American people

to put our blind trust
in you.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Mandatory Trump Education Lesson 1

Listen Donnie

you may think
that a $25 million-dollar settlement

is not a tacit admission
of defrauding your Trump University students

(but you also know
you're not one
to just give away money)

that your daughter
taking control of your company
and meeting with the Japanese Prime Minister

is no big deal
to national security

and that Mike Pence
getting "harassed"
at Hamilton

by being given a speech
encouraging him and you
to respect people of color

is the best thing
to Tweet about
the next day

but it would do you good
to try to understand

why some of us think
you are not acting presidential.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Mandatory Trump Education (Prelude)

Listen Donnie
you didn't want to be president

and more than half of us
didn't want you to be either

but now that you're here
we've got to teach you.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Monday, November 7, 2016

By Any Other Name

Tomorrow is Election Day

and only one of the major candidates' full names

contains both "nation lady"
and "matriarchy"

but perhaps some
will instead have a newfound "clarity"

because they realize this person is "rational"
or has an actual "charity"

and still others
may simply like the fact that this person
is "not him (Don)".

Whatever fuels the decision
it's time to make it

or break it

(the fabric 
of our democracy
is all).

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Fate of the Republic

On Wednesday
an unusually warm November day

this poet
was just one member of
the sweaty huddled masses

who in between
listening to down-ballot Democrats
and James Taylor

was waiting for hours
on the Hooker Fields' AstroTurf
yearning to see

President Obama

who would give a speech
encouraging us to vote
for Hillary Clinton.

Naturally while we were fully "with her"
for the future

we were with him now.

While he spoke

this poet had two thoughts

one that maybe
if everyone here
this multi-hued cross-section of America

consisting largely
of Trump's deplorables

(who unlike Hillary's
merely exist on the same planet as he)

and Baby Boomer ladies
wearing "Nasty Woman" hats

and pale college kids
saying "Preach!"

and singing to "Carolina in My Mind"

(despite not being born
till 30 years after the song's release)

were in agreement
about our future

then maybe
"the fate of the republic"
could be supported on our shoulders

and two
that maybe all that repudiation of the wrong
and embrace of the right

wouldn't be enough.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Nothing conveys Donald Trump's support
for the LGBT community better

than when he retrieved the iconic rainbow flag
with "LGBTs for Trump"
scribbled on it

from a front-row supporter

and proudly displayed it to the audience

ignorant that when the text was readable
the symbolic colors
were in upside-down order

with red at the bottom
and violet at the top

making it entirely possible
that the audience member
is not a member of said community.

In fact
Donald Trump plans to sign
the First Amendment Defense Act

which would allow for discrimination
against LGBT people

and also intends to install Supreme Court justices
who would overturn marriage equality.

It's not his fault
the flag was upside-down

but he's always proud
to overturn human rights.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Saturday, October 29, 2016

This is His Costume

When designing a last-minute
Halloween costume

keep in mind

that friendly parody of a public figure

often makes for a memorable
and easily-acquired outfit. 

With Donald Trump
if he has said anything that is true

it's that what you see
is truly what you get

and a real parody of him
as Saturday Night Live has proven

is impossible 

as there is no room
between the grotesque exaggeration
and the reality of him. 

(And that's scary!)

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Happy Birthday Nasty Woman

(Sung to Hillary Clinton on her 69th birthday)

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you

America needs a "nasty woman"

Happy birthday to you.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper

Sunday, October 23, 2016


For any still-undecided voters
a recent television ad
from Donald Trump

sums up the heart of his campaign.

Unlike Hillary Clinton
he will "turn Washington upside-down"

much like a glass snowglobe

(to excuse
the pre-Halloween Christmas analogy)

denuded of its precipitation
by an ignorant tiny hand

who destabilizes the also-tiny
and imperfect but complex village within

before carelessly letting go.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Magnanimous Winner

Let it not be said

that feelings of entitlement

are exclusive
to the younger generations.

After his ambiguous
and democracy-defying statement
at last night's debate

saying that he would
"keep [us] in suspense"

as to whether
he would accept the election results
if Hillary Clinton won

today Donald Trump
has walked back that statement

by doubling down
and saying what of course
he really meant

and thus writing
the parody Onion article himself

which is

"I would like to promise and pledge
to all of my voters and supporters

and to all of the people
of the United States

that I will totally accept the results
of this great and historic presidential election

if I win."

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Neva-Da Tacos

People who attend
the final presidential debate
at the University of Nevada on Wednesday

will have no shortage
of food options

assuming that desired option
is one kind 
of delicious Mexican food.

Members of the Culinary Union

who argue that Trump
is illegally refusing to bargain with them

aim to corral at least five taco trucks

into the shape of a wall

outside the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas

conveniently located just a few miles away
from the debate venue.

Too bad the Republican candidate's Hispanic outreach director
 A.J. Delgado

(who suffice it to say
has not been doing
a very good job thus far)

seems to welcome this development.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Trump-rested Development

Ron Howard

the Opie from Andy Griffith
who grew up to create

the sitcom "Arrested Development"
about a dysfunctional family

has made the online video
"TRUMP-rested Development"

in which he contradicts
the candidate's best lies

(since nothing he says
is truthful

but only a few
are very special "foundational" lies

complete with little lie rivulets
and nesting lies

simultaneously precariously holding his world together
and threatening to tear it apart).

“I was the one who got him to produce
the birth certificate

and I think I did a good job”

Trump brags at the first debate.

"But he really didn't"
says Howard.

“Secretary Clinton also fought it
I mean
and now everyone in mainstream

is going to say
‘Oh, that’s not true.’ It’s true.”

“But it wasn’t”
says Howard.

Then Trump denies
ever saying pregnant women
were inconvenient for a business

and the video cuts to him
saying that exact thing
in an NBC interview

and ends with him explaining his efforts
to build a relationship
with African-American voters

with the subtitle
"Footage Not Found."

Maybe after he loses
he'll deny he ever tried
to run for president

(though everyone else
would love to forget it).

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Vote Grabbing

This November 8
all voters should stroll into the voting booth

with their heads up high
and their hands down low

grabbing their own private parts
whatever they may be

and proudly lock up Donald Trump
in the prison
of his own mind.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

She's A Fighter

For the final question
of tonight's town hall-style

second presidential debate

each candidate was asked
to name something positive
about the other

and Donald Trump actually did

thus putting this poet
into agreement with him

on this one point.

"She doesn't quit.
She doesn't give up. I respect that."

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Power of a Wish

If you are terminally ill

Donald Trump
has just "made a wish"

that you would stick around
long enough to vote for him.

“I don’t care
if you just came back from the doctor

and he gave you the worst possible prognosis
meaning it’s over
you won’t be around in two weeks.

Doesn’t matter.

Hang out till November 8.
Get out and vote.”

Needless to say

if you're the sort of person
who cares about the welfare

of future generations
of human beings

even ones
that you will never meet

you're probably
not a Trump voter.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Genius Tax Deviser

Before the next presidential debate
on October 9

Hillary Clinton may want to consider
arming herself with an itemized budget

that sums up the revenue lost to the United States
because Donald Trump
and only Donald Trump

didn't pay federal income tax

for eighteen years

and dividing that amount
by the tax revenue

paid by a typical working person
during that time

to get an average
"Trump quotient"

also known as
"how many Americans
it has taken
to compensate for his huge genius."

This poet is happy to provide
any appropriate Trump-based puns.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Three AM Eternal

During the 2008 primaries
the Hillary Clinton campaign
made a somewhat ominous commercial asking voters

who they wanted to answer
the hypothetical 3 AM phone call

to respond to an impending
and presumably gravely-harmful-to-Americans crisis.

It should be noted
that only one presidential candidate

Donald Trump
was awake at 3:20 this morning

taking to Twitter
to remind reporters
of the importance of maintaining journalistic integrity

in these politically-fraught times

with "Anytime you see a story about me
or my campaign saying 'sources said,'
DO NOT believe it.

There are no sources,
they are just made up lies!"

(with no trace of irony
from a person who regularly employs the line
"People say").

Then not two hours later

he commenced a trio of tweets
declaring Hillary Clinton was "duped"

about the former Miss Universe contestant
Alicia Machado

culminating the saga
at 5:30 AM

by asking America
to do its citizenly duty and research

with "Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting
(check out sex tape and past) Alicia M
become a U.S. citizen

so she could use her in the debate?".

Sources say Donald Trump
may have helped Melania skirt visa laws
because she was hot

and that evidence of a supposed sex tape

(which shouldn't negate
one's "goodness" anyway)

was gleaned from the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones'
website InfoWars.com.

Given that it was a reasonable 10:20 AM
in Nairobi Kenya

maybe he was discreetly
trying to catch Obama
also being awake

and Skype-ing with his homeland.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Trump is the Loneliest Number

(Apologies to Harry Nilsson and Three Dog Night)
(After Donald Trump's First Debate)

Trump gave the sorriest number
that he'll ever do

or two may be more bad for Trump
and three'll drop his share of the vote
down to number one.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

'Bate and Switch

Monday night
is the first presidential debate

between Hillary Clinton
and Donald Trump.

One candidate is researching
and fielding endless rounds of practice questions

while the other is preparing
for a different kind of 'bating

(and will have a terrible time
even doing that).

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

We Make It Brighter

Happy 82nd birthday
Leonard Cohen

who today announced
that his forthcoming LP
"You Want It Darker"

will be released
on October 21st.

The title track
has Cohen almost-speaking
with a crackling but precise timbre

talking to God

who is put in the awkward position
of having one of His believers give up
on a rigged and losing hand

with "If you are the dealer
I'm out of the game"

and who is struck
(so to speak)

by the realization
that the Lord
gave him “permission
to murder and to maim.”

A cheery song
it is not

but one that reminds us
that we can make the choice

to play a different game.

This poem © 2016 Emily Cooper.