Two of the five poems that appeared on the New York Times op ed page on Wednesday, November 5, the first day of this new chapter in US history:

Election Black Hopes And Fears

When the Fog

When the fog burnt off this morning
Outsize JumboTron screens were hanging off the clouds,
Scores of them, huge, acres and acres of screen,
Images trembling,
Pixels the size of wagon wheels, damaged, flickering
Off and on, red, blue and green;
Faces, flags, county fairs — like pointillist cartoons,
Melting away, reconstituting,
A continuously mutating liquid crystal montage:

The old warrior’s frozen grin,
The popped, saffron Star Trek collar,
Critter lipstick,
Kawasaki 704 eyeglasses,
Disembodied, like the Cheshire Cat’s smile,
And there, the golden one, the adored, in silhouette,
Drinking it in behind bulletproof glass;
Crowds, crowds in hats, t-shirts, delirious,
With drumsticks and banners —
Galvanically us,
Us whom we’ve been waiting for,
All of it smearing into vibrating puddles of color,
Then dissolving, like jet exhaust, into the air.

While outside the streets were empty.
Who is to say where everyone has gone?
Only the occasional sound truck, its barked entreaties
Too garbled to make out.
Then quiet.
Two scrub jays making a racket in the honey locust.
Sky darkening as weather gathers off the coast.
Quiet as an abandoned summer playhouse.

–August Kleinzahler

Infomercial 2

The old mule delivers the goods.
Nugatory diddlings are on the decline.
Stateliness has its day.

There are indeed many encouraging signs
in the weather and in handshakes.
Still there are those who mistake dark clouds
for raffish hucksterism. They have never savored
the elation of an empty crystal ball.

To them I say, seconds will call upon you
in the morning. Tonight there are dreams to be thumbed through
before the complicated, awful business
of summoning beautiful particles after the horse is stolen.

–John Ashbery

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