Sardanapalus Reclines

Indolent Sardanapalus reclines
entombed in suffocating opulence,
and ponders how begrudging lesser minds
see not effortless chic, but evidence,
in his suite’s superb interior design,
of an inverse ratio in wealth:sense
the gemmed and gilded hangings, beds and chairs,
his amber pelt and gilt synthetic hair.

His genius goes unappreciated,
he idly muses, as the background flicker
of sundry flat screen channels – inundated
with penny ante cable-anchor slickers
(liars and haters all) – runs unabated.
One truth’s not in the scrolling newsfeed tickers:
He’s been a winner right from the beginning
and won and won until he bored of winning.

And truth, he can affirm, is all revealed
and, crucially, to him and him alone,
and fickle as the weather; how he feels
determines what, today, is set in stone,
inviolable, not open to appeal,
until his twitter stream, or telephone,
or a passing staffer chances to suggest
the opposite’s aligned more with his interests.

An orator uniquely blessed and gifted,
he finds infallibility a curse,
for while his faithful base remains uplifted,
he’s always dogged by wilful and perverse
refusenik traitors who will not be shifted
by his facundity, and, what is worse,
they will, when he is right, flat contradict him,
then petition state officials to evict him.

He hears the jackals shrieking at the gate,
denying that his victory’s complete
and irrefutable, and further, ingrates,
demand oversight where it’s clearly meet
that he, most great and potent potentate,
should simply be obeyed, and so he bleats
and whines, distracted to delirium,
that they will not submit to his imperium.

Indeed, no triumph lifts his sense of gloom;
each act of domination, each coercion,
every rage and tantrum in a stateroom
leaves him empty; so, with a last exertion,
he attempts to fill this yawning vacuum
and in an epic act of self-assertion,
sprawls over the divan, insatiate glutton,
and reaches for the case that holds the button.


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