Image courtesy Gage Skidmore.

I Will Tell You Something

I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane.

I watched those events very closely,
Fake News, much much more closely

than you people watched it. You had a group
on one side that was bad, and a group

on the other side, the alt-left, no permit,
that was also very violent. No one wants to say that, but I’ll say it

right now (speaking with myself, number one,
because I have a very good brain). I-condemn-

in-the-strongest-possible-terms-this-egregious-display-of-hatred-bigotry-
and-violence on many sides.
On many sides.

You better believe that every last one of my staff know
these are my words. And they know I’ll pardon ol’ Sheriff Joe

because he’s a great American patriot, just like this other guy
Frederick O. Douglass. I hate to see what’s happened to these guys.

Neo-Nazis-and-white-supremacists-are-repugnant-
to-all-we-hold-dear-as-Americans. Fake News is repugnant

to all we hold dear as Americans
because what about the alt-left’s shenanigans?

(I love getting even with people.) We-must-love-one-another-
respect-and-cherish-our-history-and-future-together,

but not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me.
Not all of those people were white supremists, by any

stretch. There were some very fine people on both sides.
On both sides.

There was a group on this side, you can call them the left,
you have just called them the left,

that came violently attacking the other group. Jim
Fields is a disgrace. I am not going to pardon him.

What-took-place-was-a-horrible-moment-for-our-country,
but there are two sides to the country.

I don’t even know who David Duke is, disavow,
even though, just like Putin, he’s just now

said, “Thank you, President Trump, for your courage to tell the truth about
Charlottesville.”
Did you see this? And still

I won’t pardon the guy. Racism-strikes-at-the-very-core-
of-America, the United States of which I’m commander

in chief of, tremendous tremendous victory you failed to predict.
No chaos, Neil Gorsuch, stock market, jobs, but no credit.

Senator McCain? John McCain? You mean the one
that voted against Obamacare (skinny repeal of, I mean)?

When you say the alt-right, define alt-right to me.
You define it. Go ahead. No, define it for me!

C’mon, let’s go! (You’re so so so wrong.)
But I didn’t wait long. I didn’t wait long.

Facts are very very important to me, unlike to you (fairies) guys.
If you weren’t fake, you would’ve said what I said was very nice.

Who’s David Duke, by the way?
What is he, gay? I love gay.

Steve Bannon’s no racist either, Fake Newsers,
but knowing what he knows, he’s one of my favorite boozers.

Is it George Washington next? Was George
Washington a slave owner? So will George

Washington now lose his status?
Are we going to take down the statues

to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson?
Whereas I’ve never owned or knocked up even one

slave, though I easily could’ve afforded to, plenty
of them, could’ve used them at my clubs. I own twenty.

Wait a minute, I’m not finished!
I’m not finished,

Fake News. Does anyone know I own a house in Charlottesville?
It’s in Charlottesville. I mean, I know a lot about Charlottesville.

Charlottesville’s a great place that’s been very badly hurt over the last
couple of days. I own actually one of the largest

wineries in the United States. It’s in Charlottesville.

  • James McManus

    About

    James McManus was born in the South Bronx in 1951. He is the author of Positively Fifth Street, Going to the Sun, and nine other books of poetry, fiction, and fact. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Paris Review, and two editions of The Best American Poetry. He teaches at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.