We are trying to get picture and sound for the watchparty
                 Black screen
                 Eyewitness news at 11
                 Burble of commercials

Our singer is on jeopardy
                What categories will she choose
                Blood clots of Etruscan antiquity
                Brechtian in-jokes from early 70s Fassbinder films

We are chewing warm fudge brownies
                 Gulping frigid milk
                 Digesting our hurried roast potato dinner
                 Oh weary, weary, our guts are weary

We worry that our cousins have become fascists
                  Luckily not our loving parents
                  We theorize that fascists still eat turkey and dressing
                  Twice a year we sing oh weary, weary, our guts are weary

But listen, I think I heard John Scopes but missed the question
                 I think I heard abracadabra but missed the question
                 I drink tea all night and my throat is still dry as my doctorate
                 I piss every thirty minutes and so miss final jeopardy

Our singer won a thousand dollars and came away in full voice
                We are happy for her in rainless California
                 We hope her next recital will feature a selection of Loyalist songs
                 The last one I wrote today—it has only seven words, repeated seventy-one times

I am washing our plates and glasses in scalding water
               I will not turn the faucet down or pull my knuckles away
              Afterwards I will pound the piano keys seventy-one times
              I will not sing the seven words—I will not, will not, will not.


James Miller won the Connecticut Poetry Award in 2020. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in A Minor, Typehouse, Eclectica, Rabid Oak, pioneertown, Off Course, North Dakota Quarterly, Yemassee, Phoebe, Mantis, Scoundrel Time, Permafrost, Grey Sparrow Review, Blue River, 8 Poems, SOFTBLOW and elsewhere.

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