A New Poem by Randall Mann

Read "Executive Order"

November 8, 2017  By Randall Mann

Executive Order

There’s a level of cruelty,
according to him, that’s selfless:
I’m only helping you out of love
of white bread, and the mirror.


According to him, that’s selfless.
The narrative, the lines
of white, bread, and the mirror.
And now’s the time for consent:


the narrative; the lines.
All things central are withheld,
and now’s the time. For consent—
or else, let’s say, compliance—


all things central are withheld.
Power, Corruption & Lies, on repeat,
or else. (Let’s say compliance
in a whispering campaign.)


Power, Corruption & Lies, on repeat,
is the order of success.
In a whispering campaign,
bloodless and sedate.


Is the order of success,
paint your infant-face—
bloodless and sedate—
then part the drapes of someone’s wife?


Paint your infant’s face.
There’s a level of cruelty
reserved for your immigrant life.
I’m only helping you, out of love.

Randall Mann
Randall Mann
Randall Mann's fourth collection of poems, Proprietary, was published by Persea Books in May. He lives in San Francisco.

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