Paul Ryan in Effigy

//Paul Ryan in Effigy

Paul Ryan in Effigy

By Gigi Wagg

You, Paul Ryan, who imagine yourself an emerging monarch,
are really a moth—bat food, with the base, serviceable body
of a military cargo plane: dusty, dull and fueled by heavy diesel.
You circle the towers of Trump power, crashing your dumb head
into pane after pane of trash-TV limelight, dutifully peddling
disaster for poor countrymen you disdain as crawling ants.

This paean is not about sticking pins, Voodoo-like, into a doll,
but it serves up the sheer joy of swatting you in moth-body effigy,
giving metaphorical relief to the opposition. How will it go for you,
Mr. Fake-Christian Politician? Swat after swat, your frenzied orbit
will be turned into breeze-buffeted free-fall, those terrible dark wings
tilted and torn, finally unable to raise the useless weight of your torso
and guts to anything but erratic grasshopper leaps, you, too earthbound
to escape the final swat. Then, “Whap!” will go the pink plastic tool and
“Squish!” the picnic napkin on what remains of you, ugly lepidopteran!

Alternatively, you could be left hanging on the glass, your greasy guts
spilled, a sticky residue just enough to hold the shell of carcass
and denuded wings in full view of both power-crazed luminescence
and climbing, scourging ants—a suitable effigy, in nomine Domine

Better yet, your maimed and flailing body could be left, still pulsed
by your beating heart, as steak tartar for the ants (bats would be too
quick)—and yes, you’ll be on your back. Go ahead and flip your frantic
Altar Boy wings (or Dumbo ears) all you can, but you will only prolong
the pain. This is mete (so meat!) and justice for the pain you inflict upon
the least among us, Herr Bat!

May you feel the myriad bites of your crooked social justice
and various hypocrisies as the ants dismantle you, limb by limb
and clot by clot of slowly drying blood. No anesthetic, no mercy,
no P.A.S., just the excruciating chomp-chomping of ant masses and
the belching of curses from survivors of your death-care plan.

Sparing cemeteries the dump of your greasy guts, let Formicidae
clean up crews feast until there is no gore left, then carry off
your Dumbo wings, cleaned to their skeletal lightness. They’ll glide
as if on a parade float, with now and then a triumphal dip, a pause to
proclaim, “Ha-ha! We have won full bellies and a fan for the den!”

Imagine this scene as the hunters carrying home the dead wolf, to a
familiar sound track by Prokofiev … only the creature’s hide is so small
this time that nobody remembers why the beast seemed frightening, once.


Gigi Wagg is a pen name of an adjunct faculty writer and activist who claims, in solidarity with the California Part-Time Faculty Association founders’ jingle, “I’ve taught everywhere!” The 2016 election cycle derailed Gigi’s other writing projects in the interest of resistance to the neocon agenda and ultimately, the neocon-cum-fascist con of the Donald Trump Presidency. The submitted poem compares Paul Ryan, the Conservative antagonist of human rights and healthcare for all Americans, to a moth, a greasy, ugly, pest that is infesting the body politic—and, yes, Gigi swatted hundreds of moths in a real infestation.

Photo credit: Ervins Strauhmanis via a Creative Commons license.

By | 2017-09-19T15:41:21+00:00 September 21st, 2017|Categories: Issue 41: 21 Sep 2017|Tags: , , |1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Nancy Dunlop 2017-09-23 at 7:02 am

    Very nice, Gigi Wagg. I have read about moths, and found out they are incredibly resilient and strong, both their bodies and the wings. So Ryan might not even make it to that level. But a pest to be swatted at, yes! Thank you.

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