Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 4



Because the Man Just Won't Go Away

Derek Kannemeyer


Divest him of everything that is bluster:
of the proofs he trumpets without naming;
of the beautiful plans he promises and can't muster;

denude him of the sycophants who swell
the echo chamber of his sneers, and of his blaming,
tolling his wild boasts as their temple bell.

Unvarnish his every lie, Lord, of its Big Man luster—
to double talk, doubled down on—the hard sell
of nothing multiplied by nothing, which is nothing—

scrub his every orifice of the murderous whiny
insinuations with which he fans his minions' loathing—
until lo! Stripped of the smoke blowing from his heinie,

the man who would be emperor has no clothing;
and behold, his wiener is tiny.



Derek Kannemeyer: “I'm a retired teacher and still active writer living in Richmond, Virginia. My writing has appeared in scores of publications from Fiction International to Rolling Stone. Three recent books are the five act Play of Gilgamesh (2019), the poetry collection Mutt Spirituals (2021), and the photography/non-fiction hybrid Unsay Their Names about the 2020 dismantling of Richmond's Lost Cause statuary. 40 photographs from this book will be on fall display at Richmond's Black History Museum. I'm a native mixed race South African (40% white, 40% Asian, 20% African); my family fled apartheid and I was raised in London. I identify as 'triracial' or as 'other.'”




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