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Generalissimo, a haibun by Ed Alley

by Ed Alley

Generalissimo has arrived. At six feet four, he says more, he towers over all. He tromps the boards with a thump, stumps people with each breath he takes, he exhales a new reality. He sweeps into the Living Room, dressed in black, a huge hat on his golden head, swollen from secret overuse, his head breaks the band of his feather festooned hat, so big he has to remove it (the hat), when he enters the little white house. Gold fringed epaulets on each shoulder, stars of gold. Braided gold lines the closure of his coat. Over his heart, LOU embroidered on his name patch (Lord of the Universe too big for the space aloud). Gold everywhere, his teeth, seat, scepter, and cape. Size 14 boots adorn his pedal extremities, spurs jangle with every trounce. Minions deliver a desk the size of a continent into the office he appropriates. 75 golden telephones line the desk, each labeled “Urgent.” Cronies crow, take a seat near His Frumpyness, hands outstretched to receive glory. A new world order, with stiff arm salute and hobnail boots, parades with the drum-beat of conquest through pale streets lined with the Chosen. From his porcelain throne, he rules his fiefdom with a giggle, a snort, a belly laugh. Like a runaway truck, he bobs and weaves through traffic, no clear destination or intention. Ramblin’, rollin’, he reeks of power, throwing things and people away if they disagree with him. He wrangles bedraggled roaring crowds, promising riches for all. One morning the Generalississimo is found stuffed into his ego, flying around the room like a balloon expelling hot air, then crumples like a wad of waste paper the floor. An eagle soars above.


From Ed Alley: “The winds of time bring many new things to us. A hard-fought election can bring almost anyone to a new office. This poem is a reflection on that process.”