Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Mike Schneider: In the Post-Truth World

the game of truth or consequences

has no consequence. What does it matter

if insurance agents quote Thoreau? The mass of men

still lead lives of quiet desperation. Guns

are not on sale at the mall. My best friend still

has pancreatic cancer. My other best friend smokes

a stinky cigar he’d like to poke into the president’s

face. Meet the world’s 20 insurance billionaires

is something no one wants to do. Only I am

a narcissist in the post-truth world. Only I understand

tyrants as a kind of fruit that grows on trees, many

of them planted by intelligence. There is no intelligence

in the post-truth world. A small tyrant lives inside

me. I feed him poetry. In the post-truth world, no one

has been shot dead at the movies. Dimpled small white

spheroids do not soar over meadows toward holes marked

by flagpoles. His throat shredded by carcinoma, my father

hoped for one more summer of golf. I have no cause

for outrage in the post-truth world. Presidents

don’t commit sexual assault. All the flags are not

in love with their own flapping. Boots with spurs

do not go jingle-jangle. The first lady will be

always a fierce warrior-goddess heart-mother

of love. To study physics is to worship God

is the core belief of every religion. No one knows

when the train will arrive. Accommodation is not

the destination. It goes without saying that your money

is no good here. In the post-truth world, poems often don’t

draw you into a sorrowful deep well of feeling. You

don’t sigh & say Ahhh. No one is not an island

paradise. No one has elected as president

of their country a man with fake tan that makes him orange

with white circles around his eyes like a raccoon, a hungry

rodent gazing at you from dumpster-alley shadows.

Copyright 2017 Mike Schneider

Mike Schneider won the 2016 Robert Phillips Prize (selected by Richard Foerster) from Texas Review Press, which in 2017 will publish his chapbook How Many Faces Do You Have?



Trump’s tan through the ages: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2014 (image from Zuma Press)

7 comments on “Mike Schneider: In the Post-Truth World

  1. Mike Schneider
    February 13, 2019

    Oxford Dictionaries 2016 word of the year: “post-truth” . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mrstressbuster
    February 27, 2017

    Wow, good thought. by the way, I just blogged about post-truth, may like to check it out. http://wp.me/p8p4rd-ii


  3. randomyriad
    February 11, 2017

    Reblogged this on Myriad Ways and commented:
    So nicely put. We all have our inner toddler fascist rodent living in our skin, but if we feed him/her with poetry and love s/he will grow bored and calm the ceaseless rage of neediness. We need to make connections internally to understand the mayhem inherent in our enemies’ soul. We need to understand the extent of the utter eclipse of empathy by fear and the black hole of need that will suck the life of our existence.


  4. Charlie Brice
    February 9, 2017

    Every line of this poem is so carefully crafted that essays could be written about them. The poet leaps from thing to thing and yet the entire poem coheres into a satirical masterpiece. I’m so grateful that in the post post-truth world we have a poet like Mike Schneider to cast such a ruthless light on our national darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. neruda22
    February 2, 2017


    “All the truth in the world adds up to one big lie.” — Dylan, Things Have Changed

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Arlene Weiner
    February 2, 2017

    I’m not judging him by the color of his skin but by the content of his character.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. novabrunswick
    February 2, 2017

    So the Dump wasn’t always orange?

    Liked by 1 person

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