Friday, February 22, 2013

"I Make Hitler Laugh," a poem by meeah

"I Make Hitler Laugh"
by meeah

We were hiking through the Tyrol with the Fuhrer.
At a scenic overlook, the famous naturalist,
long deceased,
was pointing out the resemblance
of various famous people
to other famous people in a book
full of photographs of famous people: Sartre to Cary Grant,
Glenn Gould to someone or other,
that sort of thing. 

What was his point?
That all famous people are basically identical?
The scenery, by the way,
was breathtaking.
Shrouded in a lavender mist, etc. 

So, inevitably, the famous dead naturalist
comes to a picture of Hitler—it’s one of the last,
Berlin in ruins, the Fuhrer,
his peaked cap pulled low,
bundled up against the cold,
is reviewing the “troops,”
a motley collection of men and pre-teen boys
rounded up for one last
hopeless defense of Nazism.
That was a bad day for Hitler,
the sort every dictator dreads,
but he was out there putting the best face on things.
You had to hand him that.

“Now in this photograph…”
and the naturalist, undaunted,
flips through the pages
to suggest another of his unlikely look-a-likes.

“Good grief,” I cry, with a not entirely mock exasperation.
“You’d think at least being the Fuhrer
would be enough in itself.
That you wouldn’t need to search out
these kinds of tortured comparisons
between him and anyone else!”

At this, Hitler himself bursts out laughing.
It was a hardy, sincere laugh,
filled with warmth and the spirit of fellowship.
It made me feel good to make him laugh like that,
god only knows why. 

The long-dead naturalist,
caught unawares for a moment,
begins to chuckle, too.
Soon we’re all sharing a hearty laugh
in the crisp mountain air. 

Yes, it’s a fine day in the Tyrol.
The thawing landscape sparkles.

"I Make Hitler Laugh," by the poet meeah, originally appeared online in the February Action Poetry section of Levi Asher's Literary Kicks. The poet's blog is the oddbox. (Photo by Beate Bergstrom, Michael Meschke's staging of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi, 1964.) 

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