His most recent collection bears a title suggesting the poems are political in nature. This is partially true, in that many of the poems apparently contain his personal, real-time response to political issues raised or events that took place in the 2016 presidential campaign, such as “Real Men,” which I take as a kind of reaction to off-color comments made in the past by Donald Trump, and “On the Deplorable Word.” Others take aim at our political culture — e.g., “Celebrities” and “Religious Right.”
But the poems transcend the ephemeral events that have given rise to them. Especially in such sonets as “Math and Rulers,” we get the diamond-hard and sparkling reaction of the poet’s soul, the poet as Eternal Being, to the flotsam in the swirling eddies of time around him. So while THE STATE OF THE DISUNION chronicles the gaps between the poet and some of his fellow-citizens, in the end it creates a self-portrait, a unity out of a series of apparently granular and disparate but ultimately connected images, a collage of a man with a great heart, unafraid to call it as he sees it.