New Worlds

Putin sat in the barber chair,

Looking far from grim.

“Why so happy?” asked Ivan.

“Shave—or just a trim?”

 

“It’s my boy, Donny,” Putin said.

“He’s doing really great.

He’s worth the roubles that it cost

To make him head of state.”

 

“How so, boss? I read all the news—

Just propaganda—will you

Really say what’s going on?”

“I will, but then I’ll—”

“Kill you?

I laughed at that in Brezhnev’s time

And Gorbachev’s, as well,

And everybody’s since then, but,

It’s now as old as hell!”

 

“Well, Donny thinks that’s funny.” “Yes,

But, if you heard the rumor

About his likes, you know his taste

Is just for toilet humor.”

 

Putin laughed so hard at that,

He tumbled from his chair.

“You’re right,” he said, while trying to breathe,

“it’s true—‘cause I was there.

 

Or, rather, all our cameras were

And, Ivan, just between us,

Although his hands may be outsized

He’s got a dinky—”

“Winky?”

 

“It’s something like that, but for now

We’ve made a little deal.

He does just what I tell him to—

In turn, I won’t reveal

 

The stuff that he would like to hide

And he’s done well, so far.

And that is just as well or else

He’s President Porn Star!

 

So, on my list of things for him,

He’s working hard, good boy!

On alienating U.S. friends,

As well as to destroy

 

That nasty NATO, then EU,

Promoting my idea

That I should have the Baltic states

As well as the Crimea.

 

At home, he stops the media

From spying on his acts—

Instead he keeps supplying them

With his alternative facts.

 

And, as for local politics,

He’s done just what I said:

Some bribing here, some threatening there,

And democracy is dead!”

 

“Bravo!” Ivan cried. “Boss, that’s great.

No wonder that you’re smiling!

To make that president behave—“

“I do a little dialing.

 

He thinks that he’s important when

He types out all those tweets

But trembles when he thinks that I

Can see beneath his sheets.”

 

Ivan raised scissors in salute,

But paused—“they’re so abundant—

Your victories—but haven’t you

Just made yourself redundant?

 

You’ve split up NATO, trashed EU—

The US is a zero.

What role is left, at last, for you?”

Vlad answered: “Action hero!”

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