This Rotten Trumpet is Our Leader By Juliet Cook & Martin Willitts Jr

This Rotten Trumpet is Our Leader


The portals erode.
The industrial debris became the new leader
and plans to cauterize the serpent tongues.

The escape hatch is gone
because he removed it
without permission or approval.

No one will be the same after the spray.
Already, I cannot speak of what has happened.
My silence is uncomfortable.

But if we talk, our words will slime out
because our yellow, reptilian skin
is not covered with enough rust.

He made us all have the same yellow-orange
skin tone as him because he is the evil leader.


Alcohol used to be venomous;
now it’s everyone’s milk
in order to tone us down.

Breast milk is where the poison begins
to turn the babies into snakes
or snake charmers.

Milk: it does not do the body good.
It is our new slogan,
along with “Rust is Your Friend.”

Now that the leader is here,
everything is corroded
the way it should be.

It is great industrial rot day.
The mechanical birds do not whir.
The tin trees have unvarnished silver.

All as is should be.
All glorious waste
from sea to polluted sea.


There is no cure. We no longer desire to be cured.
We rather infect as many as we can, so we are all alike:
crushed plastic doll heads
in blood-splattered, contaminated rain
bending like trumpets someone sat on.

Soon nobody will have their own instruments.
The only singing mouths will be off-key, cracked,
contaminated screams.

By Juliet Cook & Martin Willitts Jr


Juliet Cook is brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. She is drawn to poetry, abstract visual art, and other forms of expression. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at

Martin Willitts Jr lives in Syracuse, New York. He has won numerous awards and prizes for poetry. He has won grants to place bi-lingual poetry inside of buses from Adult English as a Second Language Students. He has 26 chapbooks including two national contest winners, and 20 full-length collections including two national contest winners. He is an editor for The Comstock Review, and a judge for the New York State Fair Poetry Contest.

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