Monday, February 22, 2010

Lisa Samuels reads her poem, day 28

At the Save the World breakfast

the White House forward allies begged to ordinary
foundered face objections got and tightly fraught
with legislative Sunday morning
when the breakfast passed with future skies
in policy blue after the rollout tenderness
the eager incapacity of the real to disoblige
one’s prescient forbears of concern
of loving’s yesterday a lack of sleep, forbearance
to reform green element darling first year
elocution modes rely on closure to prevent
one’s aides from tripping after one unsteady kiss
on light perfume of daylight tired throat performance
held the market as it fell across his chair, the country
off entirely eating weakened expectations on the broken
backs of sofas with the Someone’s Out There rescue plan,
a householder whose water income severance
waits for no man’s one hand finds in close halls court
intensive of the lot, the congress smiling with its apples,
tactic engineers at breakfast loving to resurrect the flowers
ides of confidence in his oath reform adjusting keys
for doors whose open state relies on that neat knife
closing on the loaf writ from the future edge
of buttery admonition, after all a plan took more than hours
or days with eyes across our backs blind total
to ensure the stimulus fluffs its hair like a memorial
to history, wherein tomorrow he’ll breathe out
soft again and try his hand at Monday, facing spin
return on protectionist America that wears a fashionable
new cloak stitched from blue umbrellas when the sun
shone cold comparing one man at breakfast with the lonely
trade winds on approach, one’s whole body as earthquake
to affairs, a rapt comparison when ties are put on necks
to prove the throat’s constricted life beliefs,
short thinking’s bread plate put up unilateral to a risk without
provision for a febrile wish, a solution without question
he has to fetch himself from his admirers
with body noises while the game set rules go down in dozens
orthodox, wherein we frame the months with tremor
portents all the way from Valentine’s lost cabinet
to the beds and tables whereon tender bodies fetch
as gain and aperture the House whose own first choices
train the face whose mirror has a thousand keeps
and civil animals unrest for urging selfhood to cut down,
realizing all the guys have you tied up with paper threads
whose works will cusp in balance on that still
he is getting up in the morning sigh re-shape the world (again)

Lisa Samuels is an American in New Zealand, teaching at the University of Auckland. Her new & forthcoming poetry books are The Invention of Culture (Shearsman 2008), Throe (Oystercatcher 2009), and Tomorrowland (Shearsman 2009), and her current projects include Metropolis, a fantasy of urbanization. She wrote this poem imagining a moment of President Obama’s mind at breakfast on Sunday morning.

Originally posted on February 16, 2009

Click here for the MP3 of this poem.


  1. Thank you, Lisa. This is great!


  2. Wonderful poem. Perhaps living abroad gives you a more objective perspective of US politics. I can't imagine the burden being president must be and this poem expressed that. On Sunday morning, I'm reading the comics - can't imagine.

  3. I wonder how Obama feels on Sunday mornings these days. The hope and optimism that he expressed seems to have dissipated for the country. Things are worse now than then were when he took office. I feel for the man, I really do.

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