Thursday, August 3, 2017


Gateway to the Gulag

Putin said, No art in Perm,
            No to the decadence of the West.

No surprise. Art is always a snake to a dictator,
            sidewinding and fanged,

the artist who puts it there, equally
            unpredictable, seducing through melodies,

images that might turn minds away from
            the demagogue.

What Putin wants is what Kim Jong-un wants—
            what Trump wants,

billboards and marches, selfies and self-medicating,
           a rictus of smiling.

An artists’ colony at the gateway to the Gulag?
            Forget it.

--Devon Balwit

Bio: Devon Balwit is a writer/teacher from Portland, OR. Her political poems have appeared in The New Verse News, Poets Reading the News, Redbird Weekly Reads, Rise-Up Review, Rat's Ass Review, The Rising Phoenix Review, Mobius, What Rough Beast, and more.

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