Wednesday, January 20, 2021


As I write this, there were 142, 588 new cases of Covid-19 recorded and 1,440 new deaths. And those are considered a brief respite from what has been happening lately. In the last month we’ve seen death rates as high as 4,000 people a day. Pretty sobering. Even more so, considering we are quickly heading toward 400,000 Covid-19 related deaths in the United States, and are on pace to lose 500,000 Americans by the end of February. It is a shame that we’ve been failed both by our leadership and our own false sense of American exceptionalism, entitlement, and rugged individualism. Imagine how many people would be alive right now if we simply followed the basic guidelines of wearing a mask, keeping socially distant, and washing our hands. America is going to America, I guess. But I digress.

            I’d been thinking for weeks how to end this blog, this small protest of art. I didn’t want a grand statement, as the ensuing weeks of violence and terror, and Lord knows what is happening this very day in our country, didn’t lend credence to any grand statement. I’m shocked by what I’ve seen although I found none of it shocking. This end is exactly what Donald J. Trump foretold when he slithered down the escalator of his gaudy building back in June of 2015 and declared that he was running for president of the United States. We got exactly what was promised in a Trump presidency. Division. Racism. Misogyny. Hate. Violence. Suffering. Greed. A dark break with the norms of this flawed democracy. Kowtowing to oligarchs. America becoming a bigger failed state than it already had been before Trump. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.

            I want to say thank you to the writers and readers of WineDrunk SideWalk. Thank you to the artists who took time out of their lives to contribute to what we were trying to do here. I wish that I could’ve promoted you more, and that more people could’ve seen the work that you’d done. You should be proud of yourself for speaking out. For letting people know that what we’d been experiencing these past four years was not normal Republican vs. Democratic politics, but instead leadership under a vile, international criminal using mafia-style tactics to damage the nation while enriching himself and his crime family. All the while answering to the Kremlin.

            Personally, I don’t know where we go from here. How we recover as a nation. Maybe we don’t. Some signs seem pointed that way. We have one party that no longer believes in representative government through free and fair elections (unless they win), and another that seems unwilling to accept that about their colleagues across the aisle. The damage the Trump administration has done to this nation is quantifiable in some respects, but is going to take years upon years for us really to understand in total.

But there are positive signs. Look at protest over these past four years. Look at activism. Look at people who have taken leadership rolls in the democratic party. Look at Stacey Abrams. Look what happened this November in Georgia!

We have our first woman Vice-President.

So I’m going to leave you with a little bit of hope. I’m going to go back to where this all started on January 20, 2017, to a note my father-in-law wrote to his daughters in the days after Donald J. Trump became president of the United States.


Take it Big Ron


Hi girls 

Though a few days have passed since the election and the anger has subsided somewhat, I still have this hole in my soul that will be there for at least four years.

I'd like to tell you something - I grew up in the 50s and 60s and l saw firsthand what America was then. I used to say when the next generation comes along things will get better.

And it did. We elected the first black president and i thought we were finally going in the right direction.

Here we had a chance to elect a woman for president and break that glass ceiling. That didn't happen.

I came to this great nation as an immigrant and I may not have accomplished personally everything I wanted but what I'm most proud of are the strong daughters that I have and that I know you'll fight to break that glass ceiling.

I may still see a Madam President.

I love you all more




I’ll see you all further on up the road....and don't get too comfy while back under that "safe" blanket of neoliberalism.







Tuesday, January 19, 2021


Joe Biden’s Smile

We’ve all seen it
on the face of every mediocre man
who knows America keeps a special place
in its heart, in its conference rooms
for those with a stately smile
for whom just showing up
and shaking hands
has always been sufficient

he’s the used car salesman
who sees your bank account
on his balance sheet
the instant
he sees you
getting off the bus
on the coldest Tuesday
in February

the college town landlord
who will never fix the hot water heater
so he can keep your whole security deposit
after you are forced to break your lease

the bureaucrat
who understands your concerns but
whose only skill
is making sure complaints like yours
get lost in the system
a form misplaced
a file mislabeled

it’s the special smile
of someone who knows
you have no choice
but to take
the shitty deal they’re offering.

—Matthew Ussia

Monday, January 18, 2021


plastic fascist man

an action figure for idiots
capitalist SHitler

sinclair lewis cartoon

couldn’t golf your way
out of your own mendacity

american moron
american stooge

don’t the door hit you in your sopping ass
on the way out

mushroom baby-dick-tator
who has to pay for it

enjoy your exile in florida
with your trophy wife and bitterness

and your fake patriotism too

even putin won’t
pick up for you now

rabid autocratic dog on a leash
never-ending pestilence

plastic fascist man

your whole life
has been a sad, sad

--John Grochalski


Sunday, January 17, 2021



“We know he lost the election. It is fair to know whether he’s lost his mind.” — John Berman, CNN

Needy electoral loser, IMPOTUS II,
bloviates, threatens, begs
corrupt sycophants to intervene,
manufacture fantasy ballots,
overthrow the election.

He’s unwilling to relinquish his throne
where he serves as king of the grifters.
On a recorded, then leaked phone call,
he bullies Georgia’s Secretary of State,
strongly suggests “finding” thousands
more nonexistent votes in his favor.

Mango Mussolini flings medals
at previous probe saboteurs
to reward their part in this coup d’état,
keep his name in the headlines,
create more uproar,
insure their continued, complicit silence.

As his final days of mad mayhem elapse,
We the People cheer his inevitable downfall.

--Jennifer Lagier

Saturday, January 16, 2021


Plague House 

My neighbor runs
a plague house
has guests over

all the time
none of them
wear masks

defying life
safety and

--Thomas R. Thomas



Friday, January 15, 2021


2020 Is Over

2020 ends today
December 31, 2020
The Year of the Plague
goes on
until January 20, 2021

There will be chaos
up through January 6th
when we finally count
Donald J Trump out

And he may continue
the chaos beyond that
maybe even to war
but on January 20th
we are finally rid
of a man:
never qualified to be President
who never understood the Office of President
who never worked at being President
who saw the Presidency as a money-making opportunity
who embarrassed the United States around the world
who damaged our traditional alliances
who empowered our traditional adversaries
who weakened our environmental regulations
who fostered racial unrest
who has wrecked the Republican Party

If you get the impression
that I was never a fan
then you are obviously
more astute than those
who voted for him in 2016

---John F. McMullen

Thursday, January 14, 2021


Dream in direct deposit and tangerine

Honey, wine, fig, cut-crystal
shelter, hungry tired cream,
sticky ravaged fingers peeling

an imaginary sun, where
are the blessed as
the starving meet first death

idle in the street? When will creme
brûlée ever finally trickle down?
A friend pointed out a trickle

isn’t much to begin with anyway.
The pawn shop ticket for
Woody Guthrie’s guitar

is buried with him in his coat.
The Cyrus Cylinder is some of
the earliest documented evidence of

human liberty on a societal scale.
At least we have our common dream
in direct deposit and tangerine

the oily pink of one percent
as fluttering eyelids shielded
by designer lenses anyway.

And the phone rings day-job
gray again and they are poor.
Whatever the plan, if you are here,

it went wrong. Tax exempt churches
in America shake their plates and do
their best to explain why Heaven

has a coverage charge.

--Paul Koniecki 

Broken Democracy

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
”—Leonard Cohen

Lame Duck Demagogue whips up the crowd,
shouts marching orders to fascistic supporters.
Gleefully, they break windows, grind cigarettes into carpets,
smear feces across congressional office walls and floors,
halt vote counting from the Electoral College.

Stunted souls spew hatred, destruction.
Capital police facilitate the insurrection,
grin and pose in selfies with white supremacists.
Seditious enablers embrace violent treason.
Sane Americans watch in revulsion.

Traumatized, I wonder what larger plan
our higher power has in mind
to cleanse the diseased body politic,
bring us back to a place of light and hope, restore our defiled better selves

--Jennifer Lagier