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Barrelhouse Barrelhouse is a pop culture-obsessed literary magazine based in Washington, DC that publishes ficti

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Join Natasha Oladokun for an online poetry workshop this fall exploring the poetics of intimacy. Learn new approaches, g...
10/07/2022
Online Poetry Workshop: Poetics of Intimacy: Meeting the “Other” in Poetry, starting November 6th — BARRELHOUSE

Join Natasha Oladokun for an online poetry workshop this fall exploring the poetics of intimacy. Learn new approaches, get feedback, meet great people, write great work.

What is the difference between proximity and earned intimacy? What power dynamics and privileges determine who is “other,” whether with regard to race, gender, class, or sexual orientation? And most immediately: how is our relationship to relational intimacy rapidly changing in the midst of a gl...

Back by popular demand! Natasha Oladokun teaches the Poetics of Intimacy! Class starts Oct. 9th!
09/24/2022
Online Poetry Workshop: Poetics of Intimacy: Meeting the “Other” in Poetry, starting October 9th — BARRELHOUSE

Back by popular demand! Natasha Oladokun teaches the Poetics of Intimacy! Class starts Oct. 9th!

What is the difference between proximity and earned intimacy? What power dynamics and privileges determine who is “other,” whether with regard to race, gender, class, or sexual orientation? And most immediately: how is our relationship to relational intimacy rapidly changing in the midst of a gl...

New poetry book from Assistant Poetry Editor Lucian Mattison from the good people at CRPress, out October 15th!
09/23/2022
C&R Press

New poetry book from Assistant Poetry Editor Lucian Mattison from the good people at CRPress, out October 15th!

Lucian Mattison’s poetry collection, Curare, is a work about remembering our humanity in the face of the destabilizing and dehumanizing forces of technology, climate change, and capitalism. The image-rich poems delight in the odd and off-kilter while walking an informal lyrical path through landsc...

Introducing our next poetry book! IF THIS SHOULD REACH YOU IN TIME by Justin Marks! “There’s no way around / not being p...
09/22/2022
If This Should Reach You in Time, by Justin Marks — BARRELHOUSE

Introducing our next poetry book! IF THIS SHOULD REACH YOU IN TIME by Justin Marks! “There’s no way around / not being part / of the problem,” Marks writes in “Along for the Ride,” “The best case scenario / is long term disaster”.

In his fourth collection of poetry, Marks renders global threats as intimate and personal. As we turn inward, terror and sadness take hold. This is a book of crisis and dread, both human and spiritual.

Design by Shanna Compton.

If This Should Reach You in Time sounds the alarm of climate change and democratic collapse with tender lament and guarded hope from award-winning poet Justin Marks. “There’s no way around / not being part / of the problem,” Marks writes in “Along for the Ride,” “The best case scenario /...

Applications are open for Barrelhouse Writer Camp, a short, super laid back retreat in Central PA. Dates in late June an...
05/06/2022
Barrelhouse Writer Camp

Applications are open for Barrelhouse Writer Camp, a short, super laid back retreat in Central PA. Dates in late June and early August.

Writer Camp is a laid-back mini-vacation with plenty of time for writing. No readings, no mandatory sessions, no schedules: you decide when it’s time to write, read, or nap in a hammock. Each participant also has the option of receiving detailed feedback from a Barrelhouse editor on their work.

Your registration fee includes lodging, all meals, a few group activities, plenty of time to write, and campfires every night.

A writing retreat in central Pennsylvania. No readings. No itineraries. Just writing, campfires, one-on-ones with editors, and time to do what you want. Lodging and meals provided.

03/28/2022

Missing already? Join us next month for Conversations and Connections: a one-day, online way to stay connected with the writing community, get some practical writing advice, and even meet one-on-one with an editor. Seventy bucks gets you workshops, two free books, incentives from small presses, and a virtual happy hour. Comfy shoes not required. Writersconnectconference.com

Still a few days left to register for our upcoming fiction workshop with John Cotter. Meets every Sunday on Zoom for 8 w...
10/14/2021

Still a few days left to register for our upcoming fiction workshop with John Cotter. Meets every Sunday on Zoom for 8 weeks. $250 registration fee; financing options are available (just DM us). John is an excellent, incredibly well-read teacher, and this is a great opportunity to get some good work done and think about your current manuscript in new ways. Open to all skill/experience levels.

https://www.barrelhousemag.com/shopone/are-there-rules-zoom-fiction-workshop-with-john-cotter

Still a handful of spots remaining in John Cotter's online fiction workshop! Course Begins Oct 17, and meets on Zoom eve...
10/04/2021
"Are there rules?" Zoom fiction workshop with John Cotter — BARRELHOUSE

Still a handful of spots remaining in John Cotter's online fiction workshop! Course Begins Oct 17, and meets on Zoom every Sunday for 8 weeks. Focus is on interrogating the conventional "rules" of fiction writing + generating new materials. $250 to register, full details at the link

https://www.barrelhousemag.com/shopone/are-there-rules-zoom-fiction-workshop-with-john-cotter

Should we kill our darlings? Must we show but not tell? Does it matter if setting is a character? Which of the received rules of writing fiction really do hold up (as some of them undoubtedly do) and which are merely words? Join John Cotter for an 8-week generative fiction workshop beginning Octob

New book alert! Starting today you can pre-order Christine No's debut poetry collection WHATEVER LOVE MEANS! We can't wa...
09/01/2021
Whatever Love Means, by Christine No — BARRELHOUSE

New book alert! Starting today you can pre-order Christine No's debut poetry collection WHATEVER LOVE MEANS! We can't wait for you to read this one.

“I hold anger like my mother / wedged between shoulder and spine / where wings should have sprouted / but didn’t.” Whatever Love Means is a record of past lives, of people and places, of the ghosts that won't leave. Some parts are memorial, others are made up; all slipstream, still, around a s...

quick heads up we're opening soon for fiction &  nonfiction, + ALL GENRES for a special cryptozoology themed section in ...
08/27/2021

quick heads up we're opening soon for fiction & nonfiction, + ALL GENRES for a special cryptozoology themed section in issue 23. more details tk

Cover reveal for Christine No's Whatever Love Means coming this fall! Pre-order opens on Sept. 1st. Get ready!Cover by S...
08/16/2021

Cover reveal for Christine No's Whatever Love Means coming this fall! Pre-order opens on Sept. 1st. Get ready!

Cover by Shanna Compton.

Writer Camp is back!  This year's camp will be Wednesday, August 4 through Sunday, August 8.Check out our website for lo...
05/21/2021
Writer Camp 2021

Writer Camp is back! This year's camp will be Wednesday, August 4 through Sunday, August 8.

Check out our website for lodging and cost details, covid-19 adjustments, and some really good photos of hammocks and sunshine.

Applications are open now, and should only take about five minutes. A writing sample is *optional* and there to help us match you with an editor if you're interested in an editor meeting. And as always, no submission fees.

A writing retreat in central Pennsylvania. No readings. No itineraries. Just writing, campfires, one-on-ones with editors, and time to do what you want. Lodging and meals provided.

New online workshop opportunity! Natasha Oladokun on the Poetics of Intimacy: Meeting the "Other" in Poetry! Starts 2/14...
02/04/2021
Online poetry workshop with Natasha Oladokun starting February 14 — BARRELHOUSE

New online workshop opportunity! Natasha Oladokun on the Poetics of Intimacy: Meeting the "Other" in Poetry! Starts 2/14. Registration is open now!

Poetics of Intimacy: Meeting the “Other” in Poetry What is the difference between proximity and earned intimacy? What power dynamics and privileges determine who is “other,” whether with regard to race, gender, class, or sexual orientation? And most immediately: how is our relationship to re...

The time has come! Now accepting preorders for Gina Myers's incredible SOME OF THE TIMES! Sales of the book support The ...
09/15/2020
Some of the Times, by Gina Myers — BARRELHOUSE

The time has come! Now accepting preorders for Gina Myers's incredible SOME OF THE TIMES!

Sales of the book support The Youth Art & Self-empowerment Project in Philadelphia and the First Ward Community Service’s LACER (Literacy Arts Cultural Enrichment Recreation) program in Saginaw, Michigan.

Get a great book, support some great causes. You can't lose!

Those who are familiar with Gina Myers's previous work will be pleased to see Some of the Times build from the same base of social consciousness while also pushing in new directions. Myers captures what it feels like to live in this era of late capitalism in a way that few other poets do. This is

It's cover reveal day! Here's Gina Myers's forthcoming SOME OF THE TIMES! Pre-orders begin 9/15!
09/08/2020

It's cover reveal day! Here's Gina Myers's forthcoming SOME OF THE TIMES! Pre-orders begin 9/15!

Good morning, friends -- through the month of June, we're donating proceeds from all sales to The Hurston/Wright Foundat...
06/08/2020
shop — BARRELHOUSE

Good morning, friends -- through the month of June, we're donating proceeds from all sales to The Hurston/Wright Foundation in an effort to support Black writers, both locally and nationally. If you'd like to support Hurston/Wright and add some more Barrelhouse to your lives, now is the perfect chance to check out our books, lit mags, chapbooks, and t-shirts.

Our newest book, MERCY, a memoir by Marcia Trahan about true crime obsession and medical trauma, launched this week.

https://www.barrelhousemag.com/shop

Online short fiction workshop with Barrelhouse Editor and writer Dave Housley. This is an 8 week workshop that starts on January 6, 2019 and ends on March 3. Participation is limited to 12 people and every participant will have a chance to workshop 2 stories. 

Nonfiction writers, we are now open for essay submissions until 5/24. Full guidelines here.  https://barrelhouse.submitt...
05/10/2020
Barrelhouse - Nonfiction

Nonfiction writers, we are now open for essay submissions until 5/24. Full guidelines here.

https://barrelhouse.submittable.com/submit/812/nonfiction

We're open for essay submissions for 2 weeks for print Issue 22 (coming probably in Spring 2021).  Please note that Barrelhouse is interested only in essays that deal, in one way or another, with pop culture, though pop culture here is defined in a fairly broad way (essays we've published have incl...

A reminder that two of our editors have an 8 year backlog of podcast episodes (almost half of them pretty good!) availab...
04/10/2020
‎Book Fight on Apple Podcasts

A reminder that two of our editors have an 8 year backlog of podcast episodes (almost half of them pretty good!) available to fill your ears with content when you exhaust all other options

‎Books · 2020

APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN for Writer Camp 2020! You've seen the creekside Instagrams, heard about the laid-back vibe and ins...
02/03/2020
Writer Camp 2020

APPLICATIONS ARE OPEN for Writer Camp 2020! You've seen the creekside Instagrams, heard about the laid-back vibe and instant writer friendships, and read the work that's come out of camp. Join us this summer!

Camp 1: Thursday, June 25-Sunday, June 28
Camp 2: Wednesday, August 5-Sunday, August 9

Details and application info here: www.writer-camp.com

An writing retreat in central Pennsylvania. No readings. No itineraries. Just writing, campfires, one-on-ones with editors, and time to do what you want. Lodging and meals provided.

12/05/2019

Friends, we need your help: The Library of Congress wants to stock Barrelhouse. They need 2 copies of each issue & our archives are cleared out. If you have copies of BH issues 7, 13, or 14 that you can spare, we'll trade you a new subscription for them. DM for details.

Excited to take part in The Inner Loop: A Literary Reading Series's Winter Gala! TIL does so much for the DC literary co...
11/19/2019
Winter Fundraising Gala by The Inner Loop

Excited to take part in The Inner Loop: A Literary Reading Series's Winter Gala! TIL does so much for the DC literary community. You can even win a Barrelhouse prize basket at the silent auction. Grab a drink with us and show them some love. Tickets are going fast.

Open Call for the "I've Got Love on My Mind: Black Women on Love" Online IssueWe've all heard the saying, "Trust Black w...
11/01/2019
Barrelhouse Submission Manager

Open Call for the "I've Got Love on My Mind: Black Women on Love" Online Issue

We've all heard the saying, "Trust Black women." But for Barrelhouse's special online issue, guest-edited by Tyrese Coleman, we are saying instead "Love Black women." We are saying, "Black women love." We are saying, "Read Black women!"

The theme is "I've Got Love on My Mind." We are looking for poetry, fiction and nonfiction that interprets this theme in any way that speaks to a Black woman's experience or interpretation of love—love for others, the spectrum of how and who we love and why, self-love, romantic love, familial love, a void of love, loving what others do not, loving your culture, your country, not feeling the love. We want work that isn't afraid to be avant-garde, irreverent, snarky, experimental, profane, moving, against expectations, or all of the above.

We are open for submissions from November 1-8. Please see Submittable for full details.

Thanks for submitting your work to Barrelhouse!   Before you proceed, a note about open and closed categories. If you don't see the category that fits your work, we're not open for that thing. We keep submission periods pretty short because we're hoping that helps make our response times shorter, a...

Hey poets! We're open for submissions from November 1-15. Details on Submittable.
11/01/2019
Barrelhouse Submission Manager

Hey poets! We're open for submissions from November 1-15. Details on Submittable.

Thanks for submitting your work to Barrelhouse!   Before you proceed, a note about open and closed categories. If you don't see the category that fits your work, we're not open for that thing. We keep submission periods pretty short because we're hoping that helps make our response times shorter, a...

The DC Lit Crawl is this Sunday! Do you have your ticket yet?
09/18/2019
DC Lit Crawl 2019 Ticket — BARRELHOUSE

The DC Lit Crawl is this Sunday! Do you have your ticket yet?

It’s back! Please join Barrelhouse and MoonLit on Sunday, September 22nd for the third annual DC Lit Crawl. This year, we’ll bring contemporary and engaging literary voices into Eastern Market/Capitol HIll, showcasing and celebrating local literary artistry featuring Tyrese Coleman, dave ring, K...

Big announcement time! Barrelhouse has two new poetry collections on the way, Some of the Times by Gina Myers (2020) and...
08/08/2019
BARRELHOUSE BOOKS TO PUBLISH NEW POETRY COLLECTIONS BY GINA MYERS AND CHRISTINE NO — BARRELHOUSE

Big announcement time! Barrelhouse has two new poetry collections on the way, Some of the Times by Gina Myers (2020) and Whatever Love Means by Christine No (2021)!

Thank you to everyone who submitted to our 2019 open reading period for poetry manuscripts. The amount of good work out there is overwhelming. We wish we could publish so many of the manuscripts we received. Trust us, world, there are a lot of good books coming your way in the next few years. We’r...

Very excited to offer a new online workshop with poet Natalie Eilbert! Natalie has designed this course for anyone who h...
06/18/2019
Stop Making Sense: An Online Meaning-Making Poetry Workshop with Natalie Eilbert

Very excited to offer a new online workshop with poet Natalie Eilbert! Natalie has designed this course for anyone who has ever been told their poems are too evasive or obscure. This course is for anybody who wants to enhance their lyric voice and to find meaning apart from the status quo. Is that you?

In this 8 week online workshop, we will consider what meaning means in poetry. Poetry cannot and should not be read like prose, as it is not meant for information gathering. We read poetry because we cannot shake the ineffable from our faculties; because poetry locates a supreme feeling and reason

Friends, you may remember that earlier this year we gave our Amplifier grant to the Appalachian Prison Book Project (APB...
05/31/2019
Click here to support College Classes in Prison organized by Appalachian Prison Book Project

Friends, you may remember that earlier this year we gave our Amplifier grant to the Appalachian Prison Book Project (APBP) , which does great work in providing books, writing materials, and writing instruction to incarcerated people. They're legit, and they're doing great work, and they need your help for a new ambitious project to pay for college course for up to 15 incarcerated people. Please consider donating, and share widely.

“This class made me feel human again. This class took me back into a world that was closed off for years. I want to thank this class for the opportunity to be Ricardo again.” The Appalachian Prison Book Project, based in Morgantown, WV, began in 2004 with a handful of books being mailed into pri...

More Issue 19 fiction previews, this time by Jonathan Pescke and Jackson Vrana.Like what you read? Want a lil' lovetopus...
05/14/2019
Issue 19 preview: fiction by Jonathan Pescke and Jackson Vrana

More Issue 19 fiction previews, this time by Jonathan Pescke and Jackson Vrana.

Like what you read? Want a lil' lovetopus for your shelf? Check our website or your local bookseller.

Read fiction excerpts from our latest print issue. (Available in our store , in Barnes and Noble, and at your local bookseller.)

Issue 19, which features all previously unpublished authors, is available now! We'll be featuring excerpts from the new ...
05/07/2019
Issue 19 preview: fiction by Dayneé Alejandra Rosales, Benjamin Sloan, and Helena Duncan

Issue 19, which features all previously unpublished authors, is available now! We'll be featuring excerpts from the new issue all week.

You can order copies online, or find them in Barnes and Noble or at indie bookstores across the country. Look for the . (Or subscribe to Barrelhouse so that good good content comes straight to your door.)

Read fiction excerpts from our latest print issue. (Available in our store , in Barnes and Noble, and at your local bookseller.)

Good morning, nonfiction writers: We're open for submissions for issue 21 for the next 2 weeks (subs close midnight on 5...
04/27/2019
Barrelhouse - Nonfiction

Good morning, nonfiction writers: We're open for submissions for issue 21 for the next 2 weeks (subs close midnight on 5/12). Full details here:

https://barrelhouse.submittable.com/submit/812/nonfiction

We're open for essay submissions for 2 weeks, and this time around we're looking especially for your essays that feel a little weird, a little fractured, a little bit messy. We thought about defining this more specifically, but have decided that it would be more fun for you to run with it.  It woul...

Last year, Barrelhouse got to wondering: What would happen if a literary magazine said, instead of "Send us your best wo...
03/21/2019
The Something Issue

Last year, Barrelhouse got to wondering: What would happen if a literary magazine said, instead of "Send us your best work," we said "Send us work you love?"

"You’re a writer, and you have this....Something. It’s short. It’s weird. It’s scary. It’s powerful. It’s hilarious. It’s something you love, but have no idea who in the hell would publish it. Maybe you’ve agonized over it with others. Maybe you’ve kept it all to yourself. Maybe you think of it all the time. Maybe you try to forget it."

Today, we're happy to unveil THE SOMETHING ISSUE. Give it a read.

In This Issue The Fisherman's Folly , by Jim Ruland Other Girls , by Caroljean Gavin Portrait of my Mother as Disembodied Feet Washing up on the Shores of Western Canada, as Reported by CNN , by Sarah Shotland Skin Palace , by Justin Greene I fall asleep waiting for a call from the tribuna

Hey AWP People! New Barrelhouse KEEP IT WEIRD tees will be available at at booth 2027 this year! And of course we'll hav...
03/10/2019

Hey AWP People! New Barrelhouse KEEP IT WEIRD tees will be available at at booth 2027 this year! And of course we'll have our classic, original, accept-no-f*ck'n-lame-ass pl*giariz'n substitutes FU***NG POETS, MAN shirts along with last year's quickly sold-out plucky blowfish UNRELIABLE NARRATOR shirts. Booth 2027. Oh, and we'll also have a sh*tload of alien figures. And some books probably.

Photos from Story Supply Co.'s post
03/09/2019

Photos from Story Supply Co.'s post

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Hear Jenn Koiter read from SO MUCH OF EVERYTHING—a book that critic Hannah Grieco called called "crushingly honest" in her review for Washington City Paper—at The Writer's Center this Saturday, February 5, at 6:30 pm. Jenn will be in conversation with Dan Brady of Barrelhouse. This event will be in person.

RSVP: https://www.writer.org/event/jenn-koiter/
"Gonzalez’s work can be found in Catapult, Electric Literature, The Nation Magazine, Split Lip Magazine, and elsewhere. His fiction has been selected for the Best Small Fictions and Best Microfiction anthologies, as well as the Wigleaf Top 50. He is the fiction editor at Barrelhouse and a 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Fiction for the New York Foundation for the Arts.

'I’m Not Hungry But I Could Eat' is Gonzalez’s debut short story collection, out from Santa Fe Writers Project, and it’s as fearless and vulnerable you’d expect, an exploration of sexuality and culture and friendship and food. It’s also generous, modest, a slice of who Gonzalez is served up in fiction.

📰📚☕

Don't miss new work publishing at Allium A Journal of Poetry & Prose, Apple Valley Review, Barrelhouse, Bellevue Literary Review, The Southern Collective Experience, Brink Literary , Burningword Literary Journal, Chestnut Review, The Closed Eye Open, Club Plum Literary Journal, Dark Matter: Women Witnessing, and more!
Barrelhouse
Two notable birthdays today: Anthony Bourdain and Prince's album, Purple Rain. I've gone to the page about both, this first piece given to the love of my life three years ago (it’s almost 29 soon, Joe Curto) and the second featured in Dig If You Will The Picture a Barrelhouse collection of writings remembering Prince. In October I'll be teaching a one-day class at The Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College where we will think about these kinds of refections, Food, Music and Intimacy: A Trifecta for the Senses and the Blank Page. More to come soon on this, DM for additional info.

A Lesson about Trains
John Burl Smith
“I could not believe The Washington Examiner blasted a The Washington Post story saying, “This week The Washington Post published a glow-up profile of CNN, praising the left-wing cable network for all the reasons, including that it has given itself over entirely to personal opinion and clownish, self-serving theatrics.” Mind you The Washington Examiner is the same paper that is a “mouth piece” for Fox News. It has embraced Republicans nationwide effort to legitimize Republicans’ full blown attempt to recast the November 6th insurrectionists as peaceful protesters, not to mention it has gone all in, totally embracing Trump’s “Big Lie.” Republicans have declared a no-holds-barred campaign of voter suppression bills in all states, as they try to delegitimize the results of President Joe Biden’s overwhelming victory. Instigating the insurrection in the United States Capitol on January 6th, 2021, Republicans have declared an all-out assault on democratic government. Witnessing the attack on democracy itself, news outlets like CNN and The Washington Post are supporting Democrats, as the only thing standing between Republicans' efforts to kill democracy in America!!!!!!”
I frame the following discussion, as a lesson about train, to add a bit of levity to a very dart and dangerous situation in America, which has consumed so many democracies, as rightwing totalitarianism and dictatorships around the world. As a child, I was fascinated by trains. Every Christmas, I pray Santa Claus would bring me one of those huge 100-piece Lionel train sets. Of course he never did; such a gift was only a dream for the son of Mississippi sharecroppers; plus we didn’t have electricity. Even after my mother and father made their desperate dash for freedom, under the cover of night escaping Mississippi, headed for Memphis Tennessee, my prayer remained beyond the reach of my mother’s ability to satisfy.
Struggling to keep us sheltered, with lights on and food on the table, while raising five children alone for years, my family’s escape from sharecropping, still left poverty hovering, like a vulture awaiting the final breath. The reality was my family’s escape only changed the backdrop of poverty, because we landed in one of Memphis’ grungiest pockets of poverty, “Greens Alley.” My family joined the large number of families trapped in dire straits that could not do any better. Consequently, my family’s economic circumstances rendered my dream an unfulfilled expectation. However, although living in “Greens Alley” was miserably depressing, similar to other instances during my life, time, events and Divine intervention provided means for me to vicariously see and learn some very important lessons about life, and trains.
“Greens Ally” was buttressed, on the Westside, by the Illinois Central Railroad switching yard and roundhouse, and although life there was the pits, nevertheless, that gave “Greens Alley” an upside. I was able to observe trains for hours on end, as I imagined sitting in the engineer’s cab. As such, I quickly became aware of the first and most important lesson one learns, which is that the engineer has total control of the train. From his perch in the cabin, he commands the locomotive's cars and crew. Success on a train depends ultimately on clearly distinguishing between the different parts and roles of a train—the engine, passenger cars, and the caboose. With those points in mind, I present an analogy to which some readers may say, “That’s elementary Watson!” if they have done more than ride a train. Commensurately, I preference the following remarks by saying, “Amtrak Joe” is very well acquainted with train personnel, roles and responsibilities in reaching one’s destination. So, I use the train analogy here to illustrate why Donald Trump’s reelection produced such an upheaval within the Republican Party and the current political tumult they are experiencing.
As I stated earlier, a train’s engine’s cabin is where everything important happens, regarding direction, speed, breaking and control occurs. Passenger cars are insignificant regarding a train’s operation. A locomotive’s personnel or crew hangs out in the caboose, awaiting orders from the engineer to hook and unhook cars, switching tracks and so forth. Apparently, these distinctions in responsibilities escaped or became muddled aboard Donald Trump’s glory ride back to the White House, during his 2020 reelection and coronation, as President. Things seemed to go off the rails about midway the campaign, as Trump missed or ignored signals, trying to switch tracks, once protest began impacting Americans political mindset. First, Trump tried to make a quick transition to a law and order theme. Similar to a quick change artist and without notice, Trump made an unscheduled stop at church to display an upside down Bible. Not knowing which way was up, his upside down Bible snafu seemed to anger the train gods, causing mishaps to plague the Trump train, like lightning out of a clear blue sky.
Next, Trump’s transition to a “law and order” message would not have gone so disastrously had the engineer on board Trump’s train been in command of the glory ride. However, with Trump in charge, the engineer had to await orders from the dining car, where Trump was “partying it up” with his big campaign donors. Trump’s desires to always feel and reflect he is in charge, completely locked engineer out of important decisions and undercut his ability to operate and control the train. Consequently, the engineer was forced to check with Trump all the way back in the dining car, before deciding anything, most critically speed, which meant braking for curves and downhill grades increased as the campaign progressed.
Once, protests along track side increased Trump demand greater speed, in order to catch up with the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited, which polls showed, speeding well ahead of the Trump train. Protesters popping up along track side troubled Trump when his law and order quick fix added cars to his reducing speed and poll numbers. Prospects of the Trump glory ride getting back to White House got really herky-jerky, as Trump screamed at the engineer to pick up speed. Giving less attention to the tracks ahead and more to protesters, Trump’s messaging and communication became more and more confusing. The crew in the caboose, which Trump had monitoring protest, rather than signals from the engineer, left Trump blind to how far ahead the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited actually was.
Trump’s personalized campaign messaging system, meant the engineer did not have direct contact with Trump. This resulted in the engineer having to go through people, with Trump actually driving the train back in the party car. Continually demanding more speed, even though the engineer was the one looking at the tracks, increased hazards when Trump’s campaign started going downhill. No one in the rear on the glory train had any idea what was on the tracks ahead, but Trump was making decisions and demanding more speed trying to overtake the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited. Disaster struck when Trump decided it would be easier for him if he sent messages forward to the engineer by the crew in the caboose, that way he could keep the party going and dollars rolling in. That decision not only delayed orders reaching the engineer, the guys in the caboose decided to wave the American flag while using hand signals, as they hollowed commands for the engineer out the windows.
The resulting train wreck only the engineer saw coming could not be avoided because Trump had the brake man back in the party car singing “pep rally” tunes, while serving drinks to his big campaign donors, rather than in the engineer’s cabin. Going downhill at breakneck speed desperately trying to overtake the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited, Trump was convinced stoking the engine with dollars would produce sufficient speed but did not understand the need for the brake man in the engineer’s cabin. Without a brake man and orders coming from the caboose, the engineer, who knew no one in the rear of the train could see what was coming, bailed. He left Trump driving the train, but no one at the controls. Things really went off the rails at this point, I believe, because Trump thought he had all the brains, so anyone could drive the train with him telling them what to do, ipso facto he put the brake man in the engineer’s seat. Again, relying only on his supercharged engine running on dollars, he believed he would catch “old slow Joe” in the straightaway. However, again Trump did not realize one important fact about train tracks, which I learned as a kid, tracks have curves, which is why a brake man has a job. With the Trump train racing down the track to the finish line was like having a backseat driver for his wheelman, in the Daytona 500, who never ran a race.
Picture the “Trump limited” barreling headlong down the track, trying to catch up to the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited, which Trump expected to catch from behind, while not understanding the two trains or campaigns were on the same track, true enough, but going in different directions. With his engine wide open, seeing the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited headed directly at him, the shock forced Trumps to order a hard right turn onto the siding of insurrection, to avoid getting run down by the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited. Zooming pass, as the Trump party train ran aground and out of dollars, desperately trying to escape the head on crash, as the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited zoomed pass, whistling “See You in DC” headed to the White House.
Out of dollars power and losing, Trump claimed foul, “If I lose the election, it will be because the election was rigged.” That claim became the escape siding ramp the Trump party train took but it dead ended, in a headlong crash with the US Judiciary and Constitution, rather than the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited. Campaign supporters onboard Trump’s party train thought the impact meant they had finally run the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited down, and began partying even harder. Trump’s major blunder was thinking his claim of a stolen election would put his train ahead of the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited, but he disregarded a collision with the US Constitution.
A sore loser and determined not to give up power, Trump chose to go “head up” against the US Constitution with his “Big Lie” of election fraud, which was a doomed maneuver from the outset. Nevertheless, Trump attacked democracy, believing the American people were so gullible and sheepish, they would roll over, like his reelection train, trying to keep from getting run down by the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited. So Trump trotted out his “Big Lie, for a run around the US court system track. However, when Trump’s legal team of Larry, Curly and Moe showed up disguised as lawyers, they were laughed out of court. Even though Supreme Court judges have been known to engage in “slap stick,” they refused to allow the curtain to go up on Trump’s “dead pan” antics.
Unable to derail the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited and keep it from making its last stop, at the White House, Trump doubled down with his stolen election “Big Lie.” Trump unveiled a new script with an unbelievable plot based on his “Big Lie” of election fraud, with an insurrection at the US Capitol, as the climax. Trump plays the part of “Wile E. Coyote” trying to trap the “Road Runner,” before he reaches the White House. Pulling off that caper, “Wile E. Coyote” recruits maligning rejects from the “Three Stooges” that enter the plot from stage right, as “heavies.” Similar to Trump's legal team, these laughable characters, with names like the Proud Boys, the Three Percenters, Patriot Prayer and a few other groups with Patriots in their name storm the US Capitol with the grand finale of hanging the Vice President of the United States Mike Pence. Everything happens against the backdrop of Trump crawling out of the truncated wreckage of his campaign train, which he claims happened because he was robbed by “Jesse James” of winning votes stolen from Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and given to the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited.
Today Trump’s “Big Lie,” of election fraud is completely off the rails and unhinged. Trump is like a petulant child but far more dangerous, following his full throated attempt at a coup to stay in power. For many my analogy may seem exaggerated or even hilarious, and that is because only absurdity, sarcasm and ridicule can adequately point up the farcical pretense of political leadership offered by the Republicans Party, following Donald Trump’s dubious performance as a “heavy.” However, the insurrection was not humor, because Republicans are deadly serious. I choose the “Wile E. Coyote” façade to point up the absurdity of a US President believing Americans would accept, as legitimate, such an illegitimate attempt to remain in power. Then stage a failed insurrection as a finale to press his point. Trump failed so miserably because he believed Americans would be so weak and confused, they could allow themselves to be beguiled by a two-bit con man, so completely that they would bow down and follow him over the cliff of insurrection, like lemmings. Drunk on power, never in his wildest imaginings, did Trump believe Capitol police would make such a heroic stand, against such incredible and overwhelming odds, but rather than fold, they stood, like marines on Iwo Jima.
Republican Senators and US Representatives led an insurrection against the United States government, which they were elected to represent, simply to keep a defeated Donald Trump in the White House. Trump’s hair-brained scheme went off the rails only because so many black, brown, red, yellow, white, young, old, men and women see American, as a work in progress. Because human beings are always changing, growing and evolving, it is an idea that is far from completion, so we live on the edge of change. Republicans, on the other hand, are committed to the yesterday world of their grandfathers, a time when Black people and women were kept below white men. Republicans see Trump as their demigod and all must worship at his feet like he’s “Thulsa Doom.”
Unlike Trump, who has taken a stand against 70% of American voters, the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited is facing another “Wile E. Coyote,” Joe Manchin, who wants to drive the train from the caboose, like Trump. “Road Block Joe” is trying to force the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited to switch tracks and make a u-turn onto some none existent tracks, then go back and rescue Republicans from their insurrectionists train wreck. Rather than delivering for those on board the “Iceberg Joe” unlimited, he is like a petulant child, playing the “man in the middle,” demanding Democrats help Republicans recover at their expense.
I grew out of my childish fascination with trains, when I matured into a teenager. Unlike Joe Manchin, who refuses to give up his fantasy of being the “Lone Ranger with Tonto” at his side! 1st Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Although to some I may have dragged my analogy out unnecessarily, but I wanted to make the thought of Donald Trump returning to power perfectly absurd. He is Humpty Dumpty, after his election train wreck and his attempted insurrection, Trump lay prostrated with his yellow yoke running all over the ground, as his enablers insisted, “No he is whole! We can put him back together again and make him great again!!!” While all Democrats need to do to save America from the specter of Donald Trump is to change the filibuster, but absurdly and cartoonishly, Joe Manchin continues doing his bipartisanship dance, refusing to support H. R. I (For the People Act) “Lone Ranger Joe” refuses to help Democrats put the final nails in Donald Trump’s coffin. This time, the “Lone Ranger'' is fighting with the “bad guys;” no hero there!!!!
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