Joan Mazza





Master of misdirection, distraction, illusion,
able to grab your attention, to hypnotize
and amaze you with outrageous stunts,

he points to respected figures while
he does what he accuses others of. He grabs
you when and where you least expect it,

turns your attention elsewhere as he picks
your pocket, steals your wallet, pilfers
the treasury. Watch him do exactly

what he said he wouldn’t do. He promises
he can fix anything, levitate, has received honors,
made billions, can win over any enemy.

Shine a light to reveal his strings. Who’s
the puppet, who the puppeteer? In court, let his
accomplices take their public bows.

He swears to produce something from nothing,
coal jobs will return, all hardships disappear.
Soon, watch him vanish into warmer air.




Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, and has taught workshops nationally with a focus on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Penguin/Putnam), and her poetry has appeared widely, including  Rattle, The MacGuffin, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia.

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