deciding on the news, or what hemingway couldn’t say about icebergs

trite, trite, trite
it’s the power of cross-examination
no, a weak wristed witness
no, the small jewish lawyer 
with the italian last name,
he plays the best lawyer on tv
no, the loudest
no, defeat sounds like dismissal
and the nodding audience misses it
when the witness cuts off the rat’s head
these grand gestures
three men, grown men
dressed up
IN SUITS!
unbloodied opponents all lined up
petitioning a fourth man
a loose tie suggests power
(i cannot spy his shoes, black leather
penny loafers, i surmise and move on)
these grand gestures
Lenny Bruce moves with the microphone stand
the best-dressed man 
his smooth gray
hair, pale
blue tie
speaks least, but last
a long-dead drummer taught us
silence is often a grand gesture
the later it gets, the more tomorrow it becomes
the attorneys finger their 
smooth faces, betray a tell
but are bound to winning, like a killer or his victim 
to a chair
“But where is this going, gentlemen?”
this democratic pageantry,
can we arrive at the truth already?
trite, trite, trite
if compassionate consumers have taught me anything 
truth — ice water, nowhere, la petite mort — never
wins an argument.
“It’s foreplay we’re talking about here, chairman.”
Just say it.

The rat picks up his own head
Tucks it under his arm
And returns to his seat,
“Nothing further, chairman”

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