It’s 9-18-18, and a white-haired man
is speaking on TV.
It’s the news.
There’s a microphone.
And this Orrin Hatch—
whoever he is—is mixed up.
It’s two days later now.
I’m driving from Salt Lake
to Crescent City.
A hawk flies over a hawk-shaped shadow,
and I think Orrin Hatch, whoever he is,
is mixed up.
It’s dark when I get there, the ocean
more voice than horizon,
and it’s speaking—I’d bet the whole moon
that it’s speaking—
saying, “Orrin Hatch? Who’s
that? He sounds mixed up.”
“You don’t believe him?” I ask.
Seagulls fill the night shore with calling
and calling. “All I can say,”
the ocean answers, “is ‘No I don’t.’”
And now it’s Wednesday
in Moscow, Idaho,
where the college mascot
is The Vandals,
which is why their Compliance Officer
never gets a break: all that freelance marauding,
faculty suck, faculty
but they probably won’t cover your mouth
and shove you on the bed.
They know presidents
are citizens and law-bound.
They’re smarter that way
than Brett Kavanaugh, the nominated judge.
There’s a bookstore here, a really good one,
and at least one person
who will buy you a drink,
and if you ask what they think about Hatch,
they’ll say he’s mixed up . . . like a no-booze martini.
Just an olive. In an empty glass.
In backing Kavanaugh, Orrin Hatch continues decades of denying women’s sexual assault allegations [Quartz]
Anita Hill: New Kavanaugh investigation is necessary [NBC]
Rob Carney is the author of five books of poems, most recently The Book of Sharks (Black Lawrence Press, July 2018) and 88 Maps (Lost Horse Press, 2015), which was named a finalist for the Washington State Book Award. In 2014 he received the Robinson Jeffers/Tor House Foundation Award for Poetry. His work has appeared in Columbia Journal, Poets Reading the News, and many others, and he writes a regularly featured series called “Old Roads, New Stories” for Terrain: A Journal of the Built + Natural Environments. He writes in Salt Lake City.