Today's poem is by Jennifer L. Knox

Nazi Art

The Nazi artist wasn't really a Nazi. He simply made Nazi
art sixty years after the Holocaust as if Nazis had made it,
art about Nazis that Nazis would've loved to look at
in a Nazi museum: Nazi paintings of little idyllic towns
flooded with goose-stepping Nazis, an intricately carved
wooden Nazi hugging another intricately carved wooden Nazi,
bronze Nazi officers' caps with quotes in German praising
Nazis on the brim, everything spiraling with gold leaf swastikas.
But the Nazi artist himself was not a Nazi. Nazi art and Nazis
were great subjects for art!
he maintained. Museums of today
loved his Nazi art because it wasn't really believed, not Nazi-felt—
it was make-believe, a commentary on Nazis. It was funny
or something, but not really. It was—er, ironically(?) Nazi.
Then people discovered the Nazi artist was an actual Nazi.
The museum president packed his art into a giant crate marked
NO TOUCH and stuffed it in the dark museum basement.
The curator still tiptoes past the crate remembering a time
its contents felt safe, or something; then he feels ashamed,
or something. Whatever it is, it's a real, really felt feeling.

Copyright © 2016 Jennifer L. Knox All rights reserved
from Days of Shame & Failure
Bloof Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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