Ed’s Note: With so much seriousness dominating political discourse these days, a bit of humor can help. Humor in verse? Sure, it’s an ancient form of poetry that dates back to the times when Romans would scrawl satirical epigrams poking fun at political officials on the walls of the city. Utah Rep Jason Chaffetz has certainly angered the outdoor community, proposing to sell off over 3 million aces of public lands across the West. So poet Kevin Craft thought he deserved the age-old treatment.

Land Grab

What a travesty–
Jason Chaffetz. He
Chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
He takes himself to be quite pretty.
(He often throws a hissy-fitty,
But only at the other side.
The gap between his ears is wide.)
Eighth circle for him and his venomous vanity.
There he can get back rubs from Sean Hannity.

Such a travesty Mr. Jason
Is nothing like Perry Mason.
Chafes at the habits
Of the Office of Government Ethics.
Too many calisthenics.
What’s a conflict of interest, after all,
With a carried interest loophole protocol?

With the alacrity of a jackrabbit
Jason Chaffetz
Chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
That’s like, in Cheers
Asking two or three beers
To keep an eye on Norm.
That’s like asking Grand Moff Tarkin
To recite the collected Philip Larkin.
The right’s
Modus operandus,
Who would both forget about and command us.


Kevin Craft lives in Seattle and directs the Written Arts Program at Everett Community College. His first book, Solar Prominence(2005), was selected by Vern Rutsala for the Gorsline Prize from Cloudbank Books. A new collection, Vagrants & Accidentals, has just been published in the Pacific Northwest Poets Series of the University of Washington Press. Both books celebrate wilderness, cultural preservation, and open access to the great outdoors.