Comrade District Attorney

What else would you like us to
do? Comrade District Attorney,
you take them. Even in that suit, er
firing-squad you’re wearing
I can almost see your conscience.
Comrade District Attorney,
save us. The engines no longer
run on mud and the headlines bray that
this fight is in the last round.
As for the other he’s a fake.
You’ll see, it’s what makes
our reenactment believable.
Comrade District Attorney,
stretch out in the palm of my hand
where a nail sprouts upward
like a flower to the believers.



Larry Sawyer has curated the Myopic Books Poetry Series in Chicago since 2005. He is the co-director of The Chicago School of Poetics and also edits Look for poetry in Boston Review, Forklift Ohio, Esque, and Court Green. He recently wrote about Chicago literature for Ploughshares ( His latest book is titled Vertigo Diary.



  1. Pingback: Issue One, May 1st, 2013 | Matter
  2. adyabooks

    About “Comrade District Attorney”
    The poem was written while watching The Reenactment (1968) by Lucian Pintilie. In the film two young men are enlisted after a drunken bar brawl to star in apropaganda film about the dangers of drinking and hooliganism. A portly district attorney arrives in the village to supervise the filming and knows nothing aboutdirecting but nonetheless is reluctantly treated like a genius by the locals out of fear. The film was banned for decades for its satirical critique of Ceaucescu’s reign.

    -Larry Sawyer

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