Andy Warhol Judges Cheerleader Tryouts, Trump Tower, New York, NY, 1/15/84

A poem by Daniel M. Shapiro


The building’s owner had asked him

to show up at noon. He remembered

years earlier, the line drawing he’d burned

onto silkscreens, the commissioning

of a portrait of a half billion dollars’ worth

of compensation that stands where sculptures

of goddesses used to slink in Art Deco,

goddesses abandoned like homely mortals.

He remembered thinking Trump wasn’t willing

to pay the asking price, art reserved only

for deals. He had gotten over being shot

in the chest but still could never accept

the confluence where working-class rust

runs into the inherited lust for veneer.

So he took his time, went to church,

strolled through the doors at 2 o’clock.

Sitting with legs crossed, wig the color

of the most prized tenants, he snickered

as he watched contestants gyrating

to Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop,” anthem

for a woman’s right to self-pleasure.

As pyramids surrendered to backflips,

he pictured a 2,000-square-foot mural

of multicolored girls, a bully-proof wall.

Daniel M. Shapiro is the author of the full-length collection How the Potato Chip Was Invented (sunnyoutside, 2013) and chapbooks Heavy Metal Fairy Tales (Throwback Books, 2016) and The 44th-Worst Album Ever (NAP, 2012). He is a poetry editor for Pittsburgh Poetry Review.

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