Nonpareils by Craig Kurtz


If anyone thinks I should apologize for writing a bestselling book, I’m sorry, I’m
not gonna do it … If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”
—Bernie Sanders.


Don’t be surprised when his’try makes
our nonpareils resemble fakes.
It’s true ‘The Incorruptible’
wore froufrou togs habitual;
in portraits, Robespierre looks like
a dandy destined for the pike;
it’s said he had a cultured mien
regardless of the guillotine;
and Lenin, that great Bolshevik,
lived posh by any man’s yardstick;
he had a maid, as well a chef,
which may strike us somewhat tone-deaf;
indeed, that very chef’s grandson
is Putin, not to be outdone;
which brings us to our candidate,
the hero of the Third Estate;
our populist, to some extent,
belongs among the 1%;
he’s not a trifle embarrassed
which seems odd for a socialist.
Alas, as his’try informs us,
most nonpareils are spurious.

©2019 Craig Kurtz

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Craig Kurtz
is the author of Wortley Clutterbuck’s Practical Guide to Deplorable Personages, illustrated by Anni Wilson. Recent work published by Rattle, Orbis and William & Mary Review. More content at

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