Himmler Sings

︎︎︎ Roy Bentley

︎ July 26, 2021

Maybe imagining one ersatz record might remind us.
First, of the excesses of feeling and action that got us

here, an ocean of plastic choking the planet and truth
up for grabs; second, as a prayer Western civilization

isn’t populated by patriot-hypocrites who’d buy and
listen to Himmler Sings after condemning it. What if

some foresighted Nazi envisioned scads of royalties
for a thousand years? I’d like not to have to imagine

the next appalling thing in the name of Nationalism
or God and the usual bullying at the heart of power—

the Reichshführer of the SS, Architect of Despair,
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler crooning, in German,

words like edelweiss as a cellist (who has, so far,
survived the Holocaust) describes blossoming.

Roy Bentley,
a finalist for the Miller Williams prize, has published ten books. Poems have appeared in The Laurel Review, Shenandoah, december, Crazyhorse, The Southern Review, and Prairie Schooner, among others. His latest, My Mother’s Red Ford: New & Selected Poems, is out from Lost Horse Press with two collections scheduled for release in 2021.