Amy Gerstler

Ruler of Everything
June 24, 2016 Gerstler Amy

Ruler of Everything


The Ruler of Everything proclaims blood-colored

the new royal hue. The Ruler of Everything

urinates boldly, annointing the world

of visible things. The Ruler of Everything’s

searing gaze is a white hot ray of prey-fascination,

yet he’s prone to explosions of spontaneous

playfulness. When he relaxes, you see

in his eyes his life as a child, starved

on the thug-governed streets of Juarez.


Each day of his reign the Ruler of Everything

sings songs of action. He drenches his weapons

in the blood of the dead beast. He sighs and groans

and whines melodiously, to oohs and aahs and

mass applause, one of the truly musical among us.

Still just a pup, he weeps in his sleep,

dreams he is late for howling practice,

but can’t find the field where the lesson is held.

Oh, Great Defender, Fate of the Nation,


Perfect Incarnation of What a Leader

Should Be: the world’s tumult has pummeled

and roughened you, pitilessly.

And yet you’ve been crowned

The Ruler of Everything. You’re on everyone’s god-list.

You treat the dead beast with considerable deference.

And this is exactly as it should be,

just as the gods would have decreed,

were there gods we believed in, other than Thee.

Amy Gerstler has published thirteen books of poems, a children’s book and several collaborative artists books with visual artists. Index of Women, her most recent book of poems, was published by Penguin Random House in 2021. She is currently working on a musical with composer/actor Steve Gunderson.