If you look closely at Donald Trump’s hair, you will see a line of fleas holding up a small handmade sign: “Made in the U.S.A.”

And it’s true, damn it, Trump is all American. He is the deformed product of free enterprise and our country’s freakish love of fame. Because he had a TV show, he has name recognition. Because he’s wealthy, he has a platform. Because he’s an American narcissist whose lust for himself will never be satisfied, he’s running for President.

Put another way, he is a derivative of Allen Ginsberg’s Moloch. In his 1956 poem “Howl,” which quite rightly caused a ruckus, Ginsberg graphically and lengthily describes all the suffering souls of his generation. He then asks a very pertinent question, “What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?”

His answer is, in part:

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!


And so on. The name Moloch first shows up in the Old Testament as a pagan god to whom children are sacrificed. In Ginsberg’s hands, Moloch becomes a projection of all that is coldly, crudely, viciously American.  It is a horrifying vision.

But read Ginsberg’s lines again. They have a flickering quality like a hologram. Read in the right frame of mind, the tumbling hyperbole is very funny. Get a load of all the exclamation points. Moloch is absurd!

Now take note of the word choices: loveless, soulless, smoking tomb. This section of “Howl” is a mock dirge for a … thing that is and always was inhuman and lifeless. The power that Moloch holds over us is a figment of our own worst imaginings. Take a deep breath, exhale, and let Moloch go.

As for Trump, he too is horrifying, absurd, and powerful only if we pay him any mind. Let him go. Laugh at him and his fleas.