The Caricature

by Mark Belair Issue: Fall 2015
Standing at a stupendous round table, twenty or so
corpulent, white-bearded men in black tuxedos

raise a toast to their shared and well-deserved
entitlements in this Arko Liqueurs advertisement

from pre-WWI Vienna, the poster a frothy
caricature that cuts, the illustrator puncturing

the gathering’s bourgeois self-esteem while
slyly pedaling their privileges for a product;

the jolly men and keen satirist—if in opposite
ways—each sure they know—back on the eve

of the war to end all wars—
the way of the world.

Mark Belair's poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Alabama Literary Review, Atlanta Review, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry East, and The South Carolina Review. His most recent collection is Breathing Room (Aldrich Press, 2015). Previous collections include Night Watch (Finishing Line Press, 2013); While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013); and Walk With Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, 2012). He has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. For more information, please visit