[White House Temp] .
Legs bandy, arms bent out of shape
like a shoot'm-up gunfighter's. Smirk
swaggers behind a sealed podium,
guards sloe-eyeing to each side
and behind. One by one, the hairs
on my neck stand. Get spidey-neck
ever' time. Microphones, many
in the phallus vein, and cameras
tricked out with the latest zooms
and angles jut toward the raised
figure in custom political garb:
blue suit, blood tie, blinding shirt.
Wristwatch and 'links that cost
more than you and I make
in God knows how long. Smirk
trolls for smiles, smiles quirk at
Smirk. Yet the mouth fixing to
ladle spinner-backed pudding
and applesauce seems ill at ease.
Word for word! you can hear him
being told. Do not extemporize!
Puppet-danglers who lack drawls
haul 'em out. Whatever ya dew,
stick t' th' scrip' !! Smirk tries.
He does. Trouble is, shots wear
off. Doubles, 'r not. Syllables
turn into llysables, read phrases
prat-fall like auditioning ac'rbats
took a li'l somethin t'chill out.
Feel sorry for me, Smirk's slump
says. I try so hard. Look at
the thanks I get. Body count up, can
I hep it? Few sods cripple 'r croak
'cuz-a HMO's, is it my fault? Wha'
wudn't 'ey born with cattle? -Debt?
Debt? Didn't I lower taxes 'cross
the bo'd?. "Shut UP, Smirk,"
damn-near hear. "Jes read the freak-
in' scrip' !!" I say thank God
he shows himself. Who and "wha'"
lurks behin' the glaze, the rictus, the
(c) Phyllis Jean Green, 2008