SECTION THIRTEEN
POETRY PAGE SEVEN


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COLUMN FIFTY-EIGHT, APRIL 1, 2001
(Copyright 2001 Al Aronowitz)

 

[Eliot Katz is the author of Unlocking the Exits (Coffee House Press, 1999), and a coeditor of Poems for the Nation (Seven Stories Press, 2000), a collection of political poems compiled by the late poet, Allen Ginsberg.]

SPECIAL UP-TO-THE-MINUTE ELECTION UPDATE  

Wait--they've just announced in the interest of smooth governing,
        Bill Clinton is being given four more years

wait--they've just announced Gore-Lieberman will take Mondays,
        Wednesdays, & Fridays; Bush-Cheney Tuesday, Thursday, &
        Saturday; Lieberman wasn't going to work Saturdays anyway

wait--they've just reported the Bush team has gone to court to prevent
        judicialization of the elections

wait--the Bully Rule has gone into effect--Bush's guys have asked
        Gore to say Uncle one too many times, Vince McMahon
        has declared Gore the winner by default

wait--since the Bush team says a hand count will show a different total
        than the computer, all elections the last 30 years have been
        invalidated

wait--the results of a CNN tracking poll show the news media having
        a lot more fun than covering Elian and OJ

wait--leaked Republican memo equates manual recount with oral sex

wait--what if Florida's initial exit poll was correct in counting the
        intentions of West Palm Beach voters?

wait--the big lesson Election Day Missouri is that people prefer dead
        guys to living politicians

wait--19,000 ballots thrown out here, 27,000 there--what's going on?
        there seem to be voting irregularities anywhere the press looks

wait--Ralph Nader has been declared President for inadvertently showing
        how dysfunctional U.S. presidential elections have become

wait--Bush says elections dragging too long, hurting the country--
        Michael Moore has asked him to write President Al Gore on the
        blackboard 10,000 times

wait--a courageous army general has just announced she would
        support any candidate with courage to cut military budget
        in half

wait--since neither candidate proposed important helpful policies,
        with Republicans winning Congress, Gore has been
        certified President For The Sake Of Legislative Gridlock

wait--wouldn't it be ugly to decide first election with a Jewish person
        on major ticket by throwing away thousands of  elderly
        Jewish votes

wait--has anyone counted the number of Blacks and Latinos
        interrogated by Jeb Patrol at side of the road?

wait--Bush has an important policy revision to announce--as he
        enters federal court, he no longer thinks states know best

wait--the Book Rule has been called into effect: 90% of Electoral
        College voters will refuse cast votes for any candidate
        who doesn't read books

wait--they've decided anyone who can't decisively beat a candidate
        who doesn't read books doesn't deserve to be president

wait--all is okay, election observers from Yugoslavia are on their way

wait--Bush wins! Progressive Democrats blame Nader, a few threaten

        his pet projects and pets

wait--Gore wins! Progressive Democrats thank the Nader experiment

        for frightening the party into paying attention

wait--we interrupt every broadcast and anything else you might be doing |
        to announce there is absolutely nothing new to announce

wait--a majority of 8-year-olds around the country have called a
        do-over: elections will be rerun, electoral college abolished,
        both parties will have to give us a better choice.  ##

* * *

ALCHEMY  

They've done it--invented some old machines
able to turn a Gore vote into a Bush win
with only a few hanging chads left to show the children.
It's tough to make love while Republicans
prognosticate an obnoxious assembly line--
        but we manage.
They haven't learned yet how to take away
this full body vibration of exquisite moan.
Meanwhile, the hacks are in the back room
        with the Unpresident
devising all night new ways to Undo the Done.  ##

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