from the desk of The President of the United States of America
Are you nuts?
I can’t take care of anyone.
Asking me to hold a baby is like jamming a stick of butter
into a piano.
I know that’s what everyone tried to teach me
when I was a youngster in diapers—
take care of your sister while we go to Venice for the weekend;
water the petunias
while we visit the Spanish Steps
and blow up Picasso paintings with our eyeballs.
Man, that must of hurt.
Still, if I was Anne Frank
holed up in that Holland hole
when I was twelve
I couldn’t have kept quiet long enough
to take care of my father
and that little boy upstairs
who wanted to hold my breasts
and suck suck suck.
I would have shouted Lucifer is a fuck
over and over
till the German smokebombs came upstairs
with their toy guns
that weren’t toys
and shot me in the eyeballs
before there was time to laugh
at the burning God
who had already burnt the sky down
with his tombstone kneecaps.
Are you nuts?
If you expect me to feed you oranges
when the scurvy sets in
you’ve got another thing coming.
I can barely stand up on my broken ankles
and I’m only forty four.
My first girlfriend was a hippo and starved to death
in our bedroom.
Imagine that, a hippo in starvation
in bra and panties
because I didn’t know enough
to fetch some asparagus, some chicken au jous,
a slice of the old honey dew.
The cockroaches came and nibbled at the splinters.
Forget about it.
You don’t have a chance if you think you can come live with me and get
a pot to piss in.
There’s no free lunch here.
There’s no waterproof ceiling with the cool fans.
That’s why when they voted me President of the United States of America
I beat my fists against the Capitol building
screaming no no no.
I got every vote.
I got every voice—the Latin brotherhood,
the kangaroo court,
the porcupine bastards from Belarus
who migrated to Flatbush and wept.
I tried to tell them;
I played the drums really loud on Pennsylvania Avenue
at six in the morning in my skivvies,
didn’t shower for weeks,
shot M-16s at airplanes that flew over
The Rose Garden
to make my point.
Why don’t you have a first lady? they asked.
I’ve got a subscription to Hustler
for a reason, I said.
Now, I’ve got blow up dolls in The West Wing
and fat pornographers in the Oval Office
and I told them, I said, I told you so
and the moral indignation of the country
Like it’s my fault.
Hell, one day I was riding my bicycle to the ocean
like Virginia Woolf in panty hose
and the next day, bam, the ballots had been cast.
Are you nuts?
It’s an impossible task, you see, to run a household these days,
never mind a brothel—no matter how small.
The White House has five thousand rooms.
I am one man.
My children, my children, I can’t feed all of you at the same time.
You have to wait at the stool, at the easel, by the phonebook.
I will try to get to you all
but on my best days,
that might take years.