Dynamo of the Trailers

She’s seventy now; she’s had a full life.
This is Hillary of whom I speak; I mean the one
Bill used to call his little wife.

She’s been at it since she was a little girl.
“Give me a chance, let me have your support.”
It’s time for us all to give her a whirl.

But wouldn’t it be neat, her supporters ask,
To finally see a woman
In the driver’s seat?

Monica might have been up against the wall…
But Hillary’d be right there in the Oval Office,
As husband Bill wanders the halls.

Hillary’s got the balls, her friends insist.
She says they’re even bigger than Bill’s.
“I’m not afraid of war, I’m ready to kill.”

This dame is tough and she’s got the right stuff. Just
ask the Secret Service: she likes to plays rough.
They ought know, she makes them sleep under her bed.

I for one can’t wait to see her at the top of the WH stairs,
Hand held high, with a gin and tonic, or some wine,
Swearing once again never ever to tell a lie.

Some think her a hawk, but she’s above all a dove.
Don’t you be fooled. She may act like a thug,
but she’s all about love.

It’s not a bad idea; it’ll set a precedent,
She’ll run as Sister Hillary, queen of the people,
Loyal wife to Brother Bill and former WH resident.

Homophobic? Xenophobic? Islamophobic?
Hillary’s on to you, you shitty bigot you.
With this PC crap, she thinks we’re idiots.

Nobody likes her, but is that even true?
The Chinese do and so too the Emir of Qatar.
Blood thirsty Mugabe once called her his bright star.

Monkey brains are fine, she told him, they taste like stew.
Look under the table, there’s something just for you.
Just fill up the bag; only fresh bills will do.

It all goes to charity, she says, we’re doing a world of good.
At this rate, Bill promises, we’ll have more money than
Anyone should, close to a billion and more than Obama.

And don’t forget Imelda, that other royal felon.
Hillary envies her world-famous shoe collection,
She’s never forgotten that pair the color of melon.

But these other dames are nothing compared to what Hillary
Intends to be. It’s that other dynamo of the trailers, Tanya
Harding, who is Hillary’s true inspiration.

Hillary can handle it, there’s no question of that.
We’ll get a woman this time, in 2020, but who’ll be next?
How about a guy who never speaks but can text?

Some would say, let’s go with a gay or couldn’t it just be
A cute divorcee? The important thing at the end of the day
Is to feel that we haven’t turned anyone away.

That’s enough of that: this is one mighty lady, someone
Frank Sinatra would have called a broad. We’re talking
power and brains to boot with miles to go and countries to loot.

Bedouin of the Jungle

The young man said he was Brazilian
but I knew he was lying.
He spoke some nonsense about mixed
parentage, some shit about a black father
and a mother who is white. I simply can’t
believe—this black and white mix—fully
explains why he looks Arab.

He has an eight-inch tattoo of a blue and green
lighthouse covering his arm. This image,
he explained, beckons; it shows the way.
It guides and welcomes, but demands nothing.
It announces accessibility. It does not
prevent escape. This lad, I realize, as he gives
this explanation, wishes to be this lighthouse,
To host and celebrate arrivals and departures,
to be a beacon to his fellows.

This youth from the tropics looks to be
a Bedouin from Arabia. His olive skin
and black locks give it away. He admits
he can’t fool the ladies. They love his
exotic curls. Once they get their hands on him,
they know they’ve met a wanderer.
He thinks like a nomad, not a farmer.
The girls can see he is of a clan of travelers,
not a tribe of settlers. He was born in São Paulo,
but has adopted the mentality of the sands.

The Bedouin of the Amazon like those of the desert
show bravery when attacked. They are not afraid
but, not unlike their sandy brethren, prefer to recite
erotic poetry, to sing and dance around the camp fire.
This youth of mixed heritage may be black and white,
but his state of mind not his blood lines defines his race.
The tribe to which he belongs dwells in harbors
of river water; like the Arabs he welcomes strangers
with open arms.


Our public space is full of sex. We choke on it like air pollution.
Everywhere we go we see what we’re refused or denied.
Look but don’t touch is truer today than ever before.
That’s not confusing? Our teachers, coaches, and priests
Are hauled away, but we look the other way. They are perverts,
monsters, or sinners cries the New York Post. We continue to live
In denial. We deny the power of sexual attraction.

We make fun of Arabs. We ridicule them and call them backward.
The sophisticated spinster finds them appalling.
The open-minded want to kill them.
The liberal wouldn’t be caught dead in Saudi Arabia.
Why are we so stupid? Who are we kidding?

Our reactions are proof of our ignorance.
They might be wrong about nearly everything,
But Arabs aren’t not wrong about sex.
Just look in our courts and at Western lawsuits.
Muslims are experts on sexual harassment.
They don’t tolerate it. Husbands, brothers, and fathers
Make sure of that and that’s how it used to be in New Jersey.
Nobody put hands on Tony Soprano’s sister.

That’s how it was until yesterday at 2:00.
We forget what’s going on. Read our history.
Pick up the evening paper; get the news.
The kids in kindergarten are being hauled away for kissing.
Transsexuals are not allowed to pee.
Women in the workplace are on the phones with their lawyers.
Isn’t clear we don’t know what we’re doing?

We can’t follow the Muslims and they can’t be asked to go our way.
We need to listen is all I’m saying.
We know a lot but not enough to be smug about it.
Arabs are sophisticated, elegant people.
We should bow our heads and ask them to teach us.
If they are lucky, we’ll teach them, too, but only if they ask us.

My Dinner with Mighty Mouse

I once knew a fat lady in Hollywood who played tennis
with Paul Mazursky, back in the days when it took
artists three hours to finish breakfast. Beverly and Fairfax
was the place to be, sitting out on the sidewalk, eating the
$3.95 special. So the coffee was watery. This was before
Starbucks and the triumph of Seattle. L.A. was still L.A.

My friend, the fat Jewess, liked to sleep with black tennis
players, the more the merrier. Who can blame her? Different
strokes for different folks, as we said to ourselves over and over.
This friend had a way of getting around; one of her best friends
was a new comedian who liked to dress up as Mighty Mouse.
He became famous for his brilliant imitation of Elvis.

I hate star-fuckers. This clown in tights was of no interest to me. I’d
seen him and may even have liked him, but I didn’t hang out on Santa
Monica Boulevard to meet actors. I didn’t play billiards with the hope
of spotting somebody famous. Not my style. Then I made the mistake
of saying something to brother the tourist from Bethlehem, P.A.,
the now-deserted steel town which sells tomatoes and sweet corn at busy

I was a fool. I told my brother I knew Mighty Mouse and he started
to foam at the mouth. Back home, they still called Jerry Mathers a super star.
Hollywood, at that time a run-down stretch of inner-city squalor populated by
refugees from Soviet Armenia and gangsters from El Salvador, was considered
glamorous. It was with my big brother, who wore a baseball cap in reverse
and drove a Pontiac. Once he heard that I knew a lady with Hollywood connections,
he couldn’t sleep. He had to meet Mighty, so I set it up. Or I should say Carole did.

Carole. That night we went to a restaurant off Beverly that served macrobiotic spinach
to nuts. This guy, the impersonator of Elvis, was a fanatic when it came to food.
He liked to eat alone and always sat in the same spot. Carole knew where to find him
and although she knew him well, she didn’t consider the fact that he wouldn’t want to be disturbed. As a matter of fact, he valued his privacy as much as he hated beef.
Now, I’m not saying she was sucking his dick, but she knew him intimately.
She called him but neglected to say she’d be bringing along a couple of commoners
from the Outback.

In we walked. He looked up and went back to eating his tofu. He didn’t look up again.
Instead, he seethed. He was in an instant rage. Carole began to apologize. He didn’t
complain. He said nothing. She whined. Then she introduced us. I smiled and felt
miserable. My brother didn’t notice. It was a great honor, he said, to meet
a famous mouse. Could he have his autograph, could he try his tofu, could he sip
from his cup? Yes, he would be thrilled to join him for dinner. “Can I get a menu?”
What’s it like to be famous? “I just love Saturday Night Live.” When I finish kissing
your ass, would you care to have your balls licked? I was mortified. Mighty seethed.
Carole blushed. I couldn’t move. I stopped breathing. My brother gushed.

Finally, we got the fuck out of there. Carole was hysterical. She’d blown
it. My brother wanted to meet back for breakfast. “Does he like tofu burritos?”
He hadn’t noticed that Mighty was furious. When I told him, and got Carole
to back me up, he denied it. “But he was so friendly. He was so courteous.”
He was certain we had made his day. He’d certainly made his. It was the
greatest day of his life. Now he wanted to go to Barney’s Beanery
on Santa Monica, in hopes of finding Tom Cruise. “I’ll buy him a Michelob.”