2 November 2000

When he was younger and out struggling to climb the ladder
He used to fight with his wife or have a night out with the boys
And he'd maybe go to a bar and try to pick up some strange if you get my drift
And after a while he started hearing about free love, and he felt left out
And he tortured his imagination dreaming about pot parties
With those sun-tanned girls in halter tops with their cut-offs slit up to their belt loops
Then he saw a picture in Playboy of Ursula Andress on the arm of some hippy
And that did it. He began his rebellion late. But now he's got a designer camper
And one time he even got to sleep in it with one of those girls in the cut-offs

But it made me feel awful
Cause he had to pay her fifty dollars
And it was twenty for anybody else.

-T-Bone Burnett, "The Sixties"

Executive Dysfunction

What does such a man fear? Passing from the most powerful man in the world into obsolesence. He is reaching the asymptote of sexual insecurity, the vertigo before the slide into oblivion. He is so desperate. He is stroking off in the oval office dreaming about Sarah Hennings, a teenager who used to babysit Chelsea long ago in Little Rock, thinking about getting in touch with her, wherever she is. She spurned his advances then but now he is president. She must be, Christ am I that old, 36. He wants Hillary to know that he is trying to conceal his act of masturbation, that her chill is not enough to erase his flame. He is demonstrating a precise indelicacy, but no matter, she hates him. She would sooner fuck a skunk and, truth be told, may well be. Not even her secret service agents will tell him where she goes at night. It's a mockery of his authority. What is left after the presidency? Hair loss. What does he crave that he mistakes sex for? Love? No, not love. Youth? Yes, definitely youth.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books