Deadline Poet | The Nation

Deadline Poet

Calvin Trillin

The FBI knows every way
To put a case in disarray.
For years they managed to mislay
Some tapes a Birmingham DA
Could use against the KKK.
Because some files had gone astray
It seems that Timothy McVeigh
Will live to die another day.
The FBI knows every way
To put a case in disarray.

The corporate types are firmly in control.
The Russians, it appears, have sent a mole
To steal our secrets. And the Chinese wait
For tension to develop in their Strait.
It's all so fifties! Wouldn't it be weird
If Engine Charlie Wilson reappeared?

They'll check for salmonella, kids,
It's safe as mozzarella, kids,
Light up a panatella, kid.
You've nothing more to fear.

Give thanks for this new fella, kids.
Sing praises a cappella, kids.
Let Bush be your umbrella, kids.
Compassion's finally here.

McCain and Feingold seem to have Big Mo:
Soft money could now face a total ban.
Which means some folks who've bought pols in the past
Need now select a different purchase plan.

Yes, arsenic's in what we drink.
That's not as scary as you think.
Sure, hidden in the stroganoff
It's used for knocking people off.
But in your water it's OK.
That's what the mining interests say.
And W. now says so, too.
It mixes well with CO2.

Yes, W. once took the view
That CO2 is bad for you.
He says he's had a turnabout:
We make this stuff when breathing out,
So dangerous is what it's not.
From lobbyists you learn a lot.

But won't our ozone cover scatter?
So? Nader said it wouldn't matter.

The President's demanding proper dress--
A tie, a coat, a shine on shoes or boots.
Some citizens may find this a relief:
We've now returned to government by suits.


Calvin Trillin
Calvin Trillin, the author of Random House's Deciding the Next Decider:...