Deadline Poet | The Nation

Deadline Poet

Calvin Trillin

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.

Though Bush the Elder was convinced
His boy was now a man, he
Decided, just to hedge his bet,
To furnish him a nanny.

Attentive parents always have
A way of keeping track.
If nanny isn't feeling well,
Will Dad come hurrying back?

As Bush finds backs to pat and hands to
The Democrats can't seem to buy a break.
opposition doesn't coalesce,
Because the spotlight's on the
Clinton mess,
A mess that's just like catnip to the
Afraid that he will never go away,
The Democrats by
now just want to say,

Avoid the headlines, can't
you, Bill?
Speak softly, please, not louder.
Eschew the
networks, can't you, Bill?
Enough, man! Take a

Ignored as long as he is on the
The Democrats, befuddled, try to gauge
How he, amidst
the sleaze, seems so unfazed
While they are crazed, and find
themselve amazed
At all the oxygen the man
As he on his sword himself

Avoid the headlines, can't you,
They say. At any cost!
Eschew the networks, can't you,
Could you please just get lost?

Apply a little grease
Then buy yourself an in
(Jack Quinn).


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