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Denise Duhamel and Stephen Paul Miller

from 'Hurricanes'

2. B-Boy


Gorgeous goofballs gas golf clubs. Genies genuflect goyishly. Mel Gibson gladly gouges gumshoes, gung ho Gambler Anonymous! Goliath goes gang-busters. Gelatto, Gordian knots, guts, gross profits gang up. Gangly ghost writers grandstand G-spots. Grief-stricken goumads gratify God genes. Grammarians gab aghast, goo grooving and gettying-up. Gags rule. Gitouttahere!


Whatever wimpy wad wiggles water, wake up.

Ward Cleaver. Wally Cleaver. Weird.
Wherever Walker wigs out, a war wobbles walls,

wicked warmth, woozy wan weaponry.
Wondrous whenevers whisper “wheeler-dealer,”

wine-and-dine whatshisnames, wet wage incentives.
Wobblies worry wizards. Walmart wails, walky-talkies wink,

wistful Washington woos Wonkettes. Why work?


Bush bellyaches by bicycling past baby-boomers blasted onto billions, bananas, Bachs, bistros, Barbara bullying base bad-asses lobbing blushing bottoms because cable bellybuttons bump blowhards best. Bolivian brouhaha vibrates, basting beach balls. Bugs boycott Outward-Bound boy-scouts behind bunkers bit by biblical basset hounds. A body builder businesswoman berates a Born-again bridegroom.

4. Desperate Young Americans

Angela Y. Davis is history’s darling today.
The apple says yes, the artichoke says yay,
when Angela Y. Davis addresses young Democrats
and their yoyos. Yankee Doodles pony up
vapid ditties about yesterday’s baddy supermodel —
oh beautiful, for delicious skin, for amber eye shadow, so vain.
Angie Dickinson yodels to the Danish army.
Angelina Jolie’s giddy. The mayo on her sandwich
is laced with oxycodone. On a Discovery
Channel game show David Arquette yaps on
about dainty yak. Sweaty headgear around Dick Cheney
is brandished audaciously in bastard country clubs.
Social Security draws desperate young Americans,
disenfranchised elderly, dirty dancers, and celebrity dads.
My diaper bag is dowdy. Andy Dick’s diaper bag
holds austerely plaid baby bibs. Cindy Crawford
rocks the academy with a stylish dissertation
and dizzying defense: Dowdy Darlings and Daring Yin.
But Angela delays duplicating her syllabi,
rapidly white-watering on Yosemite, radical.

6. If RFK had become President
    (for Norman MacAfee)

The happy hamburger heaves.
French fries kiss tomato slices, All American
mayonnaise orange. RFK wears tie-dyed shirts
and changes government forever. “He’s famous
even in my universe,” say all the slackers, who work
in 7-11s with health insurance and competitive
overtime wages. “I had a bad dream once
where you needed a good job just to breathe.”
The cold war turned to “no war,” and weapon manufacturers
went belly up. The Gross National Product
makes me high. Why?
I sniff it from whipped cream cans
as I stock the shelves — the dairy aisles
are free of hormones and greed. Giddy cows
record at Abby Road Studios and counterculture
is the norm, or the Norm
(as in Norman MacAfee). It’s so normal
to be president. Who isn’t?
We’re all commander and chief
of our own universe. We all think it’s the other guy
who’s crazy. Bobby calls Teddy ruthless.
Jackie calls Ruth Bader Ginsburg
toothless. Politics and Poetry are guests
at each other’s dinner. Jackie
moderates. She has Caroline and JFK recite
Frost from memory as Supreme Court Judges
judge a slam. Norval in Preston Sturges’ Miracle
of Morgan Creek and Jerry Lewis’s remake,
Rockabye Baby, recites “Ode to a Grecian Urn.”
Marilyn Monroe does Aeschylus. For dessert,
fortune cookies with haiku instead of predictions
inside. President MacAfee appoints Ashbery
chief justice because he is so laid-back. Ashes answers
his confirmation questions in collages he makes
on the spot from old Washington Posts.
This changes the questions
until the committee reaches the original question
and reverses it. Time puts on its underwear last.
Newsweek is a paper hat.
Norman MacAfee just gave me a new book of RFK’s speeches!
RFK just gave me a book of Norman MacAfee’s speeches!
Hey, it’s the same book.
“We keep it stocked in the magazine rack,”
says the slacker with the Big Gulp addiction. He makes a fortune
decoding the languages MacAfee and Kennedy
put in one another’s speeches.
Pig Latin, World War II codes, anagrams...
If we didn’t break their codes we never would have made it
to the moon! Feminism really takes on,
MacAfee and Kennedy paving the way
for all the women presidents to come. MacAfee and Kennedy
are put in charge of making them come. Happy women
make the best judgment calls. Their process is so strong
and fragrant. Oh utopia! Oh ovum of the oval office!
The land moans. Kids speed read for fun. Ovums
roll at the speed of light, making everyone’s skin soft
and blemish-less. I shed sexual orientations.
Gender orientations shed soft light on government spending.
“We need Bobby!” screech the teenyboppers
and football players. Coast to coast
touch football isn’t as good as it was last year.
But the Kennedy family makes up for it
in tennis. Kennedy serves somebody rich, then somebody poor.
The poor may always be with us but they have great backhands.

Denise Duhamel’s most recent poetry titles are Two and Two (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005), Mille et un Sentiments (Firewheel, 2005), and Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems (Pittsburgh, 2001). She teaches poetry at Florida International University in Miami.

Stephen Paul Miller has written several poetry books including Skinny Eighth Avenue and The Bee Flies in May, both from Marsh Hawk Press, and Dip, forthcoming from Jensen/ Daniels. He has also written a critical study, The Seventies Now: Culture as Surveillance (Duke UP) and a critical manuscript-in-progress, ‘Liquid Totems: Computer, Holocaust’. Miller co-edited Scene of My Selves: New Work on the New York School Poets (National Poetry Foundation), and, with Daniel Morris, he is now editing Secular Jewish Culture/Radical Poetic Practice. He is a professor of English at St. John’s University in New York.

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