THOLOS OF ATHENA

Saturday, July 25, 2009

grayson harper CHENEY

Cheney comes on the talk shows
and talks about the good old days
when he and his buds were the big
kahunas who ran the show
and told everyone to kiss their ass.
Sometimes they'd drop
firecrackers in a cocktail glass

and watch the wait staff lose their wits.
And they were always hiding the gardener's tools;
they'd make him climb the roof
to retrieve a shovel or a rake.
The maid opened her thermos one morning
and found a snake.

Warm nights
they threw off their clothes
and ran naked through the sprinklers.
George pounced on a frog
as it hopped through the grass.
Cheney pinned it to a wall and called it fate.
They sat around throwing darts
while it twitched and scraped.

Now and then a cat would appear
in the library or the Lincoln bedroom.
Someone—he can't remember who—
tied an orange tabby to a curtain rod
then poured water down its throat
just to see what it would do.

They dumped a keg of gin in the goldfish pond one time.
They blindfolded a goose, then hung it from a clothesline.

Cheney says they had a thing for dogs.
Someone would bring them over in a van
and drop them off at night,
dogs of every shape and color:
poodles, retrievers, borzois, beagles,
foxhounds, otter hounds, red-bone
coonhounds, border collies, beaucerons,
old english sheepdogs,
welsh corgis, tibetan spaniels,
pekingese, chihuahuas, great danes,
dobermans and pugs.

They hung them from a pipe
and beat them with clubs.

Cheney's voice is quiet and bland
like a clerk or a sexton.
The reporters nod and smile
and ask him gentle questions.

When he's finished with the scene
he's carried off in a limousine.

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