Once upon a midnight dreary, my brain wandered,
bleak and bleary,
Over many a vain vicarious veep with one foot
in the door.
If I nodded . . . What’s that tapping? Hey, it’s
New York’s center snapping--
Kemp has got it. Time! O’erlapping quarterbacking?
Who’s he for?
“Still, some senator,” I muttered, Landon’s Nancy
at my door,
“Just says, ‘No!’ and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember ‘twas the month before
And each separate vying Member cast his boast
upon the floor.
Eagerly cried my pal Simpson: “Vainly would they
call us wimps then!
I’d make Donaldson turn crimson! Win one for the
For my rare and radiant angel, the Gipper,
Blameless here for evermore.
And the secret, so uncertain rustling of each
Thrilled me, filled me with Advanceman’s terrors
(dare I speak their name?)
So that now, to stem the stigma of Defeat, I cried,
Domenici, non es dignus to appropriate my game.
And Deukmejian? A contagion! Duke, they’d say,
‘s the rage in names!
Damn, I’m Hamlet--nothing more.
Presently a Dole grew stronger; flipping, flopping
then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness
But the fact is I was trying (I know Robert called it
‘lying’) . . .
Well, to win instead of tying, dying in
New Hampshire’s war.”
But Elizabeth or Bob? And here I opened wide
On then to New Orleans churning, all my veeps
within me turning--
Kean or Kemp or Kassebaum? Is Bentsen taken?
“George, be calm.”
Thompson? Simpson? My son? Tracking me! Pit bulls
Let me see, then, what I’m lacking. Gee, it’s only
. . . Lebensraum. Please, some space for Number One. A man of stature
in the realm.
They’re all wind, and nothing more.
Open now I flung the shutter, when (note many a flirt
In there stepped a stately ra--quayle! Of the Boomer
days! Lloyd who?
Here at last the bird we’ve bled for! Merry Christmas!
Duke, you’re dead, for
Here with mien of Robert Redford, perched right
here’s the Perfect Two,
Perched upon my bust of Gipper. Breakfast clubber,
So? You’re qualified? He’s cute!
Then this ivory bird beguiling my Advanceman into
By its Hollywood decorum and the vote count it
“With thy crest so clean and clipped,” he said, “thou,
I will bet my bippie,
Sure art no grim, ghastly hippie wandering from the
Tell them what thy unit’s name was. And that night
platonic near the shore?”
Quoth the quayle, “That’s been covered.”
Heck. I knew they’d now all vomit still more queries
with no comment
Since the answers little meaning, little relevancy bore.
But while I sat there oh-geeing, good ol’ Gipper
slapped his knee and
Said, “No other living being has teed off with such
Neither bird nor beast (‘cept me) could launch
campaigns by closing doors
With such lines as: ‘It’s been covered!’ ”
Startled, still, at stillness broken by replies so
“Doubtless,” they said, “what it utters isn’t all the
From some unhappy master whom unmerciful
Follows fast and follows faster.” (Plainly, forecast
here is gory.)
Hell’s Bells, Bells, Bells--sorry. But it’s not true--
in days of yore, he . . .
O, never mind, it’s been covered.
But my quayle there, biting harder, ‘top that bust,
remained on Guard--er,
Lowercase--then moved the hunt to Huntington,
where they got gored.
Little further piped our piper; crouching, he drew
Thus my eagleton was diapered. ‘Stead of quayle
From yon Baja to sweet Mahwah, ‘twas Dukakis
on the floor!
“Quiet,” quipped quayle, “It’s been covered.”
Still, methought the air’d grown denser. Nothing
I would try to censor
But my temperature--and all those tempests
tossing thee ashore!
Nightmares . . . Gosh, there’s Ford’s Theater! Gee! Me
on a respirator!
Senator, you’re no debater--but, tell, Prophet,
Art thou really like J.F.K.? Or the Gipper
Quickly quayle: “I’ve got you covered.”
Quayle, now older, never flitting, still is sitting,
still is sitting
On the powdered bust of Gipper--hmmmm, above
my chamber door!
His eyes almost have the seeming of a Democrat’s
Of that great white birdhouse gleaming, that
redeeming tree-top grail,
Where far more than just his Hoosiers pledge
allegiance to the quayle,
Who announces: “I’ve been covered.”