Monday, June 06, 2005

Another Monday in D.C.

A humid morning in Washington, D.C., and as usual I am mounded under with work, both real work and my own projects, almost ready to cave under the pressure, somehow soldier on. Deadline tomorrow for the illustrative work for the gynecologic oncology unit I am finalizing obstetrics and gynecology educational series at which I earn my bread.

I was fascinated last week reading the articles in the Washington Post about the unveiling of Mark Felt, former no. 2 man in the FBI as "Deep Throat" of the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard M. Nixon. There is a good article on the hypocrisy of Nixon's cronies such as G. Gordon Liddy and Charles Colson going on the news shows to express their outrage at Felt's supposed duplicity at "betraying" the President. I find myself fascinated by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter who along with Carl Bernstein, did most to unravel the Watergate conspiracy, both the facts of the break-in and the subsequent cover-up by the Nixon White House.

I have written a series of light poems about Woodward, at the time of his book on the Iraq War, and several follow--

The Nation Feels Like a Trout Caught by Bob Woodward

We're live on Larry King
during Bob's vacation
and Larry's gone to commercial.
Woodward has two cell phones
clamped to his ear, he draws
on a cigarette, pulls smoke deep
into his throat, his line sunk
in a stream. Larry's back
and Bob's caught a trout,
the line pulls tight;
Larry: "Did you ask
the President if he ever had
doubts about the war--"
Bob reels in the trout:
"I asked him in the Oval Office
if, when he thought of the soldiers
killed, did he ever have doubts,
and he answered, 'Never.'"
The trout flaps and flaps.

Woodward Hawks Kitchen Knives on Larry King

This guy's never off the box, hawking his new book
slicing up the presidency, unveiling the clockwork
inside the White House, behind the prez's smile.

"Hurry, offer ends soon. Act now and I'll throw in
my alligator knife." It catches the sun like the Samurai
swords in the duel between Rumsfeld and Powell.

"If you call now, I'll throw in this heavy-duty knife
for filleting whales." He juggles blades; Larry asks,
"Who was Deep Throat? Who was Bernstein?"

Christopher T. George


I was thinking of writing another Woodward poem featuring Woodward and Felt in a similar vein to the above. So far, I have come up with the following rather straightforward telling of the story in which I reflect on how the Felt revelation is being received--

Rattlesnake Apparatchik?

The cool G Man who rose inexorably in Hoover's FBI,
you were a tall, smooth operator with coiffed hair
who locked bad guys in the slammer; with snazzy tie,
derby at an angle, you practiced shooting from the hip.

When Vietnam bred new foes for obsessive J. Edgar--
SDS, Panthers--you dutifully chased them down.
A natch that when the old war horse died,
you expected to slide into his doeskin loafers

But It Didn't Happen!--Nixon tapped a crony.
When Tricky Dick ordered a political break-in,
you began to leak tips to the Washington Post,
assumed the codename of a porn legend, met

at 2 AM in the basement of a Roslyn garage;
used the old spy tricks perfected in a career
of deception: you would monitor when
reporter Woodward opened his drapes, moved

a flowerpot with a red flag on his apartment balcony,
marked the reporter's Times with the hands of a clock
with time to meet. Ironic: Nixon later testified
for you, the perfect apparatchik, about "illegal"

break-ins against foes of the war. Many expected
a more famous face; the Post never blew your cover.
To liberals, you're a patriot; to others, a rattlesnake
apparatchik who betrayed a great President.

Christopher T. George


Christopher T. George said...

Here is the article I mentioned--

"Nixon's henchmen lecture us on ethics
Colson and Liddy worked the cable news circuit, expressing moral indignation that the former FBI deputy director was Deep Throat."
Martin Schram is a Washington-based syndicated columnist.

June 6, 2005,0,4436852.story?coll=ny-viewpoints-headlines

Christopher T. George said...

Not Blogging but Blotting!

Today I joined the trendy set
and started a Blog, Wow!
I'm naturally so excited,
one of the first things I do

this ultra-momentous day
of Chris George's New Blog
is knock over my 20 ounce
styrofoam cup of Mr. Kim's
French Vanilla coffee!

Luckily, it is 4:00 pm
and I've drunk 80% of
Mr. Kim's coffee. I grab
napkins kleenex, mop up:

No, Mama, I'm not blogging!
I'm just blotting, just blotting.

Christopher T. George

* With apologies to the late Stevie Smith. Go here to read her great poem "Not Waving but Drowning"!

Christopher T. George said...


is always right and he is always
on the right, so rectitude-infused.

Krauthammer's always, always right!
Wheel him in, he will start to yammer

like a ventriloquist's dummy, so funny,
Charlie McCarthy without the monocle.

Are those glass eyes? So marvellous
what they can do today with robots!

He guarantees us "I do public service,
like reading Stephen Hawking's books,

I assure my readers 'It is not you.
They are entirely incomprehensible.'"

Christopher T. George