Poetry by Ronald Charles Epstein

June 9th, 2013


Gary Hart’s Monkey Business


In 1972,
Gary Hart,
dynamic young organizer
of Senator George Mc Govern’s
presidential campaign,
had no time
for romantic distractions.

In 1987,
Senator Gary Hart,
Colorado Democrat,
presidential candidate,
husband of Lee and
Donna Rice’s lover,
had plenty of time
for Monkey Buisness




The Canadian Comedian

Ron James, Canadian comedian,
played Benny Blackfly
in Blackfly,
a sitcom set
in a British fort
on the northern frontier.

That program combined
the comic possibilities
of Canada: A People’s History
with the historical accuracy
of an F-Troop episode.




Blue Bloods 

Tom Selleck,
once Thomas Magnum
of Magnum, P.I.,
now Frank Reagan,
NYPD commissioner
on Blue Bloods.

Will he face
a criminal clan
called the Mondales
or a serial killer
named Jimmy Carter?




Hank, Dottie or CBS

a drama run, then cancelled, by CBS.
a small-town police chief named Hank
(played by Randy Quaid)
prefers his wife Dottie,
(played by Mare Winningham)
when she’s made up like Katie Couric,
formerly of NBC’s TODAY.

Who is humiliated?
Hank, Dottie? CBS?

The answer: CBS.
The Tiffany Network
had no morning stars
that some New England bozo
could develop a fixation on.




The Aging Action Star

In the 1970s,
the aging action star
let his hair grow
and switched to pot.

The gossips assumed
that he was chasing
his lost youth,
after his ex-wife
rediscovered hers
with the pool boy.




Spain, Then & Now

Wendell Richardson,
a tourist from Seattle,
brushed his teeth in Madrid,
complained to the pharmacist,
“Your stuff tastes like pigeon poop!”

That was in 1962,
the era of General Franco.
Today Spain is free,
and the toothpaste tastes better,
as does the pigeon poop.




The Port of Bremen

When the ships arrived in Bremen,
the tourists were greeted
by a portly porter.
The rats were lured
by The Pied Piper.




Unwanted at the Wedding

Jay Leno,
observing the Royal Wedding,
viewed Prince William’s outfit
as fit for Cap’n Crunch.

Sure, if Cap’n Crunch
was present in the abbey.

So unfair,
ask Gordon Brown
and Tony Blair.




The Moral Politician

The moral politician
and foe of prostitution
was nabbed by local vice cops
while naked in a bawdy house.

His given name is “John”.
Really, the comedy
just writes itself.




Remembering Liz Taylor (1932-2011)

In the 1980s,
Elizabeth Taylor
proclaimed her solidarity
with those who faced AIDS,
offering them her prestige,
earning relevance in return.



On Canadian Radio

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council
issues another guideline
for broadcast airplay.

Mark Knopfler,
of Dire Straits,
no longer sneers “faggot”,
even as self-referential social commentary
aimed at ’80s rockers like himself.

Fortunately, Carole Pope,
backed by Rough Trade
can still “…cream…” her jeans
for a “….blonde scheming bitch…”



The Liberal From Berkeley

The liberal from Berkeley
praises John McCain
to his cousin Ned
in Macon, Georgia.

He cagily identifies
with the Vietnam hero,
as the clever racist
clings to Bill Cosby.




Canine Harness

The Toronto Police
set up a safety booth
in Yorkdale Mall.

The canine mascot,
a mall black poodle,
was strapped in
a construction harness
designed for his protection
and ours.

In an accident,
an unsecured pet
becomes a missile
that you don’t want to see
and he don’t want to be.




The Cooper’s Hawk

A Cooper’s Hawk,
distant cousin to
the American Eagle,
takes up residence
in the Library of Congress,
failing to realize
that she was not welcome.

No one ever told her
that simple nepotism
was not for the birds.




Did You Know?

Did you know
that Rene Levesque,
the Quebec premier
who nearly severed
his home province
from Canada,
dubbed Hollywood movies
into Canadian French?

So that explains
why John Wayne,
playing Sgt. Stryker,
leads Marines into battle,
yelling “Vive le Quebec libre!”


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