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Gene Williamson

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The Night I Save the President
by Gene Williamson

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Gene Williamson
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           >> View all 258



The capital night is still,
ghostly still.

I am seated on a long mahogany bench
in deserted Union Station.

I think I am alone
until I see at the end of the bench a tall man
of distinguished country quality,
a man who looks like the president.
He motions me to join him
and offers me a swig from the pint he pulls
from in his hip pocket.
We inhale a deep animating drink.

Careful not to be bumptious, we debate
the state of war and politics.
I tell him I marched in candlelight vigils
opposing jungle adventures.
He laments the loss of the esemplastic power
he once flaunted, condemns the polarity
of the damnable war.

We pause to share another therapeutic snort
and I hear a shout
resounding through the terminal
just in time to see a skinhead sail a glass ashtray,
barely missing the president,
whom I beseech to duck behind me,
a tenuous bulwark.

At once a ragged army
of militant baldheaded crazies bombards us
with a barrage of glass ashtrays,
the president clinging to my unsteady knees.
There is no letup in the blitz
and I wonder what madness is next when
a swinging door materializes.

I urge the president to exit while I attempt
to hold off the bruising assault.
The president stares at me with hound dog eyes
and allows as how he is
much obliged, suggesting one for the road.
I gulp a swig and plead with him to skedaddle.
He scribbles a note, slips it into my coat pocket,
disappears in the night

I wake up, run
to the bathroom mirror to see how
badly I am cut: not a scratch.
I dash to the closet
to check my coat pocket; no note.

Eventually I am told
by someone on the White House staff
that the president, on removing
the glass ashtrays from the Oval Office and
ordering the marines to surround Union Station,
goes on the wagon and insists
I be the first to know
he has decided to shut down the war.

Of course he never did. 


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Reviewed by Gianetta Ellis 6/14/2011
Oh Gene, but to have lived in your experience somewhere a bit closer than . . . here. What might I have perceived? Might I have become the poet you are? To live inside the making of your classic, movie-style compositions - who would I be? The woman whose name you never knew? I think I'd like to be a character in one of your scenes - a memory from your past, or even a gull who keeps you company on a sandy afternoon.
Reviewed by Carole Mathys 6/14/2011
Now there is a tale worthy to be told around a camp it Gene
love and peace, Carole~
Reviewed by Jon Willey 6/9/2011
Poetry that intriguingly explores the crass world of smoke and mirrors politics. Those men project persona's that are in no way indicative of a president's real character. If they really do have a character worth revealing to the citizens. There is aching for honesty to displace the charade that has become an office with a figure head, a bobble head. Surrendering to the highest bidder to feed the egocentric man. A challenge to the accepted norms Gene. Where we will go from here, is so uncertain. I am fascinated by this look at a heroes efforts ignored by the benefactor. But alas, in politics, everything is a dirty, deceptive game of spin. I bid you love and peace my dear friend. Jon Michael
Reviewed by Kate Burnside 6/3/2011
this is so real, Gene Genie... it COULD happen, in the sense that The President, The Queen, The Head Of State... for goodness sake, they are all just puppets on strings, aren't they? Wouldn't they LONG to go undercover, to walk the streets, to swig meth from a bottle (perhaps not...) and to be just the human being they so are with the weight of the world - literally - on their shoulders? That's not to say, of course, that absolute political power doesn't corrupt absolutely, but your dream here makes me realise that History is all about individuals on a stage... to some extent it's WHO they are... at another level, it's about who's pulling the strings at the time: global issues are, intrinsically, about domestic housekeeping on a world stage. If I were Queen, do you think England would be different, for example?! Would love to know how! :)) xxx You are a traveller of time, space, geography and dreams, buddy. I'd love to know what that cane of yours is feeding you... There's strength for sure in that extra leg... xx
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 6/3/2011
This is so cleverly told, Gene; you grabbed my attention and had me racing to learn more. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 6/3/2011
Oh my heavens...awesome writing darlin as always....stay safe and well..Hugsss
Love always,
Chanti xoxoxo
Reviewed by Paul Berube 6/2/2011
Great tale, Gene.
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 6/1/2011
Wow, what a fascinating story...

Be always safe,
Reviewed by Morgan Merriweather 6/1/2011
I was so close to thinking you were going to read the note backwards in the mirror......this is excellent. ~ Morgan
Reviewed by JMS Bell 6/1/2011
Reviewed by John Flanagan 6/1/2011
Your take is what interests me, Gene, is this fine
and very different fantasy where no real heroes emerge
even after acts of violence and gallantry and courage;
it makes me question the purpose of it all, if indeed
there is a purpose, not the poetry for that is splendid,
but the programme.
Highly stimulating.

Reviewed by Peter Schlosser (Reader) 6/1/2011
of course not, he expanded the war, ha, ha, funny that! he ran against bush as the fake anti-war candidate, then expanded the war, pakistan now, libya, yemen, ha, ha................excellent writing though gene, love the build-up, suspense, great stuff as always. in admiration........................
Reviewed by richard cederberg 6/1/2011
"Bumptious" indeed! Too many of this ilk. A fine piece of poetic flash fiction Gene with great phraseology exonerated in your inimitable style. Enjoyed this mucho! Peace and continued imagination. richard
Reviewed by Amber Moonstone 6/1/2011
Dreams are like fairytales This was a whopper!!! Great story/poem, I enjoyed reading it..You have quite an imagination.

Peace, love and light,
Reviewed by Christine Tsen 6/1/2011
Remarkable and fresh is your imaginative range, let alone your profound deep and more tender side! Marvelous!

Speaking of dreams, I had a nightmare last night. I would much rather have interesting dreams like you write of.
Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 6/1/2011
Death by heavy, ponderous ashtrays. I sincerely hope they emptied the damn ashtrays of smoldering cigar and cigarette butts. You were the brave one. Accommodations will be forthcoming. Wear them well. The war? We don't have a war. We haven't declared war on anyone. Oh, I know people are being killed by roadside bombs, and our planes kill civilians during bombing raids. Civilians? Are there really such a thing in Pakistain? Anyway, you've had your fifteen minutes of glory, old boy, if you are smart you will parlay that into a reality show, and if you do, I give you fair warning I shan't (love that word) watch it. No. Never. Stick me in the dungeons of Iran and torture me, I will forever and always keep my eyes closed to the mindless drivel which comes out of the reality shows. Uh, that doesn't mean you shouldn't cash in on your new found fame.
Reviewed by Rose Rideout 6/1/2011
Nice dream and often they do come true Gene. Aonderful thoughts dear.

Newfie Hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Mr. Ed 6/1/2011
Quite a tale, my friend!
Reviewed by Liana Margiva 6/1/2011
VERY NICE!!!!!!!!!!! Liana Margiva
Reviewed by Vesna Vanessa 6/1/2011
wow..unique to say the least..bravo Gene!

Vesna :)
Reviewed by Patrick Granfors 5/31/2011
Sheer Blinkin' Genius! Absolute Blinkin' Genius! Patrick
Reviewed by Ed Matlack 5/31/2011
Different, Gene...still an enjoyable read...Been to the beach lately? e
Reviewed by TONY NERONE 5/31/2011
It does not look like he ever will. Really we are not the only atomic powers. Why can't England, Israel, Italy,Holland, and Spain do the strong arming?

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