Sunday, January 11, 2009

kashering obama


Jimmy, and two Bushes, Bill,
all against Obama rub,
in a season of good will
when it’s wrong to give a snub
to the man who’ll occupy
the office each one has disgraced,
each in his own way forced to try
avoiding signs of their distaste
for new-boy-on-the-block, whose glamour
exceeds theirs now. This is the hour
for all for making nice. Obama,
unlike each one of them, has power,
and power is so sexy, as
Bill proved, though Jimmy and the Bushes
avoided such a meshugas,
against which Barack surely pushes,
clean living man, who’ll save us all
from the embarrassment we had
when Bill, as we can all recall,
was in the office very baaaad.
A photo shows that Jimmy might
resent Bill’s love of busty beauties
by staying far from him, a sight
suggesting he has got the cooties.
Now in our lusting hearts we’re safe
from scandal surely. If Michelle
should see the White House turning trayf,
she won’t shitewash it, but give hell,
so though four Presidents dismay
Americans who’re not a fan,
the fifth one’s bound to be OK,
O-for-Obama Kosher man.

Inspired by an article by Sheryl Gay Stolberg (“The Very Elite Club That Never Meets,” NYT, January 11, 2009), describing a lunch meeting in which President George W. Bush invited his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinto to meet BArack Obama before his inauguration. In a photo accompanying the event Jimmy Carter keeps his distance from Bill Clinton in a manner Maureen Dowd, writing about Dick Cheney in “An Extremist Makeover” (NYT, January 11, 2009), describes the Stay-away-from-me-you’ve-got-cooties stance.
For those who do not know some of the terms I use in this poem, kashering means to make something kosher, trayf means non-kosher and OK, with a capital K inside a capital O, is a logo that certifies food as kosher. Jimmy Carter, of course, once admitted in an interview he gave to Playboy that he lusted in his heart, a more forthright confession than any Bill Clinton gave concerning his extra-cardiac lust. Shitewash was originally a typo, but after I made it I decided to keep it rather than “whitewash,” which I had originally intended to write.

© 2009 Gershon Hepner 1/11/09


  1. Personally I think Bill Clinton was one of the finest presidents we've ever had. I don't care who he slept with and I'd rather have a president who's having sex rather than that bible-thumping Jesus freak who's occupied the White house for the last 8 horrendous years. And Jimmy Carter should be ashamed of himself for his stance on the mideast. Talk about rewriting history!

  2. Jimmy Carter is one of the only U.S presidents I like (I bet that doesn't surprise you!)

    Well written poem from you, as usual Gershon. Immaculate scansion and I love "Shitewash"!

    Anna xxx