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A Presidential Nightmare

by Midnight_Sun 

Posted: 08 July 2011
Word Count: 181

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The strangest dream I think I ever had
involved Alistair Crowley and the Marquis de Sade,
in a bathtub filled with jellied eels
whilst ZZ Top in kitten heels,
pranced around a bloodstained floor,
singing 'Boogie Nights!' to a sobbing whore.

Then Marc Bolan banged the gong
and dinner was served on Annabel Chong
so Ringo Starr picked his chopsticks up
and beat out a rhythm on the base of a cup,
while Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and E.A. Poe
sang 'Happy Birthday, Mr President' to Marilyn Monroe.

Then much to everyone's desire
Oscar Wilde arose from his seat by the fire,
announcing 'Brandy and cigars with Monica and Bill,
in the drawing room if one will
be so pleased and honoured to follow me,
for I am a genius, it's plain to see.'

Then I awoke with a sudden start
and the pounding of blood churning round my heart.
It was then a realisation dawned
that to my left was a sleeping blonde.
Who am I, why none other than J.F.K. on blow
in the presidential bed with Marilyn Monroe.

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Comments by other Members

James Graham at 13:44 on 10 July 2011  Report this post
Good to see an idea taken as far as it will go, not holding back. This is a no-holds-barred nightmare, especially the scene in the first stanza! Is the presidential conscience troubling him? I could almost imagine JFK enjoying this dream, surrounded by all those celebrities. It’s full of fun rhymes - Byron for the 21st century? - and a tasty collection of ‘celebrities’.

I had to google ZZ Top, so discovered how hirsute they are and could then picture them prancing around. Given a choice between meeting Crowley and the Marquis de Sade (hopefully not sharing any kind of bathtub with either of them) the Marquis would win hands down! He’s had his defenders - Simone de Beauvoir, Angela Carter. JFK might have been happy to make his acquaintance. (His old man, Joseph P. Kennedy, one of America’s leading Nazi sympathisers, wouldn’t have approved of de Sade though.)

Do you read your work in public? This is one that would surely go down well, as would ‘We’re all in this together’. I’m unsure about the Oscar Wilde stanza, which seems rather subdued compared with the others; but this may be only as it appears on the page, and reading aloud may be a different matter. I’d still perhaps want to leave out this stanza, even if it means ditching Monica and Bill as well.

I realise this comment is a bit of a mish-mash, going off at tangents. If there’s any other aspect of the poem you’d like to discuss, please get back to me.


Midnight_Sun at 15:18 on 14 July 2011  Report this post
Thanks James,

I have never read my work in public and would tend to shy away from occasions where i'd have to address an audience (anymore than two people and i get palpitations and the sweats!) Although I have recited it to friends now and again adding an air of pomposity to Oscar Wilde's little speech but I could take that part out and rework it slightly to see how it reads.

I never knew that about old Joe Kennedy, I think he smuggled alcohol into the USA during the prohibition era and that's about all I really knew, but to be a Nazi sympathiser is just awful!


James Graham at 12:21 on 18 July 2011  Report this post
Too bad you don't like reading to an audience, Patricia. You've already given us two poems that would go down pretty well! I must be a limelight case, I enjoy public readings - audiences (as you would expect) are usually small. 'Hearing' your Oscar Wilde stanza again, I can certainly 'hear' the pomposity, and realise I was maybe too nit-picking when I said it was out of place. It's not too surprising to find him in the company of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen etc.


clyroroberts at 17:38 on 19 July 2011  Report this post
Hello Patricia

This is a very enjoyable poem. Really good fun and I agree with James that it needs to be read out loud. Probably in a smoke filled basement somewhere in inner london at 3am.

Does the dreamer wake twice? Or is the dreamer JFK? I may be being thick. I had a dream once where I woke up and was still in the dream. Then I thought I'd never properly wake again. Quite scary.

James R

Midnight_Sun at 08:48 on 20 July 2011  Report this post
James G,

I had posted this poem on another forum as well but one person could not quite suspend their disbelief and pointed out the anachronism; JFK dreaming about ZZ Top and Monica and Bill, but the more surreal the better, a time travelling president!! They actually wanted me to rewrite the ending and have Crowley be the dreamer (yikes!!) although I didn't point out the fact he would have been even more out of time! But as both you and James R suggest, this poem would be better read aloud and just enjoyed that way, maybe I will pluck up the courage soon, i'm sure if I get one reading over me the rest should get easier.

James R,

I wanted to leave it that he's in bed with Marilyn but you never quite know if he is still dreaming or not, did he have an affair with the blonde bombshell who sang so seductively into the microphone at his birthday??? do we know for sure, maybe this is all a dream right now, ha ha!

Thanks again,


nickb at 23:47 on 22 July 2011  Report this post
That's really funny, and slightly disturbing. This conjurs up some wonderful images and has a truly nighmarish quality (although I guess waking up next to Marilyn Munroe wouldn't be so bad).

I agree with Graham about the Oscar Wilde stanza, compared to the others it takes a while to get there.

Great fun.


tinyclanger at 17:15 on 24 July 2011  Report this post
fab..but like to think my ultimate hero, Tom Waits, would be slightly out of place amongst these massive, outspoken egos...
wishful thinking, I know!
Love it.

Midnight_Sun at 13:43 on 26 July 2011  Report this post
Thanks Nick and TC, much appreciated

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