The Pissing Contest – Charles G Lauder Jr

The Pissing Contest

Little boys with their penises in hand
gathered about a porcelain trough,
the drain a silver dome,
when all they know of politics
is what they overhear their parents declare,
so though they know nothing of Watergate
and eighteen minutes of missing tape,
nor of Ehrlichman and Hunt, Mitchell and Dean,
they know ‘Nixon’, with its hard ‘ks’ lump,
and Congressional hearings, the long, droning table of men
in a dark wooden-panelled room
and the high smack of a gavel,
broadcast on all three TV channels,
stealing away afternoon cartoons
and Mothers’ soaps for weeks on end,
they stand there, penises grasped in little hands,
following the biggest boy’s lead
and aim their streams at the silver dome drain:
Look at me! I’m peeing on the Capitol!
Only a few of the arched golden flows
have the strength to splatter against the dome,
burst through its holes like a water cannon
against windows, offices and corridors flood
with desks and sofas floating away in the foam,
interns and PAs swim to get clear.
It doesn’t matter if they really meant
the White House, or Congress,
or Washington in general,
this is for Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck,
and, if their mothers were here,
The Guiding Light and As the World Turns,
little boys peeing until penises run dry
and the pee drains away,
leaving a stink and a stain,
the little boys are proud of their new game,
as penises are waved and shook, then tucked away.
This before the days of separate urinals,
like older brothers and fathers already use,
where they’ll stand, distracted by size,
and brag to one another that the water is cold,
and the biggest boy will reply, And deep too.

Charles G Lauder Jr grew up in Texas and has lived in south Leicestershire since 2000. He has two pamphlets Bleeds (CCC, 2012) and Camouflaged Beasts (BLER, 2017). His debut collection is The Aesthetics of Breath (V.Press, 2019): https://vpresspoetry.blogspot.com/p/the-aesthetics-of-breath.html

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