The Dr. Is In

in Poetry

Dr. Wes

Pooky's Alien Nation

People often wonder how I can be so cheerful all the time. After all, they observe, I am dirt poor. Also I don't have any compensating assets. Also Dan Quayle is running for president. Then there are the things that they don't mention, like my brain implant, remote controlled by Ted Turner and Jane Fonda, or the fact that David McCallum hated being thought of as Ilya Kuryakin.

Well! What keeps me going is my friends - especially my extraterrestrial friends, whom I know will some day, soon, come in force to vanquish my enemies and create an all Man from U.N.C.L.E. channel.

Meanwhile: Dan Quayle's candidacy has motivated one of my best friends to enter the presidential race himself, so that there can be a "clear alternative" to Quayle.

"I'm not an alien at all," Pooky Glax is quick to point out, "as much as fifteen percent of my birth probably occurred in Idaho, New Mexico, and Disneyland." In fact, Mr. Glax, or Pooky, as he prefers that I call him, is proud to call himself an Extraterrestrial-American. He is a sentient life-form of the quantum-disturbance type. He is over forty, at least fifty percent of the time, but don't try to pin him to an age or he just might lurch through a wall!

I met Pooky Glax a few years ago when we were both homeless in the University District. Even back then I was deeply impressed not only by the depth of his ideas but by his deep compassion for his fellow sentient beings. Such as, when he dumpster-dove for transistors Pooky always saved out dill pickles and donuts for me, even though he had only half a pocket to put them in. That's noble!

It's probably not surprising that, given his background, Pooky assigns such a high priority to making housing more generally available in this country. (He favors a rotation plan.)

Though Pooky may not technically be an alien, he must constantly feel marginalized in a world that will always have far more certainty than even his own boundaries. Or at least parts of him must feel that way at different times and places. Thus, much of his platform naturally expresses his own personal struggle against that certainty of our world that so violates Pooky's diffuse sense of being.

Take for example his call for universal bagpipes. If you ask him for clarification, Pooky chitters, and forms what passes for a grin on his presenting surfaces. Then he says it louder, "UNIVERSAL! BAGPIPES! [Chitter! - Chitter! - Chitter!]" Clearly he does not intend to be clear on this plank.

Then there is his interest in seeing that Tahiti is eventually selected as the site of a future Winter Olympics. On the face of it, this would seem to be a quite definite goal, although one that certainly should not concern the President of the United States of America. But then Pooky talks about where Tahiti might be towed, once they have learned to really trust us, and all sorts of possibilities emerge.

What would be the consequences of a national licensing of ducks? Who knows? And that puts Pooky firmly in his element.

Pooky Glax's most radical proposal: a random national wage, so that everyone who works can, as he says, know from time to time what it means to have their work undervalued. Characteristically, Pooky declines to say how a random national wage would be implemented.

"Chitter!" is his only comment, but the impression I get from talking to him about it is that the implementation would be very confusing to everyone, in somewhat the same way that our current system now is so confusing to janitors and others like them who have to clean up after it every day.

Pooky says to me, "People think they need more certainty in their lives," as a large fraction of his right side flickers and momentarily tunnels to Prague and back, "but actually they need less. I hope that during the course of the coming campaign I will be able to convince them of this: that in our time, the less sure we are, the better." And he continues, "If we go where we are sure, at best it will be like a life in line at Disneyland, never getting on a ride. Is that what you want? Just to be sure that Mickey will say Hiya, Hiya, and shake your hand, before you die?"

I suppose I should mention that Pooky is not always so predictably in support of uncertainty. He is definite in his insistence that the Food Stamp Program be expanded to cover glass, transistors, computer chips, and other silicon products, every third Thursday, in prime numbered years.

And of course, as you could have predicted, Pooky promises that if elected he will seek federal funding to bring about an all Man from U.N.C.L.E. channel. So he has my vote... as we knew he would!

© Dr. Wes Browning:

2129 Second Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 (206) 441-3247

Adventures in Poetry Columns       © Dr. Wes Browning's Home Page
The Great Speckled Bird Columns on Homelessness