Michael Lally

Question Everything

so says the poster
in this midtown Manhattan venue
and it has every
and thing
as if they were two different words
which makes it seem like
things are to be questioned
as in the famous quote by
William Carlos Williams:
“No idea but in things”
which would mean going around
questioning tables and tools and
lamps and forks and, well, any
object, but it could mean
the way “thing”
has been used as a substitute for
which makes me imagine going
around with a microphone asking
penises questions
either literally, like actual dicks
or figuratively, like people who are penises
you know, dicks
but who wants to question
all the dicks in this world?
to what end?
there was a time when I wanted to, and did
question the dicks of the world
either in political debates or
radio interviews (I was what the old
use of the term “d.j.” once meant back when
I was 18 in 1960 in upstate New York
and then in the early ‘seventies
when I was in my early thirties and was a d.j.
on the first gay radio show, at least in DC)
or rhetorically questioned some of the dicks
in politics or the powers behind the politicians
in speeches I gave when
I was asked to talk at rallies and
protests and demonstrations and
man, I just remembered I used to quote
Karl Marx and say his favorite motto was
“Doubt everything” with the everything one word
in the translation I read
but he might have meant it as two separate words
and been thinking of dicks too.
Marx’s favorite motto: question every dick.
I like it.

Michael Lally’s award-winning poetry has been denounced on the floor of Congress (My Life called “pornography” in the first attempt to defund the National Endowment for the Arts c.1980) and praised in the Congressional Record (The South Orange Sonnets c. 1974), his 30th book is Another Way To Play: Poems 1960-2017 (7 Stories Press). See also issue_17/michael-lally/