Michael Philips


Not Guilty

Poem by Michael Philips

TALLAHASSEE - A writer for Gov. Jeb Bush's office
resigned Tuesday, citing news reports detailing
allegations of plagiarism and sexual harassment while
a senior editor at a Jacksonville newspaper.

* * *

First of all, I didn’t touch her.
Sexual harassment?
An electric shock of a term,
But the charge is negative.

OK, I touched her
But I was being friendly, brotherly
I didn’t touch her ass
Or her breasts
Perfect though they may be

I’m in church on Sundays
Most Sundays.
With my wife
Married nine years
Two kids
Here’s a picture

They just wanted me out
They think I’m disloyal
Just because I questioned things
Just because I thought it might be useful
To come clean
About the governor’s alcohol problem
I never said we should reveal
His interludes with hookers
Everyone forgives drinking
An A-list failing
But not hookers
And not drugs
Unless they’re prescription

Secondly, I never plagiarized
Anything ever at any time. Not ever.
Of course, it’s impossible to be completely original
So perhaps you can find traces of others in my writing
It wasn’t intentional
Maybe some things crept in
I had been drinking a lot

Normally I wear a crucifix
I don’t have it right now

Here. Here’s another picture

* * *

'It's unfortunate, ' Bush spokesman Jacob DiPietre said Tuesday.
'This is a difficult time for him and his family. We accepted his
resignation and we wish him well.'


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 22, 2005

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 14, 2012