Kitty Dukakis has written in her upcoming book that if her husband had become president the pressure in the White House would have sent her over the edge. In her book, "Now You Know," excerpted in the current issue of Good Housekeeping and in yesterday's Boston Globe, she writes, "I am certain that the first crisis would have sent me out of control. I am equally certain that, thrust into the smothering, protective confines of the White House, I would not have been able to seek proper help."

Because of her disarming candor, rare in a political wife, Dukakis's book has been anxiously awaited. She tells the story of husband Michael's ill-fated campaign for the presidency and how it affected her. She says she panicked before the New Hampshire primary when she realized her husband might win. "Michael was good enough to be president, for sure," she writes, "but was I worthy to be his partner? In my despair, I turned to alcohol." In the book, written with Jane Scovell, Dukakis says alcohol was also her medicine after her husband's resounding defeat by George Bush. She wrote that she would start drinking early in the day and "... I'd go upstairs, shut the blinds, unplug the phone, and read till I passed out -- a process that usually took no more than 10 minutes. Two and a half hours later, I would wake up and repeat the process." Out and About The ever-widening controversy and confusion over National Endowment for the Arts obscenity guidelines has caused the American Poetry Review to reject a $10,000 NEA grant for 1990-91, rather than agree to content restrictions in the work it publishes. The publication, which has a circulation of 24,000, joins a growing list of arts organizations and individuals that have rejected NEA grants, including the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company, Joseph Papp's Public Theater, the New School for Social Research, the Paris Review and the University of Iowa Press. The American Poetry Review had received grants annually for 15 years from the endowment ...

Former president Ronald Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, is now making her bikini debut on national television. The 37-year-old Davis, who has written novels her father and mother, Nancy, haven't liked, has become a television reporter. She appears in a report on the worldwide slaughter of dolphins for the syndicated television program "A Current Affair," which airs tonight. Davis went to San Diego's Sea World to frolic with the dolphins there for the television report, talking about how the animals are killed by tuna fishermen. And while she's at it, she takes a couple of slaps at her father's administration for not protecting the friendly, intelligent animals ...

After all those stories that Sammy Davis Jr. died broke, his will was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday and he bequeathed most of his $4 million estate to his widow. Among the 19 people and five institutions listed as beneficiaries are business associate Shirley Rhodes, to whom he left his trademark diamond ring, along with $25,000 to use as "fun money"; and longtime friend Clint Eastwood, to whom he gave a gun used by Gary Cooper in Western movies. Davis died of cancer in May at 64 ...

Convicted Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy is consistent if nothing else: unabashed and unremorseful. In an interview yesterday morning on "Fox Morning News," he said he didn't consider Watergate a botched job. "What I would do different is I would definitely use those same Cuban guys; remember, they never talked. ... I would absolutely have nothing to do with Messrs. Dean and Magruder. If you and I were together on the deck of the Titanic, Magruder would be trying to get in {the lifeboat} before his mother. Dean, on the other hand, would be trying to get in there ahead of your mother" ...

If you're ever talking to Queen Elizabeth II and she moves her handbag from her right arm to her left, you should be insulted. According to a longtime royal watcher it's a signal to her staff that means, "I'm bored! Rescue me!" ...