Friday, 16 November 2018
Dear Mr President,
I’ve been working on a poem about your presidency – an epic, naturally – which will express the equineal assonance of your personality and the universally longed-for aposiopesis of your bathetic voice. Considering your experience in show business – to make no mention of your knowledge of war and passion and poetry and stolen love – I thought I’d run a few ideas past you.
Achilles has a foot problem – not like yours, of course, because it didn’t keep him out of combat – but you can tell that he was always worried about his weak heel betraying him.
I’ll entitle it the Trumpiad – you know, like Homer’s Iliad . You remember that Achilles is this heroic warrior – though, truth to tell, when you really read the thing, you see that he spends more time talking about fighting than doing it. Mostly he stays in his tent and sulks and sputters out his wrath. Either that or his ire. So you can see some interesting similarities. Plus, Achilles has a foot problem – not like yours, of course, because it didn’t keep him out of combat – but you can tell that he was always worried about his weak heel betraying him.
Anyway, here’s the opening passage.
Sing, Goddess, how the wheat-thatched son of hot-breathed Aeolus,
Gold-haired, spray-coiffed trumpet of ill aimed blasts of pointless wind,
Sulked, bone-spurred, girth-stretched within his silken tent –
Not like Achilles who yearned for Briseis, fair captive mistress
Whom wide-ruling Agamemnon stole from his couch –
No, rather the deal-working Wielder of the best of simple words,
Sheltering from the Zeus-sent storms of battle and of rain,
Pouted in his sulky rage that the fair-spanking Storm,
Fallen under the sway of the smooth-worded wizard Avenatius,
Though duly recompensed, and ransom stuffed between her ample breasts,
Refused to shut her dawn-rose lips in silence and depart.
So broke forth the sullen Hero as he stroked his fatal foot:
“Was ever king or tyrant thus treated so unfairly, so unnice?
That she – so oft laid bare, now cloaked in law – threatens
To bring me down. O cursed fate – that this once-hired Harlot,
Now cashed-out concubine, this mere woman is my heel!”
Received by the White House at 5:16 AM EST, 16 November 2018