Sunday, January 7, 2018

Mr. President, please, we don't need that much backing

Joan Mirò, Animaux (lithograph, 1956, from a series of illustration for poems by Jacques Prévert), via Annex Galleries.

Wolff runs a much longer excerpt from the peroration of Trump's address to the CIA employees in January 2017 than I'd seen before (full transcript here; "Witnesses," says Wolff, "would describe his reception at the CIA as either a Beatles-like emotional outpouring or a response so confounded and appalled that, in the seconds after he finished, you could hear a pin drop"), where he tumbled into the discussion of the tragic events of Inauguration Day, when Zeke Miller of Time took almost as much as 50 minutes to correct his inaccurate tweet alleging that Trump had had the bust of Martin Luther King removed from the Oval Office, an hour that will live in infamy. At least as long as Donald Trump draws breath.

I've published his Black History Month poem touching the same subject; in the five chatty septets of the CIA poem, below the fold, the pain is fresher, and Trump works harder to ground it, establishing first how much Time owes him, for all the times he's furnished his face for the magazine's cover, 14 times altogether, or 15 this year alone, as the case may be, certainly more than the Patriots quarterback, and then broadens it out to the wider human issue, not that he's personally offended by Miller's journalistic malpractice but that "I like honest reporting."

Then he moves on to declare his love for the CIA, contrary to news reports of a "feud" between Trump and the US intelligence community, even though he had compared them to "Nazi Germany" a couple of times earlier in the month ("I am so behind you,“ Trump has told the CIA workers earlier in the address; “you’re gonna get so much backing, maybe you’re gonna say, please, don't give us so much backing, Mr. President, please, we don’t need that much backing.")

Referring perhaps to the fact that the appearance was scheduled for a weekend, so that only some 300 agency workers managed to attend, he seems to invite himself back to give the same speech again, for a bigger audience—perhaps so big that the CIA will need to build a new auditorium, just to accommodate the crowds of CIA workers yearning to look at him, and with no limited-view seats, and he seems to hint he might build it himself.

As editor, I'm very pleased with the relaxed lope in the stanza breaks, and the way I've used parentheses to mark the way his digressions are really interiorities or intergressions. The brackets in the third stanza represent the fact that he used a finger gesture instead of an oral word.

We Won't Have Columns

by Donald J. Trump

So a reporter for Time magazine
(and I have been on the cover like
fourteen or fifteen times, I think
I have the all-time record in the history
of Time magazine, like if Tom Brady
is on the cover it’s one time because
he won the Super Bowl or something,
I’ve been on fifteen times this year,
I don’t think, Mike, that’s a record
that can ever be broken, do you agree with that?
what do you think?)  but I will say that they said
it was very interesting that Donald Trump took down the bust,
the statue, of Dr. Martin Luther King, and it was right there,
there was a cameraman that was in front of it—
so Zeke, Zeke, from Time magazine,
writes a story that I took it down. I would never do that.
I have great respect for Dr. Martin Luther King.
But this is how dishonest the media is. Now big story,
but the retraction was like [tiny]. Is it a line?
Or do they even bother putting it in? I only like to say
I love honesty, I like honest reporting.
I will tell you, final time (although I will say it
when you let in your thousands of other people
who have been trying to come in, because I am
coming back, we may have to get you a larger room,
we may have to get you a larger room and
maybe, maybe it will be built by somebody
that knows how to build and we won’t have columns,
you understand that?
we get rid of the columns), but you know
I just wanted to say that I love you,
I respect you, there’s nobody I respect more.
You do a fantastic job and we’re going to start
winning again, and you’re going to be
leading the charge, so thank you all very much.

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