Deadline Poet | The Nation

Deadline Poet

Calvin Trillin

So V.S. Naipaul finally gets the prize.
It's said he's willing, through unblinking eyes,
To make his observations, then recall
The bleakest Third World countries, warts and all.
While valuing his writing, I still think
It wouldn't hurt if, now and then, he'd blink.

By night our missiles rain on them,
By day we drop them bread.
They should be grateful for the food--
Unless, of course, they're dead.

(An old Nat "King" Cole song, as sung by Rudy "King"

Indispensable, that's what I am.
I'm an
icon now, like Uncle Sam.
I'm the rock this town is built
Après moi, no one could carry on.
No one
but me
Could possibly be
(bah, bah, bah)
the mayor for life.
No one worries now about my wife.
So, you
see, I've simply got to stay.
I'll be mayor forever and a
And I'll still be indispensable then.

The brother of the Sultan of Brunei
Set out to see how much a guy could buy,
And fifteen billion's what he finally spent
Before the sultan voiced some discontent.
The guilt of many shoppers was assuaged.
The most committed shopaholic gauged,
"I'd really have to spend a lot more dough
To be a spendthrift like the sultan's bro."

To those who say he cannot do it,
Who claim his head is filled with suet,
He says that he is plenty able
To deal with issues on the table.
Though he may have no depths to plumb,
He says for sure he isn't dumb.
It's almost more than we could hope:
The President is not a dope.

      --Headline, New York Times

The dollar's strong. That must be good.
It's doing what a dollar should.
Not so.
The world cannot afford our junk.
You see: It's never what you thunk.
Go know!


Calvin Trillin
Calvin Trillin, the author of Random House's Deciding the Next Decider:...