Calvin Trillin, the author of Random House’s Deciding the Next Decider: The 2008 Presidential Election in Rhyme, is The Nation‘s “deadline poet.” He has been acclaimed in fields of writing that are remarkably diverse. As someone who has published solidly reported pieces in The New Yorker for forty years, he has been called “perhaps the finest reporter in America.” His wry commentary on the American scene and his books chronicling his adventures as a “happy eater” have earned him renown as “a classic American humorist.” His About Alice—a 2007 New York Times best seller that was hailed as “a miniature masterpiece”—followed two other best-selling memoirs, Remembering Denny and Messages from My Father.
I wasn't really for the war.
But all my kin, in wars before,
Had gone when called. I couldn't flee.
No, Canada was not for me.
Another thing that I was not
We might provoke less violent demonstrations
If we invaded slightly fewer nations.
Regular people, just plain working folks
Always stood out in my eyes.
I scorn all those people who drink wine instead
Of eating Frito pies.
The little error that we may have made
In picking out a country to invade
Was understandable. The names, of course,
Are close, and when you make a show of force
In canned obits that papers keep,
The second graf relates
The fact that Nader gave us Bush,
Through votes in several states.
The wacko right has mostly just disdain
For Schwarzenegger, Rudy and McCain.
But they'll be featured at the prime-time mike
As just the sort of folks swing voters like.
The commission's report starts anew
Nanny's fairy tales, worthy of Pooh.
For the contrary facts that accrue
Can do nothing to change Cheney's view.