Situation Not Normal, All Trumped Up (SNNATU)

A Limerick Sampler

What is this? Naked woman, men's heads, drawing by William Eaton, 2017It all began in May with a few limericks about Mike Pence, who has seemed at times on the verge of replacing Trump. On September 17, the adventure, with Limerick 155, reaches its conclusion. The poems have comprised many subjects, including my suffering heart. Below is a selection: the limericks most focused on Trump.



Trump’s hair brush asked him, “Are you having fun?

Or do you wish this election you had not won?”

“Well, it does seem a President never stops being tried.

Into my life and my friends, all my actions they pry.”

“Before you were a criminal, and now you feel like one?”



About Trump and related infirmities much is being said—

As before his fingers approached buttons for warheads

And before he could pardon his criminal friends

And erase progressive policies with the stroke of a pen

And not help the working classes but their bitterness spread—

As before destructive forces elected him President

Of a swamp we might call crazed, criminal, incompetent?

Which, with so many lying in it, has become our feculent bed.



“No nation on Earth has an interest

in seeing this band of criminals,”

The capo or his front man, perhaps, jested?

“with nuclear weapons and missiles.”


It seems the Russian-Koch-and-Mercer crew

Has bagged the Congress and the White House too,

And given their “suicide mission” and the warheads,

We seek comfort in old-fashioned principles?

§ The quotations are from Trump’s speech to the United Nations on September 19, 2017. As ever with Trump’s attacks, this one is, above all, a self-description. The sentences as reported by the media:

No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. . . . Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.



Steve Bannon, Mike Dubke, Michael T. Flynn

Become names on a list of the people not in

With the Mooch and the Spice and Sebastian Gork-

Ah Priebus and Higgins and Michael C. Short

And one Dahl and one Walsh and a McFarland (KT),

And Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Derek Harvey

Now back up the van for Trump and his kin!

§ Here Are the Top Officials in the Trump White House Who Have Left, New York Times, updated as of August 26, 2017, and thus ignoring Keith Schiller and . . . ?



Kim Jong-un found his blustering much less attractive

After we deployed our weapon the most radioactive—

After the Donald and his mop

On Pyongyang were gently dropped.

The crowds, the last tweet reads, have been “fantastic.”



For appearances, ads, conversation—

The sad game has a name—dissimulation.

Should I too honest be,

What will people think of me?

To be Trumped is the fate of the nation.



Russians, we know, tried to swing the election

And met many Trump allies with little discretion.

About all we don’t know—

The specific quid pro quo

And the limits to Ryan’s corruption.



From their pool across their lawn the humans dripping pawed,

A grill cover from a woodchuck to violently withdraw.

He knew little of cooking, even less of crime,

But the cover’s burnished red was pleasing to his eye,

And like Donald Trump he thought—strong teeth are nine-tenths of the law.



Pence prayed to the gods of Mueller:

“Please find a way to make me the ruler.

To Russians and abortion

I prefer discrimination and donations

And guns in the laps of preschoolers.”

§ The name being pronounced « muller », perhaps Pence really wished to be made duller?



Snip from (rotated) drawing of Maria (fish pose), 14 June 2017, ASL, modern dance night, based on charcoal drawing by William EatonGaia she whispered to me,

“I can take a few more degrees,

If this puts under water

All these human monsters

Who care less for their children than me.”

§ News: Trump withdraws US government from Paris climate agreement



He’s “a good guy,” Trump said of his Flynn,

A liar and traitor—a good partner in sin.

He’s “a good guy,” Mr. Comey replied,

Understanding too well—they three were combined.

In dreams another “good” holds goodness within.



In Macbeth a strong man is by his own crimes laid low.

He too frightened and too vulnerable, his kingdom overthrown.

Some say that so the Donald can only watch TV

And put on weight and tweet away, a specter of a he.

A warning to all graspers deceitful? Would that this were so!



We lie on our couches with our televisions on

And each newscaster takes us back through wrongs—

Crimes, gaffes, horrors, outrage—

Of previous coasters, previous days.


Why does this country continue to allow this

Lummox (and worse) — President? We would like to think this

The only question. Though

Will we, when the current reality show

Ends, still be lying on our couches with our televisions on?



Many Presidents, or their allies, elections results have falsified.

Many Presidents, pre-election, with foreign governments conspired.

We rightly accuse Trump of self-obsession, treason and other crimes,

But what of Nixon, Bush, Kennedy, Reagan, and plenty before their times?

We reserve Lincoln’s tired bed

for those who’ll stop at nothing

to get ahead?



A child from whom nourishing love is withheld

May to rougher relations find himself compelled—

Inveighing, gainsaying, affraying, foul playing,

A heart-warming friction thereby surveying.

Yet the first pain, and the emptiness, will not be expelled.



The house is commodious

“Mr. President” melodious

Should the Pences move early

Many Trumps will be surly

And Russians no longer sui generous



Everywhere we see signs that enough is not enough—

The billionaire would cheat the government to get more stuff,

The famous writer would for a product shill,

And our President we-the-people robs at will.

Oh the crimes with which rich and poor get away,

And still it would seem that the news lead remains:

Even with the latest gadgets life continues rough;

Even with more than the latest gadgets—enough is not enough.

§ Initially this limerick was to focus on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago scam, whereby he is charging the government—the taxpayers—us—$546/night/room needed by his staff during his frequent visits to the resort. (With all those wishing to come talk with the President paying similar amounts.)



Man with fence-like stomach, pen drawing in the dark, by William EatonIf a system can elect a President incompetent and unstable,

Is the system for electronic times no longer suitable?

Or are we again learning—flaws fundamental—

Celebrated rights and checks less legal than financial,

With our public resources ever enriching the venal

And public-trust-worthy chiefs and lawgivers more rare than exceptional?



The Senate would pass a bill that experts and voters hate

Trump would alienate allies to rally his shrinking base

Others (such as Hitler) have already shown

How, with capital’s backing, enough discord can be sown

So fury and business interests a whole country can deface



By aggressors ruthless, results unexpected

The lives of many countries have been deflected

From Russia we’ve been sent a feckless leader

As Germans once east sent comrade Vladímir

Extraordinary actions—sequelae long regretted?



What matters is loyalty, not talent, we know,

And Trump the limits poignantly shows.

Of children and employees

It’s loyalty, loyalty,

Until under the next bus they’re thrown.



The twenty-fifth amendment states

The impeachment need hardly wait

Just a vote of the cabinet

Saying Trump’s too out of it

And the House Mr. Pence levitates



“If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.”

“But not when Trump can be enjoyed at Ryan’ expense!

Not when he’s in bed with Schumer and Pelosi,

And the venal’s prospects don’t look so rosy.”

“But a magnanimous Trump just doesn’t make sense!”

§ First line is from an Ann Coulter tweet on September 14, 2017.



Just seventy-five self-absorbed years ago

With Allies the US united to raze the globe

The Nazis and murderous others were vigorously suppressed

Humane rights and humane structures were loudly professed

But now allies the US needs its own savagery to slow



Mary 54th Street, slightly comic, May 2017, pen and litho crayon, by William Eaton, 2017If you of covfefe a limerick can’t make,

Your limericking license must be a fake.

This special code word,

More sad than absurd,

Means “shut the fuck up for God’s sake!”



What matters most about this man Trump

Is that, were he ever to (deservedly) flump—

“No worries,” we’re a lot more than covered

By all Trump’s thieving, deceiving, despising brothers

Incapable of governing or being governed by others.

Our K Street and Wall, our Main and our Pennsy—one vast sump.



Obstruction of justice—impeachable offense

Very good for the friends of one Mr. Pence

Comey and Congress willing

The Oval Office they’ll be filling

Donald littering the forests of Smolensk


— William Eaton

Drawings (more decoration than illustration) are also by William Eaton. Do two of them suggest that some confusions regarding sexual orientation may be contributing to the current mess? Yes.

William Eaton is an essayist, aphorist, poet of a sort, and the Editor of the intellectual journal Zeteo. A collection of his essays, Surviving the Twenty-First Century, was published in 2015 by Serving House Books. Readers of the present piece might also be interested in Ameraiku, or in Trump, de Tocqueville, Democracy, Materialism, or This is my poem for Terminal B.

To read the whole limerick collection to date, see The Limericks (pdf); or the Montaigbakhtinian posts: Part I (Pence, Trump, Mueller, Capitalism) covers May 16, 2017 until July 1. Part II (Injustice, Trump, Illness, Poetry): July 2 to August 12. Part III (Animals, Capitalism, the News, First Impressions): July 2 to September 3. Part IV (No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals): September 4 to . . . ?

Note that in these “Part” posts many of the limericks comes with additional information from various media.

I note further that one of the inspirations for this limerick project was the series of Nixon cartoons that Philip Guston did in the 1970s. For more, see Guston Presidents Cartoons Questions? 

Click for pdf

Situation Not Normal, All Trumped Up (SNNATU)

Click for pdf of ALL the limericks to date

The Limericks

Pence . . . Trump . . . Mueller . . . Capitalism . . . Injustice . . . Trump . . . Illness . . . Poetry . . . Animals . . . Capitalism . . . the News . . . First Impressions . . . What will the future hold? . . .

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