On Friday, January 20th, 2017, when Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the
45th President of the United States, I had to admit: He was not my first choice.
Beyond the inflammatory headlines, from an artistic perspective, his Presidency presented troubling implications.
For example, back in 1993, the entertainment at Bill Clinton’s inauguration featured Marilyn Horne. Fleetwood Mac. Michael Jackson. Chuck Berry. Little Richard. Bob Dylan.
Barack Obama’s inaugurations brought us Yo Yo Ma. Aretha Franklin. James Taylor.
President Trump’s 2017 inauguration introduced us to Pelican 212.
When I was much younger I used to mentally withdraw from painful situations by breaking interminably large blocks of time down into smaller, more rhythmically countable intervals.
15 minutes became a series of 900 seconds. A half an hour was 1800 seconds. A 50 minute class in high school consisted of only 3000 seconds.
My historically poor study habits aside, on that day, I decided that rather than spend four years staring despondently at the impenetrable monolith of a Trump presidency, I would break it down into 4 years, times 365 days, plus one leap year day, for a total of one-thousand four-hundred and sixty-one days. And just like that, I began my countdown.
For the first few days, I thought I’d make it very conceptual and I would just count. But my need to embellish got the better of me.
Then I thought about adding some sort of semi-clever tag line or observation.
Or trying to introduce my more moderate friends to the observations of someone like Glenn Greenwald.
On day 1,431, I added my first musical link – one to Elvis Costello’s 45.
Followed by Making Flippy Floppy by The Talking Heads. In 1983, David Byrne said it: “Our President’s crazy. Did you hear what he said”.
Then, about a month later, on March 17th,
More to myself than anybody else, I wrote my first rhyme.
With days to go
Your being alive.
And on March 18th, I wrote my second one.
The days to go
Are Fourteen – O – Four.
Is a parlor house whore.
This served as the humble beginning for a daily ritual that I’d like to call
A Chronological Ode To a Fake Muse.
With days to go
Don’t let 45
Put his hand on your knee.
Thanks for taking the time to check this out. I really appreciate it.