Running for Your Life: Trump Cabinet, the memo

Russian e-mail intercept, Trump campaign
Memo: First Draft, Trump Cabinet Wish List (Core Group)

Secretary of State
Yosemite Sam

Defense Secretary
The General (General Insurance dude)

Treasury Secretary
Mr. Burns, from The Simpsons

Federal Reserve chief
Ludwig Von Drake

Miss Grundy

Health and Welfare
Flo, the lone Progressive

Fred Flintstone


Attorney General
Bugs Bunny

Porky Pig

Next: Running for Your Life: The Summer Book

Running for Your Life: Run for Fun

What do you do for fun? Catch ’em all with Pokemon Go (said to be OK for folks, in part, because it gets them out of the house and at least walking around)? Play games on your phone? Zone out before a blasting A/C, watching bad TV?

A casual reader of this blog knows that I’ve been running every other day for going on forty years. I have to admit there are days when, as I’m suiting up to run (in the old days, I was a diehard road warrior, both in heat waves or blizzards; now I opt for the gym treadmill in extreme weather) that I don’t think it’s going to be fun. And some days it just flat out isn’t. When that happens, I put in the time and while I can’t say that I go out the door smiling but my body – from my toes to the top of my head – is voting yes. That was good for now. We’ll have fun the next time.

And you know what, I do. I’m not looking to “Beat Yesterday,” as the rock-solid training types promote. Rather, my simple goal is to smile as I run, to hear the cardinals cheep-cheep in a Prospect Park glen, to see a rainbow after a summer storm, to feel the first sting of a cold shower after an hour of summer running.

Out on a run. A promise of forever, in body, mind and spirit.

Next: Running for Your Life: The Summer Book

Running for Your Life: Election Protection

Comes a time when the right mind comes to the right topic at the right time. That happens in the essay that follows from the current Harper’s magazine. Enjoy (at least from the standpoint of giving concrete, critical form to what we are watching, dumbstruck, upon the political stage …)

The Rise of Trump
By Martin Amis, Harper’s August 2016

Discussed in this essay:
Trump: The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump with Tony Schwartz. Ballantine Books. 384 pages. $16.99.

Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, by Donald Trump. Threshold Editions. 208 pages. $25.

Not many facets of the Trump apparition have so far gone unexamined, but I can think of a significant loose end. I mean his sanity: what is the prognosis for his mental health, given the challenges that lie ahead? We should bear in mind, at this point, that the phrase “Power corrupts” isn’t just a metaphor.

There have been one or two speculative attempts to get Donald to hold still on the couch. Both Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders have called him a “pathological liar,” but so have many less partial observers. They then go on to ask: Is his lying merely compulsive, or is he an outright mythomaniac, constitutionally unable to distinguish non-truth from truth — rather like those “horrible human beings,” journalists (or at least spiteful, low-echelon journalists), who, Trump claims, “have no concept of the difference between ‘fact’ and ‘opinion’ ”? PolitiFact has ascertained that Donald’s mendacity rate is just over 90 percent; so the man who is forever saying that he “tells it like it is” turns out to be nearly always telling it like it isn’t.

Running for Your Life: Promise of Paradise Found

Miola, Puglia
June 2016

When you find the perfect place
And you’ve been searching your whole life long

There is a moment

This one under the pinos in a hummocky field cleared of rocks, the mura antica,

kissed by cool breezes that waft over us in the shade
from a pitiless sun, essential for the plants, the citrus and flowers,

so numerous that it would drain
the pen dry to put down.

And, yes, the breeze now stirs to a rustling wind, chases off the fly
And so keeps the promise of paradise found.

Next: Running for Your Life: Election Protection

Running for Your Life: Puglia Poetry

Polignano a Mare

Cold of the sea surf washes over us
As we sit on a rock

A Wicklow man
rescue team member on mountain trails

trains his eye
on a boy
gangly and good natured
shy to be the center of attention but relief
washes over him as our Wicklow man rises

out of the sea like
an Irish god, yellow locks
wet down an ample back that the boy is soon
making sweet use of as the act of mercy is performed
on the shifting rocks, the boy hopping on one foot, smiling
even now

with his Italian visit in tatters, his ankle, what has drawn our
hero’s eye, swollen to three times its normal size, something
the boy has not seen or felt before
but known all too well by the Irishman of the Wicklow trails.

“I have seen a fair thousand of these,” he says with a light
glowing from somewhere inside, not leaving the boy until
the story takes a turn toward a direction that is familiar and sound.

Next: Running for Your Life: Promise of Paradise Found