Walt Whitman’s Application for White House Press Secretary

Most never suspected Walt Whitman would even consider the post of White House Press Secretary.

  1. Are you, Walt Whitman, prepared to affirm the truth of all I tweet or utter, even if I contradict myself in the same sentence or state demonstrable lies?

Walt WhitmanI will celebrate yourself, and sing yourself,
And what you assume I shall assume
Or, as we both like to say: Your facts are useful, and yet they are not my dwelling,
And: All truths wait in all things (in other words, nothing is a total lie!).

  1. Will you do this even if you hate yourself and can’t sleep at night?

I will loathe and fight my soul.
While you are lean, and loafe at your ease.
Then again, you are the President, holding a cabinet council, surrounded by the great Secretaries.

  1. Will you follow our language restrictions and political positions?

My tongue, will not utter “science-based” or refer to pollution in this soil, this air
(Though personally I say: Hurrah for positive science! long live exact demonstration!).
Also, I will remind reporters that groups of newly-come immigrants cover the wharf or levee
Which is why we need a great great wall on our Southern border (and must avoid tumbling walls burying you in their debris).

  1. How will you respond to inquiries about my physical or mental health?

You, now three-and-seventy years old in perfect health, besides
High cholesterol and body mass, are
Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, and able to identify
The sharp-hoof’d moose of the north, the cat on the house-sill, the chickadee, the prairie-dog, 
According to the Montreal Cognitive Assessment: In short, a stable genius.

  1. Will you assist the Trump family in building its brand?

Your houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with Success and Empire,
I breathe The Fragrance myself and know it and like
Its inspiring blend of fresh juniper and iced red currant,
The distillation would intoxicate Melania, but I shall not let it.

  1. How will you respond if attention returns to Stormy Daniels or other alleged peccadilloes and dalliances?

A few light kisses, a few embraces, a reaching around of arms,
The smoke of your own breath (use Tic Tacs – and no grabbing!).
You delight alone or in the rush of the streets, in
Your feelings of health, the full-noon Macs, the song of you rising from bed and tweeting for fun.
I will also emphasize that this stable genius even knows the words “peccadillo” and “dalliance.”

  1. Please illustrate how you would respond to the following inquiries regarding my skills at reading and reckoning:

Has he reckon’d a thousand acres much?
(Answer: Not for a luxury resort with golf course and spa.)
Has he reckon’d the earth much?
(Answer: Next question.)
Has he practis’d so long to learn to read?
(Answer: He still practices!)
Has he felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?
(Answer: He has; watch him read “The Snake” on YouTube.)

  1. What will you say about my re-election plans?

I have heard what CNN’s talking heads were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end, 
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end,
Nor of subpoenas or impeachment.
We will sound your barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world! 

  1. Do you have any questions for me?

 Who goes there, hankering, gross, mystical, nude?

[My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.]

Have you outstript the rest? are you the President?

[I wouldn’t mind outstripping Stormy Daniels again, if you catch my drift. Indeed, I AM the President]

What blurt is this about virtue and about vice?

[The word is tweet – get used to it – and mine are always about virtue and vice.]

  1. Am I great, or what?

There was never any more youth or age in a President than there is now,
And will never be any more perfect Commander-in-Chief than there is now,
Nor any more heaven … or HELL … than there is now.

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Howard Zaharoff

Howard Zaharoff

Howard Zaharoff reads (a lot), writes (mostly humor), teaches (occasionally) and practices law (doesn't everyone?). He is the author of "Stump Your Lawyer!" (Chronicle 2007), and his work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, Amazing Stories, Computerworld, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, The Annals of Improbable Research and the books Growing Up Jewish (Penguin 1987) and Sex As a Heap of Malfunctioning Rubble (and Further Improbabilities) (Workman 1993), among other places.