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Rush Limbaugh - the John The Baptist for the current American Idiocy - predicts he will win the Presidency in 2016. He himself has beaten off 17 of the most powerful, well-funded, conservative, ruthless, and intelligent Republicans ever arranged against one man. He is a funny, canny, super-rich, fearless, and rude man of uncommon boldness. Here comes Donald Trump - by some measure the most narcissistic "textbook" megalomaniac to run for this modern office - but also the most populist (if not popular).

Nixon did not like lots of people we presume, but he managed to get some of them to vote for him - Trump has never met a group he could not offend. His default position is satirical invective with slap in the face disregard for ceremony. A Trump presidency would be a revolt such as we last saw in America when they chucked out the King - so they do have form. Americans have a capacity for innovation, daring, surprise, and stupidity second-to-few, as an electorate (they voted for Reagan and Nixon) but they can also elect Obamas and Lincolns. The best British book on Trump is by Oliver Jones, and is now out from Eyewear (cover above).

It is witty, smart and cutting. But it makes a good point - Trump is not just a Game of Thrones pantomime villain.  He is superbly gifted at surfing on what the media wants. He is the media gift that keeps on giving, so like a radioactive Japanese monster, his enemy's attacks actually do make him stronger. This is because he is all about being the biggest brand, and big brands are talked about, period. He is news as it is made, for its own sake.

So he will be hard to beat. His poll numbers see him down 13% - a hardly difficult gap to vault since the race has barely begun. Hillary Clinton is brilliant, ambitious, and hard-working - but she has a history with Bill and emails that make some people worry about her; and she is the comparative establishment candidate now. She may be progressive, but Trump is Batshit Radical - the nihilist would vote for Trump - his theme song for the campaign trail may well be 'Cities In Dust' - he promises to drop atomic bombs and kick Chinese butt.  He has stolen the Putin playbook, and offers the strongest pro-America stance since Teddy Roosevelt. He wants to speak loudly and carry the biggest, best stick ever.

So, I think the contest will be harrowingly close.  It may well bring out the most voters ever.  Obama got out a lot of young people to change history, but this election will bring people out simply to save the world - or change it. Trump would be about wars and walls - trade wars, wars with ISIS, and maybe wars with others (including in Europe). Seemingly unafraid, he is Hyper-Reagan.

Hillary may be too decent to beat this megalith. Or she may appear so reasonable and sane, she may prevail. But if the riled people want a Krazy Klown Posse to shake things up, the Joker has arrived to smash the old guard in one fell swoop.  Stay tuned.


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Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Life Jacket

summer camp shirtsI couldn’t fit in then
are half my size nowI wanted to wear
smaller and smallerarticles of clothing
I shrunk to the sizethat disappeared

of an afterthoughtin a sinking ship body
too buoyant to sinktoo waterlogged for land
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With the death of the poetic genius John Ashbery, whose poems, translations, and criticism made him, to my mind, the most influential American poet since TS Eliot, 21st century poetry is moving into less certain territory.

Over the past few years, we have lost most of the truly great of our era: Edwin Morgan, Gunn, Hill, Heaney and Walcott, to name just five.  There are many more, of course. This is news too sad and deep to fathom this week.  I will write more perhaps later. 

I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.