Saturday, 14 January 2017

I’m still mining this week’s pre-inaugural press conference for found poetry. Today’s poem is pulled word for word, unabridged from an exchange between the president-elect and a reporter. In addition to the repetitiveness of Trump’s speech (repetition *is* a poetic technique, after all), the contrast between the two speakers, and the irony of Trump’s use of the word “rude” are what interests me.

Source material: NY Times transcript of January 11, 2017 press conference.

It’s a Disgrace What Took Place
Trump Press Conference Found Poem

By Laura Shovan

Since you’re attacking us,
can you give us a question?
Mr. President-elect —

                                                Go ahead.

Mr. President-elect,
since you are attacking
our news organization —

                                                Not you.

Can you give us a chance?

                                                Your organization
                                                is terrible.

You are attacking
our news organization.
Can you give us a chance
to ask a question, Sir?
Sir, can you —


Mr. President-elect,
can you say –

                                                He’s asking a question.
                                                Don’t be rude.
                                                Don’t be rude.

Can you give us a question
since you’re attacking us?
Can you give us a question?

                                                Don’t be rude. No.
                                                I’m not going to
                                                give you a question
                                                I’m not
                                                going to give you
                                                a question.

Can you state…

                                                You are fake news.
                                                Go ahead.

Sir, can you categorically
state that nobody –

No, Mr. President-elect,
that’s not appropriate.

                                                Go ahead.

For those of you involved in activism right now, the January 21 Women’s March organizers posted an important video here.

If you can’t march, but you are a crafter, the Pussyhat Project is taking donations of pink hats for the March.

6 responses to “Press Conference Found Poem #2”

  1. Diane Mayr says:

    Poetry loses it’s formatting on FB, that’s why I create an illustrated poem that is saved as a jpg. Just the text on a plain background and saved as a jpg is an alternative if you feel an illustration is distracting.

    I watched the informational video. I won’t be in DC, I’ll probably attend the Boston march, or one of two NH locations. Something I remember from my early days of marching in DC during the Vietnam War era–wet a handkerchief or bandanna and keep it in a plastic bag where it is easily accessible in case of need. (Tear gas.) You never know…

  2. Kay McGriff says:

    Thank you for motivating me to dig into reading the transcript of Trump’s press conference rather than just depending on reports of what others thought about it. I’m printing it out right now so that I can try finding a poem myself. Yours are powerful examples of the power of the pen.

  3. Kim Moran says:

    Hi Laura, Margaret Simon told me about the poetry that you’ve been doing with this current administration information. I am writing about education during this administration and would love to be a part of February poetry writing with you. Would you mind sending me a link to how to get involved? Thanks! Kim Moran

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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