‘What Just Happened’

David Starkey Pens 210 Haiku Against the Trump Presidency

Credit: Courtesy

In the aftermath of the Former Guy’s reckless run at world domination, books detailing the craziness in the White House have super-bloomed. Amid these mostly bloated hardcovers, What Just Happened: 210 Haiku Against the Trump Presidency by Santa Barbara poet David Starkey grows like a delicate sprig of forget-me-nots. Each week of those four horrid years gets just 17 syllables, in which Starkey manages to capture the latest outrage with a courtier poet’s sprezzatura. Future historians will enjoy annotating such nuggets as:

At an observance
honoring Navahos, a
Pocahantas joke.

Things turn dark under the unheeded threat of “this China virus,” but the hardest moment is still to come. In week 208, Starkey writes: 

At the Capitol
one last traitorous assault
on democracy.

Fortunately, there is no plan for a sequel. 

This edition of ON Culture was originally emailed to subscribers on November 7, 2023. To receive Leslie Dinaberg’s arts newsletter in your inbox on Fridays, sign up at independent.com/newsletters.


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