The Last Time Trump Paid Taxes

#TheLastTimeTrumpPaidTaxes, Internet Explorer was not yet a thing. Amazon was a wet thing. Craig’s list had groceries. Google was a misspelling.

DVDs were the technology of the future. The Dow had never hit 5,000, and the federal speed limit was still 55. Gabby Douglas had not been born.

When Trump last paid taxes, Cuthullin sat by Tura’s wall; by the tree of the rustling sound. His spear leaned against the rock. His shield lay on the grass by his side.

There were only 17 and a half states in the U.S.

Triangles had not yet evolved a third side, and—I remember like it was yesterday—a Coke cost a nickel down at the Ben Franklin.

When Trump last paid taxes, all who escaped death in battle or by shipwreck had got safely home except Ulysses, and he, though he was longing to return to his wife and country, was detained by the goddess Calypso, who had got him into a large cave and wanted to marry him.

When Trump last paid taxes: President Clinton. Heyo!

When Trump paid taxes, he didn’t even realize he was about to become part of the 47% because Mitt Romney was still working as a boy bootblack alongside the carriage house in Faneuil Hall.

Brangelina was nothing but the seventh-most popular order at the Orange Julius in the mall downtown.

Imagine, if you can, the excitement that was caused by the birth of Paul Bunyan! It took five giant storks, working overtime, to deliver him to his parents. And in celebration, Donald Trump paid his last installment of taxes to the federal government.

When Trump last paid taxes, the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Fossils formed in the deeps that are now wall sconces.

Red was still orangish, and cows yet had gills.

Towers rose that would fall.

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Teaching meets parenting

A change of pace:

Last week, my four-year-old son asked us at dinner what poetry is. My wife got going on a good four-year-old-level answer, and then Pete volunteered,

“A poem is when you read something, and you see things that are different.”

And we said, bwa? I have no idea where this came from, and I don’t mean that in a “Wow, this kid is an inexplicable genius” kind of way. I mean that we can’t remember saying or reading anything remotely like this to Pete, and it isn’t the kind of thing we think he’d run into at daycare. And although we’ve read tons of poems to him, they tend, of course, to be rhyming, story-driven kids’ poems, so it’s hard to imagine him deriving such a definition from that. He has never said anything I found so mysterious.

In the moment, of course, I didn’t tell him any of this. I did what any parent would do: I scolded him for wordiness, made him revise out the two needless “to be” verbs, and showed him how he could express the same sentiment directly as “poetry transforms vision.” Then I explained how even better formulations might reflect the transformative power of poetry in their language, and sent him to bed with a copy of Shelley’s Defence of Poetry and my lecture notes.