Luann Landon is the author of Dinner at Miss Lady's, a memoir-cookbook; and of South Bound, a collection of narrative poems. Her book of haiku, Spider Shallow Coral Bells, will be published in 2020. She lives in Sewanee, Tennessee.
Dan: Thank you for these pages, Paul. Normally
pitching is prose. Conversation, really.
But yeah, it sure is fun to imagine.
I had hoped to finish our pitch before
going under. Aware that surgery
carries with it the possibility
of not waking up. Uncontrollable
bleeding. Heart failure, stroke. Clots.
It was at once a diverting and disconcerting conversation. Last May, on assignment for Time magazine, I traveled to Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan to ask the then-presumptive Republican nominee about presidential literacy—what does a president need to know in order to govern effectively? How fluent need he be in the details of policy? How familiar with the ebb and flow of history? In our hour or so together, Donald Trump was gracious but evinced little interest in the substance of the questions, often turning, in his freewheeling, free-associating way, to his own popularity.
said the derm after I explained how,
for weeks, my hair kept falling.
He said to think back a few months.
I said that my grandmother died in August
and he said that’s not traumatic enough,