U.S. President Donald Trump leaves after delivering a statement on the government shutdown in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Alex Edelman/Bloomberg)

Advice to Trump, His Friends and His Enemies

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- A few weeks ago I made my predictions for 2019. Now I’d like to offer a few words of advice to some of this year’s likely newsmakers. To do so, I am returning to the double-dactyl format that I have used before.

The double dactyl is a form of poetry with very strict rules of rhyme and meter. It must begin with a nonsense word or rhyme, and in the second stanza must include a six-syllable word with a particular meter. (For more details on the rules, see here.) Read a few below and you’ll figure it out.

I present, therefore, a baker’s dozen of poems, each with advice for a particular newsmaker. Not all are equally serious, but I leave to the reader the judgment on which are which.

*

Boundary, doundary!
President’s border wall —
more of a symbol than
bar to egress.

Rather than showing such
inflexibility,
couldn’t he quietly
settle for less?

*

Testify, jestify!
House full of Democrats —
primed to investigate
President Trump.

Think what you like about
impeachability —
Help for the pocketbook
plays on the stump!

*

Higgledy piggledy!
Kaepernick boycotters —
owners who won’t give the
QB a chance —

Flag protest anger breeds
anticompetitive
football conspiracy —
(Courts look askance!)

*

Up-and-down, sup-and-down!
Should Fed raise interest rates,
showing that it’s not
beholden to Trump?

There may be reasons quite
pro-economical
why we should just keep on
priming the pump!

*

Higgledy piggledy!
Wannabe Youtube stars,
hoping their names will be
known on the street.

Chance of success is quite
infinitesimal,
also remember that
fame tends to fleet.

*

Misericordia!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg fans
fear Madame Justice may
choose to step down;

Worried about a new
neoconservative —
Plead with her, “Wait until
Trump has left town!”

*

Supercal, expial!
New Mary Poppins film
proves that there’s room for the
clean and the bright —

There’s still demand for the
extravaganzical
high-budget film that’s not
Dark as the Knight!

*

Higgledy piggledy!
Campus speech monitors,
merrily censoring
what they call hate.

Federal funding might
cease to flow campus-ward
if they continue to
intolerate!

*

Topsyish, turvyish!
Stock market bearishness
seems to be poised for a
major return.

Stock-picking now seems so
antediluvian,
don’t try unless you have
money to burn.

*

Higgledy piggledy!
Bryce Harper, baseball star,
hoping to sign for some
four hundred mil.

Underpaid heroes of days
golden-ageical
ought to rise up and send
baseball a bill!

*

Page-turners, wage-burners!
Publishing industry
worries these days about
who offends whom.

Character, story, and
verisimilitude —
Settle for these and your
profits will zoom!

*

Higgledy piggledy!
Anti-Trump talking heads
trumpet each rumor as
proving the case.

Need to impose a more
sesquipedalian
standard for which news should
have pride of place!

*

Higgledy piggledy!
Legions of #MAGA folks
stick with the president
through thick and thin.

Hold him to standards of
dubitability
— you’ll make America
Great once again!

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Stephen L. Carter is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Yale University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His novels include “The Emperor of Ocean Park,” and his latest nonfiction book is “Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.