Wednesday, when the daily Writer's Almanac arrived, it bore this tidbit of information:
Today is the birthday of George Washington, born in Westmoreland County, Virginia (1732). His favorite foods were mashed sweet potatoes with coconut, string beans with mushrooms, cream of peanut soup, salt cod, and pineapples. He lost all of his teeth except for one by — according to second president John Adams — cracking Brazilian nuts between his jaws. He got dentures made out of a hippopotamus tusk, designed especially to fit over his one remaining real tooth. But the hippo dentures were constantly rubbing against that real tooth so that he was constantly in pain. He used opium to alleviate the pain.
That was the impetus for my writing a poem entitled "How to be George Washington" since my Creative Writing class's assignment for the week was to write a Gary Snyder list poem of "how to..." starting each line with a verb. So I did it. It turned out so cynical and full of rant against white supremacists in power that I dare not even post it here. It was fun to write, however.