Q:How is Donald Rumsfeld like Phil Rizzuto?

A: Both are practitioners of what you might call  the accidental haiku, the found poetry that resides in the publicly-spoken sentences of, say, a press conference or a radio broadcast. (Phil (“the Scooter”) Rizzuto was a Hall-of-Fame shortstop who called Yankee games for 40 years after his playing career with them ended in 1956. Perhaps some of you already own his O Holy Cow!: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto in the new expanded edition released shortly after the Scooter left this earthly ballpark in 2007 – if not you’ll find it in our poetry section.) But I digress. Our purpose today is to celebrate the release of Pieces of Intelligence: The Existential Poetry of Donald H. Rumsfeld, edited by Hart Seely (Syracuse journalist who also co-edited the Rizzuto book).  Here’s “The Unknown”, D.H.R.’s “most disturbing work” according to Seely:

As we know,

There are known knowns.

There are things we know we know.

We also know

There are known unknowns.

That is to say

We know there are some things

We do not know.

But there are also unknown unknowns,

The ones we don’t know we don’t know.

I like to think that when Rummy’s memoir is next to W’s memoir in the True Crime remainder bins – it won’t take that long, trust me –  this strange little volume might still be around. Will he measure up to his predecessor’s standards? ehh, not so sure….here’s Phil on growing old in “Golden Years”:

There are mornings

I wake up

And my right leg hurts.

The next morning

My knee hurts.

My shoulder….

The golden years

Have slipped by me.

But you gotta hang in there.

A little low.

Two balls

And a strike.

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