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How To Run for President of the United States of America

You really have to be a native-born American citizen to do this and at least 40 years old. Once the campaign starts to heat up, out of the corner of your eye, watch and see what the other candidates are doing. As you're walking your dog, opening your mailbox, as you're making love, as you're slowly waking up in the morning, think about what the other candidates are doing. Try to think of their collective statements about what's right and what's wrong with America as a pool. Choose your moment carefully and jump in. Jump when you know that the only thing that would make sense this year would be if you ran for President of the United States. You know, they really can't stop you. In except for maybe two states, Nevada being one, any citizen can be a written-in candidate. In New York, for instance, you simply need 33 of your friends to sign affidavits saying that if you won they would go to the electoral college for you. You can just call them from home, and they probably wouldn't mind bringing the affidavits over. They can get them notarized by a travel agent. No big deal. Soon people will be wanting a platform and that hinges on what was going on at the moment you jumped in. In 1992, I was moved by the realization that the candidates were not writing their own speeches and I knew that I would want to do that. They were not saying what was on their minds and I knew I would want to do that as well. This year I would probably not say what was on my mind so you can see how from year to year a woman's candidacy can change. It's a flexible thing. This year I would probably stay out of America during the entire campaign period and court the votes of all the Americans who are not living there. I would try and represent their needs. Maybe they would have very few needs, their main one being to not be in America, which would be already be fulfilled. I would have an easy time representing all those absent people. Our slogan could be, "We are not there."

Though frankly, I think everyone in America should run this year, as a pack, in utter silence. When it's all over they should eat a big meal. Mind if I smoke?

Eileen Myles 1995



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