Presented as part of the “Double Vision” exhibit at Gallery One, 408 N. Pearl Street in Ellensburg, Washington, April 2019, as part of the Inland Poetry Prowl, at which I was a featured reader (see exhibit photos below). This ekphrastic poem was written in response to a photograph by Susan Bein. Not otherwise published.

Better to talk about the stupidity
of electing a game show host to the presidency
a shyster, a showman, a perpetual liar
the elephant in today’s tightening bowel.

Better to talk about global warming
or the right to be free of gun violence
the problems in Palestine, Sudan, and North Korea
of being black and presumed guilty.

Better to talk about poverty at home and far away
inequality and discrimination for any minority you care to name
corruption, transparency, integrity
healthcare for all instead of walls.

Better to talk about the opioid crisis
military spending, lax corporate taxes
abolishing the electoral college
pollution, greenhouse gases, nuclear threats.

Better to talk about all of this until you feel
the urge to retch, then smell the durian.

Reception for “Double Vision” exhibit at Gallery One, Ellensburg, Washington, on 5 April 2019.