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.