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Friday, September 26, 2008


by Dave Seter

Poker champs cradle chins, rub meaning
from faces, while two channels over
political luminaries fake transparency
on the issues, their true faces obscured,
made-up for the cameras. We the viewers
scrutinize each nuance, bluff or gesture
broadcast into bars and beauty parlors.
Bartenders switch between the channels
of truth and lies—everything entertains.

Outdoors of bars and beauty parlors, slapped
on bus shelter walls, the election’s wanted posters
show waxy brilliance of hair gel, and faces
that stare at nothing—air—leaflets of thought—
night falling – the homeless taking up residence.
Maintenance crews ignore the posters and people
but scrub away the independent thought, graffiti.

His face washed of meaning and bias, the contender
campaigns for survival, trusts his gut that folks
dislike intellect, denies allegations he was ever
a PhD candidate, slams back a shot of Jack Daniels,
slaps a mechanic’s back. Election Tuesday we have
a date with democracy, voting machine, oxymoron.
No bright line between truth and lies, the elect
will oversee the production, fiction of our lives.

Dave Seter was born in Chicago. A registered civil engineer, he now lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. His poems have appeared in various publications including Karamu, Blue Collar Review, Bear River Review, and Switched-on Gutenberg.