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Friday, September 12, 2008


by David Chorlton

What don’t you like about low taxes?
Our neighbour isn’t watching
the Republican convention. Says
he doesn’t need to. Always votes
straight ticket, checking off the boxes
arranged on his ballot as neatly
as the discount coupons stacked on his porch
where he invites us to share a glass of the wine
he can’t tell from the expensive brands.
Why pay more? Never misses a deal.
Gets his shoes from a company that sends them
to him in return for a report
on how they fit. He likes to sit and talk.
Another glass? He likes to tell us
what’s free and where to get it.
Then turns the conversation to the way
taxes only benefit those
who want something for nothing.
Like the socialists in Europe. He never had children
to send to college. He’s affable. Just enjoys
an argument. Teases us about our views.
Disparity between rich and poor
doesn’t bother him. They must have worked for it.
And he doesn’t care that the Republicans he votes for
are always talking about a god
he doesn’t believe in. Shrugs his shoulders.
And he doesn’t agree with the war anymore.
Shrugs his shoulders. He’s got a firewall
around him that keeps information away.
He’s not comparing candidates. Blames
the Democrats for every cent he pays
even when they’re not in the majority.
Tell him the state’s run by Republicans
and he shrugs his shoulders. He doesn’t want
to ban abortion, occupy Iraq, or promote
family values; he wants a discount on democracy.
Wants it simple.
Wants to drink it from a box.
Can’t tell snake oil from a good Chardonnay.

David Chorlton has lived in Phoenix for 30 years and come to love the desert around it. He recently won the Ronald Wardall Award from Rain Mountain Press for The Lost River, a chapbook whose contents reflect his unease with what is happening to our planet. More of his work, including paintings, is at his Web site.