Why I Am Not President: A Campaign Speech

 
My shallow Americans, in the face of moral decay
And in the absence of justice and humility, let us thank
Ourselves for our brutality and willful blindness
And bury the rotting corpse of human dignity
Now and forever amen and let us also forget
The national debt which we shall never pay
But rather let us hand the burden of our selfishness
To our blessed children whose lives we’ve ruined
By singeing them with the same list of empty lusts
And heartlessness that hyperdrive our unreflective lives
in the name of the damned Almighty Dollar ah-men.

Give us once more the moolah for bombs smarter
Than ourselves and drones that kill faster than children
Can run and grant us the gall we need to plead
Innocent before the court of history and bribe
Our memories to allow us to believe the cracked
And flaking mask of virtue we besmirch thee with
Oh Lord we beseech thee now and again ah-men.

 

 

 

Dennis HeldDennis Held lives in Vinegar Flats, Washington, near a kingfisher nest along Latah Creek. He has published two books of poems: Betting on the Night and Ourself.
 
Special thanks to Spokane Public Radio for recording Dennis Held reading this poem.

Photo of dollar bill courtesy Pixabay.

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3 Responses

    • Jim Bodeen

      Ah-men, Dennis, Ah-men.

      I’ve not forgotten your riveting reading in Spokane more than 25 years ago now. Searingly personal. Direct and courageous. Like this poem here. Ah-men.

  1. Georgia Tiffany

    So good to find your poetry again. Thank you, Dennis. We think of you often.

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