Hilary Otto: “Show don’t tell”

 

 

Show don’t tell

Don’t say people get off on power
Say he licked his knife blade clean

Don’t say a tie is a symbol of status
Say he pulled his tie taut between white-knuckled fists

Don’t say he was privileged and benefited from good connections
Say his swimming medals clinked together like coins

Don’t say he is depraved
Say he smirked several times during a 5 minute police interview

Don’t say he will get off.

 

 

About the Author: Hilary Otto is an English poet, teacher and translator based in Barcelona. She reads regularly in Barcelona in both English and Spanish, most recently as part of the Berlin International Poetry Festival. Her work has been published in Popshot Quarterly, Black Bough Poetry and Fixpoetry, as well as in anthologies.

 

More By Hilary Otto:

Underworld

 

Image Credit: “Portrait of a Man” Unknown Artist (about 1850) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

Hilary Otto: “Underworld”

 

 

Underworld

We press against the oozing dirt, thrive
on the tang of damp matter. By the time
you become aware of us easing up
from the earth like time-lapse capsules
disturbed, we will have popped out, soiled
as if surprised during private acts, to buff
our bald caps and moisten our pale skin.

Beneath, where you cannot see us work
our spores transform into moons of milk.
Our mycelium threads extend, bind together
and we emerge, fringed with gills to perpetuate
our presence inside those crevices we find
fertile. We look too ordinary to pose a threat.
We are experts at waiting in silence.

 

 

About the Author: Hilary Otto is an English poet, teacher and translator based in Barcelona. She reads regularly in Barcelona in both English and Spanish, most recently as part of the Berlin International Poetry Festival. Her work has been published in Popshot Quarterly, Black Bough Poetry and Fixpoetry, as well as in anthologies.

 

Image Credit: Nouvel atlas de poche des champignons comestibles et vénéneux. v.1.
Paris,Léon Lhome,1911-1912. http://biodiversitylibrary.org/item/24293