Wednesday, December 18, 2013

poem of the day 12.18.13

cockroaches and house alarms

it’s so magical
watching this cockroach
doing a backstroke on the living room floor

he’s waiting to die

and there is a house alarm blaring out into the street

the neighbors are congregating
and shouting to shut it off

my wife is on the telephone arguing with the cops
to come and do something
anything to end this

it’s like being in gitmo, i tell her
as i look down at the roach
prodding him at times just to get him to move

sound torture, etc., i say

and this is why our families all told us
that we’re not having a real christmas, my wife says to me
while the cop has her on hold

as the house alarm continues its earsplitting intrusion
into this christmas eve

please move away immediately!

like a fucked haiku
at ten minute intervals for at least two hours at a time

and even with the windows closed you can still hear it threatening
still hear the neighbors screaming and shouting
cursing the people who have gone away
from this brooklyn hell for the holiday
only to set their house alarm wrong

imagine issa sounding out that loudly!

i think of all of the fun we’ll have with those neighbors
when they get back

flaming bags of shit on their doorstep
eggs lobbed at their windows at midnight

again, i poke this cockroach with my finger
to see if he’s still moving

i mean i don’t want to kill this bastard
but i’ve lost my conscience when it comes to bugs
in new york city apartments

and on the phone the cop
tells my wife that there is nothing she can do

crying, my wife holds the phone to the window
so the cop can hear the noise of the house alarm

please move away immediately!

like basho, buson, and all the rest

but the cop says sorry
and to have a merry christmas

then she hangs up

right when i put that cockroach out of its misery
with a paper towel
covered in austrian white wine

a light, dry riesling

bought to get us through this holiday
real or imagined

or anything else.


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