Tagged: the Bugs


      1.) Entomologists estimate there are nearly
1.5 million different types of beetles
if you double the weight of all beetles
the world would cave in on itself
I love this nature fact – partly because
it sounds so made up, and partly
because I believe it must be true

      2.) Cleopatra wore lipstick made
of crushed ants and beetles
David crushed Goliath with a stone
Since then, the weight of humans
has doubled many times over
we are gathered around a large hole
each awaiting our turn to see

      3.) My parents have just called a meeting
to say cremate us, no need for all
the fuss, unless it feels important to you
that you have a place to visit
Do we get a hole to see down? 
a box in vain denying the earth
thousands of beetles crowded around
– the stags, the rhinocerii, the oxen
Now that would be interesting! No
mom says, just pour us out anywhere


the trees, their leaves dipped like eggs
into cups of dye, the one flaming oak
on Flaming Oak Cove that has not changed
noticeably, but tonight appears more
red than yellow, an act of collective
memory I contain only part of. I contain only
part of what it takes. I take things out of
the forest and lay them flat onto paper, like
these trees, too much on purpose. I
build my web between birds and train
them to fly in unison above tall grasses,
ponds, collecting bugs. but only in poems
only on weak bones perched in your mind
someone saves me each morning. is that you?
or do I save myself? have I somehow timed
the jump back on correctly, all these times
how have I not stayed too long? this
is where I have been for most of my life

a Curse

there’s water to drink from
above the carcass

and seasons bringing courage
under spell of delusion

is it winter? there are still
mosquitoes. their larvae twitch
from room to room

and tadpoles remain tadpoles
in their comfortably
sized ponds

having no reason to change
they do not
as I have not

until I see long legs
step out, away
the whole thing moves

the known world
noticeably smaller

and there isn’t enough room
for what I feel like

in an otherwise
happy life

I Know, I Know

We are born. We are immediately
placed in the queue
of another birth. As infants

we gape like fish being moved
between containers. Latex lining the
hands – eating – understanding words
We are passed through membranes

Catching an animal for the first time is birth
Feeling the largeness of body, the crush
of loving hands. The imposition of self
on something’s insides, seeing them

Administering touch is birth
Each time done with a little more intention
More and more the membranes of latex
Driving home at night because of school

Remember we rationed the air?
Gaping like fish with the windows down
a larger membrane of screamable music
playing. Past that

the darkness, merging like bubbles
the coming to pass that nobody cares
That was a birth for me, when I realized
nobody cares. That the soul

is a giant child
holding the body. Loving the world
I think truly loving it, but crushing it
Taking it out of its home

Getting the Dog High

Someone told me if you blow
smoke into a dog’s ear
it gets them high. The pipe
comes to me, from me
I watch my dog jump
the individual pieces of grass
He checks on me
occasionally, then on the
goats in the neighbor’s yard
then back to jumping. He
snaps at mayflies disturbed
by his landings. I wonder
if you blow smoke
at a mayfly, does it get high?
It wouldn’t be the ears
Antennae maybe, or the
breaches in its film
What would high be like
to a daylong animal?
You need time to denunciate
time. I exhaust at the bugs
in the tree. They sit
there, undisturbed. I feel
the urge to quietly whisper
how little they have to live
That crows might laugh
and eat them. A spider might
curl a leaf around them
like shells against an ear
My dog perks, hearing the
silence. I look back at
the tree. I see the traipses
of their eating trails
behind them – the termites
the beetles – in the leaf
in the wood. Even
the dog in the grass. It is
not unlike a written
language. Once upon a time
the apes would look up high
wary of birds
that could eat them

John Doe

A scorpion once
landed on me
from a soap dispenser
It did not sting
but pulsed
inside its casing
like a brain does
to its skull

I am reminded
of this
as a wasp
has landed on
my leg
In trying
to lift a hair
it cannot

It seems
my only relief:
this agreement
not being seen.
I am not
as going to die
am I alive

I am forgiveless
There’s no
I can think of
to tell you
any more

Standing Up Eating in the Kitchen

Standing Up Eating in the Kitchen

The custodian at work said
there will be no more

standing up eating in the kitchen
no more clothes unfolded on the couch

when you move in with a girl. Plunging
his mop in the bucket, squeezing out its hair

No more soda cups
on the counter-tops, no more cultivating
strange gardens in the sink

These are the things that are going:
my isolation, to be replaced by

being seen isolated. My freedom
to see what grows on me if left alone

Our first house together has a child’s doll
hanging from the power lines
strung up by her shoelaces

We fear it is
something ominous

And a kid with a bluetooth headset
riding by on his bike, talking about

the fights his friends should be fighting
Their own fights. The pussies

But that is another thing that is going:
the fear that any fight
could ever be my own, and not yours also

I cut my forehead clearing trees in back
Their branches now sit in large piles
I can’t wait for you to see it

And tell me what goes where
what simply goes

For hours while I was clearing
you stood on a bucket at the window
scraping off caulk

In reflection it looked as though
you were scraping pieces from yourself

A molted skin on the carpet
I could do what I’ve done with the snake skins
the former rooms of spiders

I’d put your shed in a jar, next to mine
to remember how much less we contained

That we used to eat mealworms, crickets
leftovers while standing up