Monday, January 23, 2017

Bugged Out



Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Cockroach
with a nod to Wallace Stevens
I
The biggest ones move fastest.
Fast is how they grow to big.

II
I was of twelve minds,
like twelve cockroaches
when the lights go on.

III
A smashed cockroach
has all the charm

an unsmashed one lacks.

IV
A man and a woman are one.

A man and a woman and a cockroach
are three. In motion. Circular.

V
This too is charming:

three roaches afloat in roach killer
still and glistening.

VI
But one roach is doing the backstroke.

VII
My friend the gourmet used to tell me
we must live and let cockroaches live.
When a roach sniffed her soufflé,
curled its lip, and sashayed away,

she too became a killer.

VIII
A roach hotel is a euphemism
but it beats

pounding them with your shoes in the night.

IX
I used to love "La Cucaracha."
Now I love only the line,

"ya no puede caminar."

X
There is a new sonar device
for killing cockroaches. Soon
they will ally with bats.

XI
This morning in my dictionary
I found a colony of cockroach.
Mark my words,

they are learning to read

in order to take over the world.

XII
If you were a cockroach
and liked yourself,

you could be quite a person.

XIII
It had rained all night,

and it was going to go on raining,
but when I heard the patter,

I thought it was the cockroach
crossing a stack of old newspapers.

by Diane Kendig
in volume 5 issue 2

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