Today's poem is by Bob Hicok

Sorting the Entanglements

In my will the basement goes to the spiders. This includes
all the tools and boxes saved for box emergencies.
Particularly the Shop Vac cannot be touched. The Shop Vac
can kill more spiders per second than any device short

of a bomb. Bombs are messy whereas Shop Vacs were designed
for people who fear lint and want to vacuum water. From water
came the trout with no eyes. My friend Tom suggested we clean
the trout and cook it in butter and have it on the table

when my wife came home. We would be smiling at the trout
with no eyes and she'd eat some of the trout with no eyes
and be impressed with our small competency. I asked Tom
if he was troubled by this ocular deficiency. He asked me

if I'd intended to eat the eyes. Tom left with the trout
and feeling sick to his stomach. I'd have to kill the spiders
to discover if they still have eyes. Because my basement's
a Wildlife Preserve, I'd go to jail for that. My dream date

doesn't begin with the question, What'cha in for, boy?
The trout's part of a larger sadness including three-legged
elk and impotent sperm whales. For those of you who scan
rather than read, that's impotent and not important. Important

sperm whales apparently don't exist. I too feel small
before these facts and prefer a game of Jarts to environmental
activism. Jarts, while dangerous, can be played without slogans
and bullhorns and placards, you need a lawn and beer

and the willingness to impale or be impaled. In short we all
qualify. I admire the spiders even as I fear them. They knit
their homes straight out of their bodies. If I did this
I'd have a home made of vomit and piss. The only people

who'd visit would be people I'd rather not know. Time
and again the pattern of spiderwebs comes out the same.
I can't write my name twice without fooling myself as to who
I am. I believe this ability of spiders constitutes some kind

of wisdom. I believe this is what the I.M.F. calls miraculous.
In the next county, Herefords give birth to fibroid tumors,
peltless minks are the rage in France. Oops is not a big enough
word. Sorry is not. Stupid begins to exploit the lexicon.

I enjoy the image of a lawyer reading my will to the spiders.
The spiders are shitting their webs and stacking flies. The new owners
must negotiate access to the fuse box. I bequeath my snow tires
to the hyacinth. I leave my body to the unfashionable Earth.

Copyright © 2001 Bob Hicok All rights reserved from Animal Soul
Invisible Cities Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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