Saturday, May 29, 2010

To Find Home

The trick, I am told by a man clad
in khaki armor, is to search for points of departure

and arrival. The exterminators have been around twice
this week, and the back porch has just stopped

reeking of pesticide, the unfinished wood
beneath the floorboards' peeling paint

soaking in the scent. The winter months expanded
the water in everything––the house groaned bloated,

unhappy to have taken in so much––and we, too,
grew beyond our patient domesticity, flaking off

in brittle sheets. After the eruption
of summer, everything emerges unsteadily. Even the wasps

wander the windowsills, the sidewalk cratered
with abandoned anthills. The exterminator tells me

it takes the lazy not-looking of an optical illusion to see
where the trouble originates. On this first

ninety-degree day of summer, a nail swelled out
of place catches between my toes, and the corpse

of the overstuffed couch that breaks my fall
buzzes angrily from inside.

Join the circus: Bigtentpoetry.org

9 comments:

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

Oh, Nathan -- this is another great one! A really fine poem.

Tumblewords: said...

Great energy and movement in this! I enjoyed every word!

Paul Oakley said...

Great imagery, Nathan! I particularly love the concrete truth of these lines:

The exterminator tells me

it takes the lazy not-looking of an optical illusion to see
where the trouble originates.


Very nicely done!

Diane T said...

Terrific metaphor! Great work!

Linda said...

A house saturated, its occupants equally so...lovely plays on words, philosophies scattered about like so many pests...I like it. Lots.

http://lindagoin.com/

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Deb said...

It's wonderful how something so full of toxic annoyance can turn into a beautiful poem.

Love every single line. Really. :-)

(http://stoneymoss.org)

brenda said...

The bastards pests. I'm telling you, in another 20 years they may be all that's left!

Well done.

briarcat said...

my own not-looking has been intentional. If I ever find the source it will have to be dealt with.

many many good bits here. love the house groaning at being bloated, and the brittle sheets of doemsticity.