Praises for the Insect and Mammalian Dead
I had a nice day today.
No one cursed me.
No one asked me odd questions.
I went to work a bit late.
I checked my mail and answered some of my correspondents
and then settled back to see what else might happen.
It was cold today.
Not as cold as yesterday but
I have the feeling it will be colder tomorrow.
My friend Jane’s boyfriend died suddenly from liver disease.
This should not have been a shock but it was.
To his children
Everyone is angry at everyone else at a man who lived life
on his terms and died on his terms and not the way you’re expected
It will be cold thank God for several more months.
Men will stumble up to me on 9th avenue and ask for money.
They will say it is for food.
Perhaps it is.
People will call me to solve difficult problems involving
mice and rats and other pests.
They will be arrogant and they will be willing but they will be
They will be asking me for answers that aren’t simple.
I will fail in my explanations.
I will offer biological and social explanations but in their fear,
in their worry, they will dismiss them.
To the people that I talk to everything I say is stupid.
Like everything we say to a lover we think is leaving.
Don’t I do this or don’t I do that.
Didn’t I buy you this or didn’t I comfort you then.
It’s all stupid.
My consolation and explanations are all hollow.
You have mice. You have them because you’re a human in a densely
populated region of the world populated by a rich mess of other humans.
Not everyone gives a shit about mice like you do.
Not everyone lies awake worrying about the bedbugs biting.
Some of them come from places where the bedbugs are like flies.
Some of them come from places where if you raise up your head
someone else will lop it off.
Cherish your mice, your rats, your roaches, your bedbugs!
Love them as you love your sons and daughters.
They are your children!
They live with you as much as you with them.
They huddle in little clutches terrified of destruction and they don’t even
know about terrorists or nuclear devastation or satellites.
The little bugs and mice are the meek.
They wait patient under your stove for your castoff crumbs.
For your drops of water.
For the condensate on your pipes.
They are your poorest children.
They have no other home but yours.
You wretched misers of capital.
You own your apartments!
You own your lawns!
You own your skin and your hair and your sons and daughters!
But all of you muddle under the same dull January sky.
Each of you struggles for a bit of food, a spot of conversation,
the day your boss says, oh, what a nice idea.
This is the time to consider what will come.
Spring and rebirth and a thousand mice and cockroaches.
Ants and termites and love.
You’ll strut down the avenue and duck into little cafes and they’ll
feed off your leavings happy as pets.
They are your children.
They will grow strong and happy and democratic.
They will feed at the common table.
They will join with the bacteria and the viruses and the multitude of plagues
to usher us into the world of paradise.
Say all power and all praises to our Children!
Grant them health and joy!