will you please shut the hell up now
they’re out there
on the lawn talking about grubs
and fusarium blight
and weed and feed
and roses bushes
and I am in here trying to write.
the computer screen laughs at me.
it beckons me to play poker or
read a web review on Kim Kardashian’s new book of selfies
or discover the latest gossip on Ireland Baldwin,
we all need to know she’s in rehab again,
instead of writing
the next immortal poem,
not that I have ever written one.
I can hear them jabbering in the middle of the lawn
near the half dead dwarf nandina
and the sound of it bounces off the inside of my head
like a twirling shuttlecock aflame
with rage and unreason.
I want to run out there and tell them
fuck the lawn and the forsythia, you need to realize immediately
the Chinese or the North Koreans might launch
an electromagnetic pulse bomb over St. Louis
any minute now
before I finish this sentence
and pitch every last citizen
suddenly and irreversibly into the dark ages.
but I don’t do this.
it is merely the little voice
inside of me,
inside all of us,
calling for a cessation to bullshit
and to be left alone
to write poems
more irrelevant and of less value
than a greener, thicker and
more luscious lawn.
a Charter Arms blue standard undercover .38
tucked away in the top dresser drawer
under a neat stack of panties.
she worked in a hospital.
I was in the apartment alone.
told the boss I was sick.
I was sick of him hounding me
leaning on me, barking in my ear like a drill sergeant.
three times in the past week
told myself to walk off and get away from him
before I did something stupid.
he had a rat face, red from cheap whiskey
and the eyes were closely spaced,
they were the color of blue ice
in the dead of winter.
I imagined an x etched on the bridge of his nose
between half-human rat-like eyes.
it was a target
an imaginary destination point
a solution to the problem.
I lifted up the .38 and moved it from one hand to the other.
back and forth several times feeling
cool steel weight in my hands. I brought the gun up
and looked at myself in the dresser mirror.
I was like a ghost, a man hardly there.
I raised the .38, pointed it at the reflection
and pulled the trigger.
there was a snap
as the hammer hit an