There is no worse or greater misery
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than the misery that is one's self:
Because of the
thoughtless and unthinking
fornication between my mother and my father
and the open and egregious bigotry
of my stepfather;
the path of my half-lived life has come
rue and regret.
I feel trapped...paralyzed by dogged and
of a childhood
of unnecessary abuse
and gratuitous neglect
that I cannot
like a giant, menacing cockroach furtively
scurrying up the incautious
sleeve of my pants.
So, I succumb:
I let the monstrous insect crawl up to the top
of my pants
where in my
hopeless, forlorn hands
rests a bowl
of half-eaten honeysweet brown beans, which
it boldly begins to devour
with total disregard for
and for the fact that I am now a frozen
to its dietary brazenness. I cannot stop it, as
it greedily continues
to dine and feast at my bowl.
As my resolve wanes
its relatives and distant cousins all appear
on the floor before me in the dim, feeble
light of the room.
Then one by one and all together, they
to ascend the low-hanging hems and
of my pant sleeves where they all crowd
together into one unholy
of voracious congregants that then soon turn
and begin to consume the soft, white flesh
of my own writhing body
until it is half-eaten
oh dear God!...half-eaten and chewed-up
from all the hungry insects
and giant, ravening cockroaches
of my misery and self
and my own terrible permissiveness!
"Good verse, like art, is difficult."
--ngoc m. nguyen, aka "poembender"