[As I’ve said before, I am not that good at poetry. To put it plainly: I suck at writing poems. I’ve recently found a way to be—not a good poet—but an interesting one. I’m sure no one will ever want to publish them, but who knows? Maybe someday. Anyway, this is without a doubt the best poem I ever got published. That still doesn’t make it good. I’d say it’s a smidge above mediocre. It was based on one of my late-night walks from a while back. It was in issue 69—tee-hee!—of The Nocturnal Lyric. Hey! Look there! You can still buy this issue from the publisher. Only 9 copies left, though.]
I walk these dark suburban streets
and the houses move at my sides
like identical conveyor belts
and I am caught in a camera flash
every few yards.
I gaze up into the spotlight like a stage actor to see
the perfect spider web
silhouetted by the stark white above it
suspended between a street sign
and a bus sign.
It is like you see in cartoons
or award-winning photographs
gossamer strands in faultless curves
stuck to ideal lines straight from a geometry book.
At the very center sits
the king of his domain
a fat, hairy spider
with spindly legs resting lightly
on his art, feeling the struggle
of his burrito-wrapped prey
waiting for the inevitable
ignoring the pain of hunger until
all the players hit their death-marks.
It is nature at its finest.
The next night, on my late walk
I look up to see my companion
only to find nothing but loose strands
flowing in the gentle breeze.
I think of the children in my neighborhood
and how they feel the need
to destroy out of mere curiosity
and I mourn the passing of my midnight spider.
And on the third night, it is risen.
There it walks, just like me
around and around the straight lines of its web
spinning from its back a new spiral of death
glistening and fresh
waiting for a new fly.
I watch a moth flap too closely
and the web dances and jiggles
and the spider comes closer
and fate, like a cocoon, is sealed.