Poem of the Month: Under circumstances by Jacqueline De Angelis

I have gone mad.  Clearly.  Deeply.  There are no controls to this.  No head room.  But there are fans and snoring dogs.

How many sanitizing washes are in the life of a dishwashing machine?

When met with disorder.  Met with relentlessness.  When both join up and a kitchen rodent is involved, reason, judgement, sacrality turn impure.

No, I take that back, common sense is thrown out with the bath towel and the pasta roller.

I don’t say this out loud but I say innumerable times, why is this happening to me?

I’ve left out of the confessional the pox I put on someone else’s house.

A politician.  You wouldn’t think, in this case, the pox would boomerang.

And this is how far I’ve landed from the obvious.  A rainy winter after a 5-year drought.  A faulty cat door (no cat lives here now, another story) and an apparent ingress.

I don’t co-exist with this species.  I am not a turd-in-my-silverware-drawer kind of human.  I don’t forgive tiny bite marks in heirloom multi-colored plum tomatoes.

Madness is individual.  Dripping water does not seem torture.  I’ve had a native black tarantula fall on to my head without falling to tarantism.

This is where frantic, frenzied, ferocious has the makings of tattoo.  Where the live trap solicits a tee-hee, haw-haw, cackle.  Where I stalk the reaper and the answer is me.

Many times, I have had a hummingbird fly in.  Sample several rooms, go all the way to the apex.  Gentle, unflappable, composed.

I assist, waving a red dish towel beyond the open door.


Jacqueline De Angelis lives in Topanga Canyon, CA and has her MFA in writing from Bennington College.  You can read more of her work at http://www.jacquelinedeangelis.com.

1 Comment

  1. I relate to rats in the silverware drawer, but much more to termites in the floorboards. I think that that is a taboo metaphor, far to scary to put into words.


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