Flushing the Spider / Ken Haas

I  know. I should be squiring the bathtub bandit
deckward on a magic carpet of Charmin.
But I’d rather watch him get sucked away
in an aqueous twister on his carapace back.
God should have taught him to spin a raft
rather than a death hammock for fireflies.
Or given him the lonely eyes of a rat, not
those onyx headlamps on Cain’s villous mug.

Were I an eight-legged troll,
I tell my Buddhist buddies,
I’d be begging a guy just like yours truly
to squish me directly back into the reincarnation lottery.
Though they assure me that’s not how it works—
if your progress as an arachnid
is arrested prematurely, you have to start over
in the same loser family.

That Brazilians use their venom for erectile dysfunction,
or that Gerald Stern, possibly on mushrooms,
found one somehow musical, leaves me unmoved.
At best, they are the Richard Wagners of vermin,
whose compositions, yes, can be breathtaking
but whose souls are cisterns of hate,
obsessively knitting yet another reign of terror,
bronze beetle spread-eagle in the latest opus.

What this particular cootie Columbus,
dangling now in the cold grip of salad tongs,
has failed to reckon is the evolved architecture
of my web, the superunnatural turf I’ve hived off
as inside, where it is exemplary to have reasons
though even more impressive not to need them,
where there are feelings and imagination,
where we no longer have to eat everything we kill.