He Explains Why He Sleeps
on a Lawn Chair in His Front Yard
Walls are not two-by-fours but faces
speaking without a voice.
I call King TV. No reporters show.
Sitcoms and reality shows fade
in a swarm of mosquitos.
I stop separating garbage from recycle.
Tricksters circumnavigate. Someone
in the government gives them lessons.
Immigration doesn’t call me back.
Converts practice their code-making.
They don’t explain why the world spins faster.
I leave Oreos by the fireplace.
I call for the exterminators, but I am down
to dimes and nickels. The floor lamps
take reverse x-rays.
I leave pennies by the door.
The priest from St. Marks can’t come.
I practice self-absolution.
The electrician says he won’t accept cash;
he’ll bill me. Nettles root in my ears.
Over the stinging, the pharmacist
at one of those chain stores tells me
you need a doctor’s prescription.
That’s when I know
what I need to do.
Susan Landgraf’s writing exercise book, The Inspired Poet, was just published by Two Sylvias Press. Her poems appear in Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Margie, Nimrod, Calyx, and others. Other books include What We Bury Changes the Ground and Other Voices. Currently she’s Poet Laureate of Auburn, Washington, where she lives.