behavior changes prior to an earthquake.
the school library, the globe spins
a cracked meridian. Third graders
often have sticky hands and sharp pencils.
With technology, homo sapiens lose
the most common of senses after birth:
a reality show, senators request
lessons in washing plates, and call it
honest communion with their
feminine side. Everyone preens before
the surveillance camera. In the yard,
hens stop brooding and break their eggs,
geese fly towards safety. In life,
some solutions cannot be found
the yellow pages; fowl psychologists,
$200 per hour, rarely arrive on time.
God Decides To Take The Train
Framed with morning light, his long
beard appears red, his face impassive
a surveillance camera.
Fellow travelers size him up:
frustrated politician, Mafia assassin,
perhaps a chef with indelicate hands.
regrets this train ride to Venice.
Conductors are unbearably rude
commuters without tickets.
His shoulder has been taken
for a pillow by the Japanese dozing
beside him. He tries small talk.
Hebrew sounds menacing when the subject
the weather; his English is worse.
His seatmate draws away, alarmed.
Later the man will place a call to Kyoto,
confess to his wife, I was glad
be rid of his company, for he stank.
Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy
where she edits the Italian Niederngasse (http://www.niederngasse.com).
Her poetry has been published in Literary Potpourri,
Melic Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Smiths Knoll
(UK), Tattoo Highway and 2River View. Stirring
has recently nominated her poem, House of Correction, for
the 2004 Pushcart Prize.