The world feels tacky right now.

The world is a virtuoso of yuck.

I try to scrape the current scene

off my arms and the bottom of my shoe.

It won’t budge, but only lingers,

even spreads over my exposed legs.


The great conception that was the world—

what happened to it?

Devolved, it has melted, is melting still,

becoming a raw substance

fundamental as water, a dirty waterway

rivuletting along like a deteriorated stream.

I like what’s new, but this regression

reeks of the old I thought was done for:

rejected and outgrown.


I cloister myself, refusing the streets,

the plazas that join mediocracy

with crime, decay, the disreputable.

I cower in my basement,

thinking the despicable too blind to spot me.

Yet there it stands, the trashiness of today,

peeking into the crawl space,

its lips dripping saliva

as it prepares to attack me

like a virus or a bacterium.

It wonders if I’m vulnerable enough

for it to inflict me

with its weapons of malaise.

I wonder if its strike is fatal.