Image by Tamyka Bell; black permanent marker over Heath Houston’s original text.

Five-by-five

after Heath Houston

Crawl, useless life, lowered 
man-prototype. Hello. Snatch
the prototype man herding a skinny mouse.
Draw the shattered, losing, desperate;
the utility; the burning in pain.

Take a few breaths. Poke around.
Grunt. Grab, twice: the daze, the wrench,
the socket. Let go. Shout “nighty-night!”
Hard desire — way hard — making a few
disturbing noises. Bounce!

Peek through the window.
Look around nervously.
Notice the ridiculous red mouse moving,
creeping towards you. Go all out — 
kill the man-prototype. Land him.

Grunt. Jump in front of
a wide-eyed bull, 
just above the cow. Down
a small chip, dropped to the floor — 
the fish and the chip and the man.

“A raven, red and blond-haired man immediately
lifted his forehead, wobbly and unfocused and
innocuous,” sweetheart said quickly. “He’d been
receiving Jesus, shooting hell. Nasty.” “Hell belongs to me — ” 
“I’ve oversold it. Claimants are going to find you.”

Growl, grimace, grin, go!


This poem is part of The Evidence Room, a found poetry collaboration on Chalkboard. I found this poem in:

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