Friday, August 12, 2011


Hey Townes
One thing I wanted to ask you
Is it better dying
Than sitting around waiting to die?
You're the only one I could of think of who'd know for sure
And I figured you wouldn't mind the asking

The Aleatory

I looked it up: aleatory means
"Of or depending on chance, luck, and contingency"
A good word

If you knew that tomorrow you must die
Is this what you would be doing?
Then maybe you should do something else 


The Kingdom of the Spiders

Sometimes at night, on my way to sleep
As the birds start to crow, I visit the kingdom of the spiders
Where I plan intricate murders
Vast schemes of revenge for crimes not yet perpetrated
   against my person
Or let the bullets fly randomly, from a concealed vantage point
on a height
Calls are made from a safe phone
Requesting officers be sent to this addresss
Where I lie in wait, with a rifle and bad intentions
And no cause, save the continued independence
               Of the kingdom of the spiders

In the kingdom of the spiders, my partners never speak
They indulge my desires silently or ecstatically
According to my whim, which they are sensitive enough to discern
Without my having to explain it in so many words
They weep sometimes . . . but that's okay, just this one time
The kingdom of the spiders is shattered by sleep

In the kingdom of the spiders, resentments build webs
Fantasies take wings, and are ensnared
Jokes tend to be cruel in the kingdom of spiders
Dreams are no consolations
They skirt too close to the surface
And star the same characters, over and over again,
        with no resolutions

Actions are without motivation in the kingdom of the spiders
Nothing is forgotten there, and nothing is forgiven
Candles flicker behind screens
Time is measured in the drip of water on stone
I'll never tell the way to the kingdom of the spiders

The kingdom of the spiders is eternal and fleeting
It never was and always will be
Was never meant to be so, yet proceeds according to plan
Only the lonely never visit there
It is older even than doubt and guilt and cowardice
Newer than betrayal
Older than age is the kingdom of the spiders

Wishes are stronger than words in the kingdom of the spiders,
       stronger than deeds
Regrets overcome courage, which lies broken
The drunkard in his self-pity . . . is lauded for his fellowship
The whore commended for her honesty
God gambles on the house in the kingdom of the spiders
Never is he asked to put up a cent of his own

The rot begins in the kingdom of spiders
Cancer is made there, and placed within
The kingdom of the spiders is where love comes to die, to decay
And is made to confess to uncomitted sins
Placed upon the rack and tortured in the flesh
While nuns deceive their husband
And the children are punished for running wild

There are no judges in the kingdom of the spiders
They are not needed
The air is fetid with aggrievance, and damp
You suffer there for the sins within you that stayed within,
              never committed 
Leaving you shapeless as the fog
No nepenthe nor rum can shroud the kingdom of the spiders

In the kingdom of the spiders no one sees you for what you are
And you see all too clearly
There are no words to express what you feel
No noises you can make
The only laughter in the kingdom of the spiders is without mirth
Of a cruel and knowing kind

The spiders will not hurt you
Just hold you down, and torment you for a while
They feed on self-loathing and doubt
Excite paralysis
Poetry is written in the kingdom of spiders 


copyright 2011 Danielle Tobias
Not even the hand of God
Knows the moment 
The leaves turn

I saw today
Because I was looking
But not for that 


Shin's tricycle didn't look that bad, considering
Of course, I only saw some photographs
Just like it had been left out in the rain
For two centuries
Forty years in the garden hadn't aged it
As much as that instant when dust to eternity comes
Indeed, I shudder for my country when I reflect
that God is just, said Jefferson
Yet another sphinxlike prophet
Whose words remain obscure