Think of people who annoy you.

My neighbors keep
their German Shepherd out 24/7.
My boss fires my friends.
A snotty teller clucks when
I hand her a Canadian check.

When Stan and I walk in
the June woods, I tap dance,
slap, swat, finger-plug my ears,
rub dead gnats from my eyes.

They surround him. He says
I walk in a “cloud” of gnats.
A high-pitched buzz builds
till I break into

a run back to the cabin
where I wash my hair, black bodies
dotting a white sink—

the silence a relief,
quiet after mass murder.


originally appeared in Native West Press (2003)

Published by

Kenneth Pobo

Kenneth Pobo has six full-length collections of poetry and, including Ice And Gaywings, twenty chapbooks. His latest book, from Blue Light Press, is called Bend Of Quiet, and Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt is forthcoming from Urban Farmhouse Press. Ken began writing at age fifteen. He teaches creative writing and English at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. He and his partner and two cats enjoy gardening, music, and the Wisconsin Northwoods. Catch Ken’s radio show, Obscure Oldies, on Saturdays from 6:00-8:30 pm EST at WDNR 89.5 FM.