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Three Poems by Chris D’Errico

Workaday Elegy  



Through the eco-tint

Of my rear view

Saw a man in a straw hat

A sidewalk fresco

Saturated by the Monday sun


Melons, strawberries

Yeah, just a quick glance

To see if my mustache

Was shaved straight

Hustling for breakfast

But no time

No time

Late that morning

On the way to a

Nine o’clock



Ant Elegy



By each tiny step

Where the pedals attenuate beautiful notes

Ants brave the chemical maelstrom of human weather

Which ant wears the white hat?

Which ant delegates with a sonorous voice?

Which ant wears the black hat?

Plays a dark-keyed march of famished shadows?

By the unenlightened thud of practical pursuit

Mutilated by ambition and feral pleasures

By gumption, contagion, theory

Hope, contaminate, unalienable rights

For prosperity, property, privilege

Sometimes less initiative than zombie complicity

Which ant sings with inspiration for desire and revolt?

Which ant speaks the dogma of hollow gluttony?

Which ant proselytizes the empty doctrine

Of ravenous consumption?

Not by deliberation but by instinct

Ants engineer forests, colonize backyards

Faithful to their own benign and absurd agendas

Where are the ant-sized is/ought dilemmas?

Their larger than life comic book heroes and villains?

Ants save us earthlings from suffocating under

Leaves and fallen wood, nature’s detritus

Which ants are the jezebels, the Lotharios?

The Prometheus, a homunculus?

Individuals with a spine for union, but also

Amorphous, self-emergent systems

Non-hierarchal collectives

Which drone, which worker, which soldier

Questions the mighty ant queen?

No matter, conscience must be clear

Is there such a thing as insect dignity?

Shrewd, truth loving, utterly rational

What spine for union? Cruel? I cast my foot down

My dirty, floor-blackened sole

Gross satisfaction in the sickening pop and goo

Crunch of innards and exoskeleton



Reactionary Elegy



Birthing an old soul

For a new body

Must take its toll on the gods

Who apparently never tire

Of a universal jolt

Plugging into something


Grizzled and wizened

While the future emerges

The dying generation

In the foyer

Waiting still or fidgeting

Have their megaphones

Starched uniforms

And stale candies

Waltzing the inevitable

Time is a gargantuan

Pair of dirty hands

Obsessively washing, but

Never coming clean

Clouds in progress

Roads crumbling

Or under construction

Eternity might decide

What’s past is best

For permanence, headlong

Each mirror aging

Within the vanity

Of each eye

Each fingerprint

A maze of dead-ends


Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Chris D’Errico writes poems, plays blues harmonica and works the night-shift as a low-level government employee in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he shares a home with his wife and a small clouder of cats. He is the author of several poetry collections, including: The Meat Game (Thunder Sandwich, 2005), Debris Of Hearts (OffCenter Press, 2007), Vegas Implosions & Exterminator Chronicles (Virgogray Press, 2011), and Ministry of Kybosh (Virgogray Press, 2012). For more, visit www.clderrico.com.


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