Friday, September 20, 2013

POEM: "How A Japanese Farmhouse Changed Their Lives"

How A Japanese Farmhouse Changed Their Lives


First, the execrable outhouse, unlettered haste to go
a lingering pong stuck in the clothes. Then, the bug life.
More bugs than tried out for the moon shoot. But ambitious.
The noises started to make them crazy after the first week.


Groaning wood had to settle differently in every weather
the scratchy music of the bamboos could never be stilled.
No electricity was a big problem, before they turned in early
to gaze for hours at the happy lizards going after the bugs.


There was a nauseating stench they couldn’t locate.
They talked to each other, sure, it was as boring as fuck.
They took turns reading aloud, but it became a farce.
Time passed very slowly. Arguments. The third month.


Sure, they drank the local hooch. Yes, it had a nasty kick.
They took back their smoking habit and they lost condition
tooting as they struggled to draw water from the well.
They got rashes. The water started to taste a little funny.

The books they brought to read grew attached to the shelves
like ruined lizards. Bluish fungus. They walked down to the village
that could not understand them and returned with garbage
they had to dig holes for and bury, swatting at the horseflies.


They bathed in natural water in a small natural wooden tub
in the icy water that each determined almost killed the other one.
When the time came to sell up, there were twenty sweaty farmers
watching them get screwed, happy their lives were changed.


© 2013 Rob Schackne

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