Monthly Archives: August 2009

The Apartment

It is long past midnight
I watch an extremely fast cockroach
Racing around on the wall.

I lie to myself
Thinking that there is just this one cockroach
Here in the house, he just gets around a lot,
Is what I think.

I must admit, though the place has character
Bed sheets serve as shades.
There is no furniture.
I sleep on the floor.

People tell me I got a good deal.
The rent is cheap and the owner is extremely nice.
I am inclined to agree with them.
Yet I wonder what the cockroach thinks.

Don’t get me wrong, I like bugs.
I just don’t want to compete with them for dinner.
Or eat one by mistake.
Although I’m probably over reacting
There are four other apartments in this building.
And I don’t hear them complaining.

In fact, I don’t hear much at all from them.
This inclines me to think that I live with zombies.
And just in case, I keep a flashlight on the floor.
I hear dead things are afraid of fire.
I think I will buy some stick matches.

You can really freak yourself out in the dark.
There is this long empty closet right where I rest my feet.
I fear some demonic creature from hell will grab me by the toes
Drag me off into the closet, and there, feast on me
With razor sharp teeth and needle fingers.

There is one good thing though, I do have electricity.
I run the fan and give myself light.
I think having it turned on was a good decision on my part.
Verily, Verily, I should not be too proud though, verily, verily
If I didn’t have electricity
I would never see any cockroaches.

The apartment really is in a perfect part of Cleveland.
A place where cricket songs blend in with the railroad yard,
Passing cars, and the all around hum of the world turning.

They rock me to sleep
In the evening hours.

Russell Vidrick, 1993

good morning hormones

finally the hot
flash body fire comes warming
my cool morning drive

wendy shaffer

with the sun in her paws

ghetto raccoon stands
on the sidewalk two fisted
eating orange peach

wendy shaffer

everything at giant eagle

everything at giant eagle is 3.98
says my brother
we sing
happy day
whoa happy days
in the kitchen
while the goddess
rains down on cleveland
& i lick the aluminum wrapper
of a stale candy bar

this is when my friends remind me
that i don’t eat candy
or when i tell you
that it’s sugar free

i’ve got good friends whose bodies
are trying to quit on them
right now
but 21st century western medicine
is working its expensive magic

i just know that when my body
decides it’s over
i’ve got to let it go
since i’m on a budget
health insurance plan
that doesn’t account
for my budget

all i know
is aretha’s food stamp card
is flush at midnight
& only giant eagle is open

my brother will pick out four
items at 3.98
and neither my brother or aretha
will be hungry
tomorrow morning.

wendy shaffer

the ugly side of aging, part a

failing in new york
is not the best pick up line
though it sets a tone


the ugly side of aging, part b

the last shot wonder
looking for his youth in bars
stumble tongue and foot



Never was alone
& we were forever &
Nothing existed


bird’s alive

defiantly stares
at the front door of the cage
i think she wants out


monday morning

slowing for the curve
green tea medicinal herb
free flow to work

wendy shaffer