Bent Rusty Can Opener by Rob Plath

heat is thick
makes you want
to unzip your
flesh from
your frame

walk around
as skeleton

litter box
even tho

line of mildew
on lip
of fridge door
is thicker, blacker

toilet tank
beads with sweat
like human brow

here, air is

here, air is
fucking ancient

the cats stretch
out on floor
on their sides
heat forcing them
from typical
circular, sage-like
curled-up position

box fan whirls
hot, sticky air

naked king lear
on the cliff
was right
when shakey made
him say that
unaccomodated man
is a fucking
two-legged animal

i feel like a
hot, angry
upright dog

but he also said
later on in play
that if you can say
that life is bad
then it isn’t bad

i’ve come to conclusion
that i’m bitching now

millions of voiceless
have descended into
a black pit where they
cannot even utter a word

now where go with
this deflated poem?

its paper hooks won’t
fish even one of the
mad mutes
from the dark well

i’m holding
an unpractical thing
in my hands now

like a bent
rusty can opener

like a pissed off
spackler in a bar
told me once

poetry is such
bullshit a lot of
the time


Rob Plath is a 46-yea-old poet from New York. He has over a dozen books out. He is most known for his collection A BELLYFUL OF ANARCHY (epic rites press). He lives alone with his cat and stays out of trouble. See more of his work at



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