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John Benditt in conversation with Nancy Pearl - University Bookstore Wednesday, February 25th, 7:00pm
The Order of Things
From Issue 49, The Ecstatic, Jay Nebel speaks of the spiders we often find within the predictable order of things.
I hate spiders.
There, I’ve said it. I hate walking face and teeth
and nose into their webs
while they spin and wrap and suck the blood out of flies.
My mother brushes them into her palms
because she feels guilty,
escorting them like admirals
to the sidewalk. I hate the idea of them
as much as I hated lectures
in college, except I could sleep
through the professor droning on about the homosexual
tendencies of monkeys,
the industrial revolution or Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.
Tonight, I smashed one with a nineteenth-century Russian novel
for crawling across my desk.
I know. I’m upsetting the order of things.
I’m drowning the wold that hunts the deer that ingests the grass
that wants to swallow our bodies whole.
My wife says, Think of something nice.
I picture unicorns, puppies, and fluffy white kittens,
while daydreaming about punching my neighbor
for cutting down the hedge.
I wonder if God feels repulsed by the sight of us.
Before bed every night
I sweep the sheets for little eight-legged creatures amassing tanks
and airplanes and karmic nuclear missiles,
coming for me while I reach around to grab my wife’s breasts.
One friend pours tens of them into her garden from a paper sack
to save the tomatoes.
It is miraculous, she says. A thing to be seen!
How they multiply, the waves
of spiders growing over the leaves.
My three-year-old son came into the study last week
in his Superman Underoos, turned off my reading lamp
and said in his tiny voice, You don’t need any more light.
This is what I tell a spider
before I kill it.
Jay Nebel‘s work has appeared in numerous journals. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and son. His last speeding ticket was over three years ago, and thankfully, there are currently no warrants out for his arrest.