the end of the world and we know it

(with all respect to don marquis)



my mother wanted to name me archy

but grandmamma, the matriarch, refused.

she would not allow one of her brood

to be named after the god of all cockroaches.

she believed such a roach had existed

friend with cat, confidant of man.

she also believed that if she watched

the apocalyptic can of bug spray,

she would live forever.

a shame she forgot to watch the shoe as well.


i am a roach of the new age.

i'm educated, and live in a laboratory

the humans think they study my friends and me.

we amuse ourselves doing arcane tricks for them,

and holding wakes when they take away our comrades.


but at night, the place is ours.

science laboratories are a wealth of information.

we have learned the secrets of computer hacking. 

in the old days, roaches were content

to scramble through walls and eat what they wanted.

there is much to be said for days of innocence

though if the roaches had been studied

by lit professors rather than the scientists,

things could have been different.

i might have enjoyed a well-turned metaphor

or learned the esoteric secrets of gertrude stein.

but i have lived with scientists.

it has given me a new outlook on life

from them i have learned

the one thing that changed my world

(and is about to change yours)

i know that roaches can survive anything.

well, except for the well-placed shoe

or the cursed bug spray.


it's time we did away with genocidal humans

who have destroyed so many insect brethren.

it's time for a new beginning.  we are taking over. 

we have the computer codes, we know the secret places.

we've divined atomic energy,

and the mystical ways of norad.

so i'm writing this to say farewell

you see, there are a few bugs in the system.



All material Copyright 2009, Lazette Gifford