“The Crap House Wall” by Gwen Hummel

Gwen Hummel


The gong has sounded,
Not a bell,
Nor an air raid siren,
And I enter a chamber
Where there are no acolytes,
Because there is no altar,
And no shrine,
But where the walls bear writings
That conjure the ultimate,
Or a lug nut, or a rose,
I stand on a box to see what is there,
In my own personal privy stall
That hosts commoners, crackpots
And visionaries, personal trainers,
Feminists and saints,
Tony Blair and his First Corinthians,
Bill Gates and his Last Algorithm,
Alan Watts and his eternal za-zen,
Or damnation, or both,
“In the beginning was the Word …”
And it was way better than TV,
It was even ventilated by eccentric
Breezes that whispered poems
To see if anyone was listening.
Well, some of us are.

from Rattle #17, Summer 2002


Gwen Hummel: “I am content to be living in L.A. and working at an ordinary yet oddly fulfilling job in a University of California library. It was taken a long time to become a regular human, but now that I’ve arrived, it is what I expect to be for the rest of my life, yet with sufficient sequelae to fuel poems for all the seasons that remain.”

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