Michael Karl (Ritchie)
Schopenhauer Among the Delusional Paranoids

Dismantled fixtures rot. My mattress dries.
Light switches spark to make the only heat.
They pulled me off the streets to swat the flies
that weep through screens and bleed. I should have beat

my nosy neighbor till she pissed her insides out,
but courts ruled that I pay her monthly fees.
Instead, I tongue the crusted buns of gout
that flesh the kitchen stove with rank disease

and curse when nurses will not wash their hands
before they wipe my ass. The norms decay
in drainage clogged by pubic hairs, the sands
that suicide should turn to sludge. We prey

upon each other, nature grinding bones
homeless in money-grubbing nursing homes.

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(Hether Burks)