This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Spider in My Bathtub Poem

uncamouflaged at the basin of the bathtub
a spider deprived of two legs waits
it clamors along the curve
unable to climb more than an inch above the plain
no clawed foot can find purchase in the porcelain
the spider has circled he edge seven times
still searching for a changing circumference

I imagine it stumbled in the open window
explored the sill hunting moth or mosquito
then lost its grip in the wood
tumbled airborne then slid to a stop
and now finds itself in an unfamiliar prison

deciding its destiny,
I could flush it down the tub drain,
crush it with shoe or paper
cast it aside with the refuse
pick it up and swirl it down into the toilet
a hundred types of sadistic torments
or ignore its plight, but my roommate is terrified of spiders
instead, I a grab a cerulean cup
hold it upside down and chase the spider in the cage
it skirts around the tub, oblivious to my shadow,
fleeing from tapping fingers
the blue maw closes over
and the spider flees out the crevasse a dozen times
until I catch it on the flat wall
flip wrist and toss the spider to the bottom

trading white porcelain for blue plastic,
the spider appears more distraught,
as if it had fallen on worse times
a smaller cell with less hope
I tip it into the light
examine the details of the injuries
second leg left,
third leg right,
both severed at the hilt
where they lie buried
with what foe they rest
I can only conjecture
did it lose one in a climactic battle with a rival
sacrifice one to escape a songbird hunter
lose them both in the tragedy of a fallen branch
break one in the strain to escape from the tub
is one still clinging to the window sill
unable to hold its master safe from gravity

we march to the front door
and in the porchlight,
take one last look at each other
before I invert the cup above the vines
and it tumbles out,
again falling airborne
rolls off leaf and disappears into darkness

have I doomed some future beetle
sentenced a moth to die
in the jaws of a handicapped predator
or fed some larger spider hunting weakened prey
supplied a buffet to ants who’ll find it starving in the morning
where was its tomb to be before I found it
what destiny have I altered by glancing in the tub
while wondering what poem to write tonight


Anonymous said...

Great poem! And in case this spider is the one you found in your house, it looks a lot like a recluse (we've found dozens in our place in the Village this last year--confirmed by a ranger). If it is, hopefully it won't come back into your house and change the ending of your poem. Look up "brown recluse" for gruesome photos of their bites. Although Sedona doesn't have "browns" per se, we have several recluse varieties, all of which are necrotic. :-( Please do trap carefully when you're spider catching, wouldn't want a live one to slow down your wonderful writing!

Anonymous said...

Intense poetry, though I will disagree with Anonymous: It is a hobo spider, not a recluse :)