Baby Hermits on Board

I let my tape player slowly die –

I no longer care to hear

The creaky faded craft that whine

Over the last filamentary gasps

Of wavelengths crusty and veteran . . .


They’ll soon be gone anyway;

Those chronic misfits who feed the machines,

Their body parts so chemical and divided –

Strewn across metropolises in mailboxes,

In old socks, rolled up and stuck

Behind beds of the semaphore newsboys,

Who wake up in malted mornings,

And go out and hawk the Daily Progress

of devourment;

of whole human vortexes sucked down . . .

They are the fuel . . .


Of the stalkers of scenes

And the shufflers of mounds

And the shredders of composite tiny lives –

All of the worms so pleased to feast

On swarms of leathern wonderbread limbs,

Which, decapitated and expelled,

Still kick and squirm.


Stirring up the moldy heirlooms,

Flinging the scrappy clippings

From nests of myriad hermit crabs

Grown meek from the green salty steroids


And caked with powdered Cains,

And sprinkled with Christmas locust leavening,

And sick from lucite cage wishes,

Or blinded by smarmy sunlight showdowns,

Or shivering in misty mackerel moonbeams . . .


Yea, these are the slowly slaughtered babies,

Also known as the hermit crabs,

So adapted, so sadly adapted

To this alien Netherworld,

Yet dying to crave to be tucked away

In the folds at the bottom of the sea


– Damon Norko

Baby Hermits on Board was originally published in The Annual #4!

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