I Live With Clicky Introverts

I live with clicky introverts,
whose soundtrack is a cricket shrillness with a bullfrog growl undertone
leaking from the motor of my refrigerator.
Echoes from the tubes of my television pump out images and voices and
I assume that they are about otherworldly matters, but I am not really listening;
I am hearing.
The distance dishes up the diesel truck grumble from the freeway
not miles, but yards away where

Hummers sing the streets,
feet are ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-tapping
on squared sidewalks
where pigeons give sermons
by neurotically bobbing at your shins.
Sometimes sewers hissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssterically
belch out puffs
that sting when your body sucks them down.
Honking, whirring, standing, stirring
blurring the distinction between the scream from a knife slipped into the voice
and the rattling of soft seeds in meditations shuffling percussion.

The urban ballad lovesong of noises
into those who are not even listening.

About the author: John Bruce is a high school English Literature teacher, and recently returned home to California after three years of teaching in Latin America. He studied Literature at UC Santa Cruz.

Artwork: Meg Avery