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The Malicious Spirit of Machines

Text of Poem

Right in our own house,
stealthy, malevolent, obscured
by the appearance of innocence
a Mafia works for our downfall.
Days go by smoothly without a
threat or warning, then when we
least expect it the blow falls.
It is cold calculation, planned
to betray our dependence on things.
First, the dishwasher throws
suds in my wife’s eyes, the
disposal chews up a silver spoon,
my electric razor ignores the switch. 
Then the big guns start firing,
the furnace goes on strike, the
washing machine leaks, eats a sock,
the kitchen stove remains cool,
the car shudders twice then
plays dead. Always this happens
on weekends or holidays when there is
no one to hear our cries for help.

First Line
Right in our own house,
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
The Complete Poems of James Hearst. Ed. Scott Cawelti. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2001. 497.
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