people wanting nothing more
than whatever the fuck they want
and what they want
is to self-serve
beyond need
for instance
this person over here
needs your help
needs you to take your time
and invest it in unpleasant ways
even though you have a life of obligations
and the amount of time you give away
is an impediment
to the way you go about paying your bills
and that person over there
needs you to feel uncomfortable in their presence
and there is someone else
who doesn’t seem to see the problem
of the dog being loose
in this house that doesn’t belong to them
and the dog doesn’t seem to like
the child sitting in the corner
who isn’t used to dogs
and this dog is barking
and growling and aggressive
and you want to trust the owners
wouldn’t let the dog loose
if there was a chance it would hurt the child
but it looks like it wants to hurt the child
who happens to be your child
the child you love
more than anything else in the room
or the universe
and you’re thinking about the older brother
of this child
the one whose face was mauled
by another dog long ago
and was stitched back together
and you think
you wonder
you hope
this dog will calm down
and after a long and irritating amount of time
the owner of the dog announces the reason
for the dogs behavior
which is to be protective of her
and your blood is boiling
because it seems to you very selfish
that the priority of comfort levels
would be gifted to the dog
who is still growling and loose
in an unfamiliar house
with a gathering of unfamiliar people
and then there is someone else
talking out loud to everyone
about how much money
she thinks the house will sell for
and she doesn’t voice it
but she knows she’s going to make an honest killing
by putting in a day’s work for her percentage
which is gonna be 12 grand
because the house is going to sell itself
in less than 24 hours
and you are here
because no one has ever appreciated
that just because you are self-employed
doesn’t mean you have the luxury
of postponing whatever the fuck you’re doing
to show up
biweekly to do whatever you are asked
but you show up anyway
because you are part of a family
with dysfunction
at the center
and the matriarch has lost her marbles
which is why you’re all gathered here today
to be included in decisions
you never wanted to be part of
never wanted to make
and all you can think about is the sex
you’d like to be having
with someone else’s husband
which sort of proves that
you’re as selfish and shitty as everyone else
in this story
because even the beloved kid
will grow up
to become the beauty and then the bane
of someone else’s existence



“Merry Company in a Garden” by Dirck Hals, 1621

Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

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