Leave them, grant them a gram of mercy,
These are pests but no real horde of nuisances,
They deserve a place here until they figure
Out just what kind of damage they want to cause.
Sure, they may breed out of control but soon
They will starve themselves to death,
Unless you have a hidden cache
That you feed to them whenever I’m not looking.
Individually, we’re bigger than them, they scurry
As your steps and mine snap along the floor,
It’s a good strategy and the only defense
We will ever see them employing against us.
The evacuation may seem planned out,
An ancient pattern traced over our apartment
And played out when our presence is felt,
Or it could just be a mad rush to the nearest exit.
Why take a risk with such agents in our place
If there is a rogue chaos in their legs and antennae?
Even though the bugs don’t know what they’re doing,
Neither do we, and who is harmed by our ennui?
TSTmpj: When is a war not a war. Would you care to comment on the subterranean politics of the poem?
Ben Nardolilli: Obviously there is a debate going on between interventionist versus laissez faire policies. One character wants to do something about a perceived problem and the other does not, arguing there is no problem at all. Although given the discrepancies in size and power people the people and the so-called pests, I think that it is almost a theological situation more than a political one, where a person could imagine two Olympian gods debating whether or not to get involved in a situation between mortals. I guess it is sort of like the gods arguing in The Iliad in that sense.
TSTmpj: The "ancient pattern" is felt within, for all of us in different ways. Is "ennui" always the best defence?
Ben Nardolilli: Ennui is one way to fight instinct. It is perhaps the easiest. However, it leaves one open to sudden, unpredictable shifts because the mind becomes desperate for some activity and a path to follow.
TSTmpj: Are you an optimist or a pessimist about the future of humankind?
Ben Nardolilli: The sight of infants depresses me immensely.
Benjamin E. Nardolilli