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One Hundred And Sixteen Legs

I catch a spider
in a paper cup
open a window
watch it feel its way to freedom.
I spare a centipede too.
It's fragile, agile,
has a right to live.
But, when a mosquito finds its way
onto the stovetop,
I try and maneuver it toward the
front gas jet
and turn up the flame.
I just say a blessing first.

5 Dec 05

Rated 7.5 (8.5) by 2 users.
Active (2): 5, 6, 10
Inactive (18): 4, 5, 6, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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: ) you're so practical and evil! (j/k)
i like the specifics on how you cook mosquitos it ties well with the title.

 — unknown

seems gross and gory- but that could just be the reference to bugs and burning them :)
 — delfinkay

Ha Ha, such compassion! - I almost want the last line to read "I don't even say a blessing first" or for the poem to end on 13 - but that's just because I hate mozzies!
 — hobby

aha genious! love the last staza and line... although i am confused about the title :S
 — gears

fabulous. i'm too squeamish, i won't even kill a pesky mosquito, i run away, or make someone else di it lol.
 — inutile

yeah, the title doesn't really seem relevent, but whatever

 — inutile

nice one...
no need for 'to live' in line 8. could be just: 'it too has the right'.
 — varun

You don't need for in Line 4. Seems pointless, and cack-handedly constructed.
 — unknown

awsome poem. good imagery and good theme, it something i think about sometimes, and i love the last lines the most. it sets us up with a twist
 — infinity

Thankyou all SO MUCH for your critiques of this poem!  I'm so appreciative!  Thankyou and I WILL cut out the preposition "for" in line 4.  

Happy Holidays to you all and God Bless!  :-)
 — starr

lol.  i love this!  (;

made me smile.  sometimes i decide to do that.  usually i'm too afraid (don't like bugs) but every now and then i let an insect crawl into a cup or onto a magazine and i let it outside.  it's random.  i never know when i'll decide to spare them or slink back in fear or just kill it.  heh heh.  good jorb!  (;
 — ducktape

oh, hey by the way, this poem reminds me of James and the Giant Peach.  i just thought i'd let you know.  lol.  (;

take care and remember, keep on writing!

 — ducktape

ducktape!  thankyou!  happy holidays!  i WILL keep on writing (in spite of all the haters out there).  happy christmahanukwanzakah.
 — starr

This poem has my nickname in it.

So it's automatically fantastic.

But also, it's clever, witty, simple, and wonderful.

So with all that in mind, I enjoyed it very much.

 — X

I think I can help with this one starr- not to sound arrogant or anything.

I spare a cockroach's life
Catch it inside a paper cup
Open up a window
Watch it feel its way to freedom

I spare a centipede too
Its life fragile
It, too, has a right to live


When a mosquito finds its way
On to the stove top
I try and manuever it toward the
Front left jet and turn up the flame~

I just say a blessing first.
 — Tentative

I really like the way you write, there's an evil silence in this poem that I really appreciate. i especially like the first stanza, the only hting I don't like is line 9, especially the way it is positioned but that may just be personal preference.
 — Stellaella

nice twist.
 — listen

Stellaella & Listen:  Thank you for the props.  I'm currently revising my Poetry Critical repetoire in accordance with all that I've learned (and continue to learn here.)  I very confidently just punctuated it and merged the singular (and drifting)conjunction, "but," with the rest of the poem that it temporarily strayed from.  Glad u liked this, guyz!  I HATE mosquitoes!  Love, Starr
 — starr

I actually love the title.  I'm of the opinion that titles are optional, so it's a good oportunity to really play with words and their meanings.  So even if you're the only one who really understands why the title is even relevent, you can still get something that just sounds cool rolling off the tongue.

This was great.  Loved the humor in that last line.  And the imagery of the bugs, especially the skeeter getting smoked.  Very cool.
 — nugunz

ey starr, i'm stuck on the title. nice move.
is it to mean "position exterminate?"

i pity the mosquito though. the roach is really
my worst nightmare of the three; its bite can get
my face and body swollen and distorted and make
me look like a funny monster scratching himself
to death.

i haven't been beaten, er bitten, by a centipede yet

thanks for the poem.
: )
 — fractalcore

Frac, thanks!  Aren't u cute!  Really?!  I never knew roaches bit before!  I thought they just crawled around and lived inside your oven or somethin'.  Yikes!  :-O
 — starr

*heheh I hate mosqitoes too
 — unknown

Mosquitoes SUCK (literally.)  I hate 'em too.  That's why I wrote this poem.  :-)
 — starr

bugs are life -- well writ observation starr
 — AlchemiA

Yes they ARE, Alch.  Yes they ARE.  I'm glad you like this one.  My love to you.  :-)
 — starr

Wonderful whimsy.  Really well done and so very, very true.
 — sybarite

Anyone or just you?  Seems like you're the only one who's spewing here.  
 — starr

Yeah, fuck mosquitos. I feels you on this. Its hard being a son of God.
 — MattPat

Thanks, Matt!  It's not that hard really.  Just gotta put some things into perspective (or a paper cup.)  

 — starr

De Havilland Mosquito-DK338-
the finest aircraft of World War Two
and some idiot tries to burn it.
 — unknown

Thanks 2 every-1 who enjoyed this poem and saw it to Top Rated #1 twice this past weekend.  I'm a happpy author as a result.  Be good 2 the bugs.  :-)
 — starr

whoa. creepy but cool. what were you trying to compare the mosquito to?
 — faith

Hey faith.  Whoa back at'cha!  The mosquito is just a mosquito.  It doesn't deserve to live if it's gonna be sneaky and suck my blood while I'm sleeping.  The roaches and pedes just crawl around and eat my cookies in the middle of the night.  No harm in that.  Peace.  :-)  
 — starr

what an awful thing to say for such powerfully effective writing.  are you always this kind with your critiques?  perhaps your own personal sense of failure lies on some insular level which befits your apparent tone here.  sad.  
 — Azzizz

Thanks, Azzizz.  You're responding to a voice that is all too well to the P.C. community; it's that of Thomas (Mor,) who lives to troll/invade the message board and poetry spaces.  He's one of those retirees who probably would do better to remain employed because the clock is failing him in his senior years with nothing better to do except perpetuate abuse and harassment toward its members.  He's been trolling me for close to three years since for some reason, he doesn't approve of the fact that I self-publish and sell my line of poetry, as if that's any of his business.  Kind of ridiculous, but that's what happens when one is bored with life in general, I guess.  I wouldn't know.  My life's far too exciting.  Peace.  :-)
 — starr

I meant "known all too well to the P.C. community."  :-)
 — starr

Well starr can say any old shit, no one is allowed to say a word about starr..
starr gets special treatment by the moderators.
 — unknown

The number one top rated poem? Good grief, it's not that good. Just a nice average poem. Get a grip people. Can't you find a better poem than this on PC? Maybe it is the gay vote. Starr for president, again, good grief.
— unknown         &nbs p;[!]

Some one is playing games here, this load of rubbish have should died a death by now, it seems some insider is manipulating the ratings.
— unknown    

...and your point is, Thomas?  
 — starr

some one appears to have you sorted out nicely
 — unknown

u could end roaches & centipedes by slipper tapping and take note just with one hand,
mosquitoes require both, all u need is clap, thanks to u i know a better and morbid way to get rid of em now... :) i like the turn up the flame part...and saying a blessing first makes it more dramatic... it's the first time i heard someone do that...or have u? just curious? are u afraid of the 1st two that's why u spared em? peace :)
 — betrayed

LOL!  Hey, Betrayed!  Thanks 4 checkin' this out in such depth.  :-)  I'm not afraid of roaches or of centipedes actually.  I mean, most people think they're gross and/or creepy, but I wouldn't kill them.  Mosquitoes, on the other hand, are just blood sucking disease carriers, so they DON'T get spared with me.  I'm one of those kinds of brothas who believes in equal rights, so just as I wouldn't want to be squashed down, I consider the same for them.  I'm glad u liked this.  Made my day.  Peace back at'cha.  :-)
 — starr

There does not seem much point in commenting on this posting
 — unknown

 — turboswami

 — Anachocolata

damn LOL
 — psychofemale

Glad u like this, Anachocolata and psychofemale!  :-)
 — starr

personally, but this is just me, i would have preferred to see the mosquito land on arm and then had pumping mechanism used to blow it to smithereens while speaker observes from an ironically detached, amused position.
 — unknown

This is awesome.
I love you.
 — mandolyn

Unknown, you're too funny and Mando, thanks!  I love you too!  xo
 — starr

try the last line without "just".

Other wise a fun read.

 — Mic2

Thanks, Mic!  You're right!  MUCH better without the "just."  :-)
 — starr

Was this a different poem or did you write another about a landing?  I know it was about mosquito.  I'd have personally sucked them all up with my handy Kenmore!  No bugs in my house.
 — Isabelle5

Nope.  You're thinking of "Just After Takeoff."  Two separate mosquito poems.  :-)
 — starr

My interpretation of this is that the things that do not bother us, are the things we spare. But those that we cannot understand or intimidate us are the things we intentionally do harm to. To me this piece is very applicable to the struggles of humanity. Why do some hate and have prejudice on some. Does every mosquito deserve the flame? Thank you for this thoughtful piece.
 — PhosFate

...and thank YOU. PhosFate for your AWESOME and EQUALLY as thoughtful comment!  I'm SO GLAD u enjoyed this piece.  Personally, I wouldn't even harm a mosquito (I exaggerated with the flame in this.), but I wouldn't wanna catch anything bloodborne either, so a good smack would do the trick.  Typically tho, I'd prob. let a mosquito out the window TOO.  I'm not one for harming other living things per se.  Much love!  :-)
 — starr