Holes in Houses

I was trying to think of what it was 
I had heard about woodpeckers 

pecking on the sides of houses
and said they sensed 

the electromagnetic field 
of all the wiring in a home 
and how it confused their senses 
and he looked at me like I had 

three heads or three extra holes 
in my head and it was only later,

many days later, that I remembered,
far too late to salvage 

his deteriorating opinion of my intellect, 
that it was the hum of the wiring 

that they heard or felt in the cavities 
of their heads and mistook for the activities
of termites and weevils making holes 
in the wood and I felt like twice the fool 

for I knew it hadn't sounded right 
when I told it first, about the 

electromagnetism.  I could as well have 
gone and told him, “That's why I line 

all my hats with foil, you know—
to keep the woodpeckers out!”

9 thoughts on “Holes in Houses

  1. That’s why you’re a writer. Given a shadow of an idea, you flesh it out to meet the needs of the situation. It doesn’t matter if it’s true as long as it sounds true in the moment. There have been many moments (and will continue to be) in my life when this has happened. I blush. We are all feeble intellects compared to Mr. Peabody (a movie I’ve seen twice this past weekend at the request of my son).

    On another note, when I lived in Tucson near the base of the Santa Catalina mountains in a home in the wilds of the Sonoran desert, a woodpecker would visit our place daily. We could set our morning alarm by the steady drilling coming from the antenna/lightning rod rising above the chimney. I miss that place. Also the early morning purring of quail, the bats swooping over the pool at dusk, the owls nesting in the saguaros. Thanks for stirring the pot!


    • That’s kinda funny. The very first job I ever had, and also my first food-biz job, was at a little Italian restaurant where, due to my appearance (blond hair, bowl cut, horn-rimmed glasses) I earned the very appropriate nickname of “Sherman.” !!
      Love the fluidity of words. “Truth” “Lies” “Story”

      I can hear that early morning. Thanks for that.


  2. Aside from the stanza breaks and the quite un-urbane subject, this one reminds me of Frank O’Hara in its talkiness. Charming!


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