Robert Friend

Here you will find the Poem Exorcism of poet Robert Friend


I know who's scratching at the door. 
Clock, there's no use yawning. 
More than boards are loose in the floor?
I wasn't born this morning.

Beneath your gurgle, Water Tap, 
I hear the water slither.
I know you well, Barometer, 
and all your inner weather. 

Soap, you're not all lather, 
and Cane, you're more than stick.
I know who hangs on you, Clothes Hanger.
I know you, wicked Wick. 

I hear your silence, Telephone. 
I know your meaning, Saw. 
O wily, absent-minded Fly, 
I've heard your voice before. 

I have turned about thrice, 
blinded the mirror, 
snipped the end of my laces 
with a rusty scissors,

trod on my shadow, 
strewn on my pillow 
three seeds of the fern 
and a leaf of the willow. 

Be gone, ogre of the Candle,
djinn of the grinning Fire; 
be gone, harpy of the Lintel, 
worm of the winding Wire. 

Cerberus of the Threshold,
run howling through the town;
imp of the Ingle, shrivel;
nymph of the Mirror, drown. 

Die, demon of the Cupboard; 
fly, spectre of the Stair; 
and die, you lean Clock's warden 
who whispers in my ear.

(Copyright © Jean Shapiro Cantu for the Estate of Robert Friend)