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The vacant house
sits on the vacant lot,
vacant, that is, except for the vacant house
and a dead fir tree in the back yard,
a vacuous back yard
if ever there was one.

The vague landlord
shows me the vacant rooms:
an ivory bedroom,
a varnished vanity.
His vapid wife runs a Hoover
over the vast carpet,
her vagrant eyes
vacuuming up vermin.

"I will fill the vacancy," I announce
to the vague landlord.
"I will vacation inveterately,
sip vino on the veranda,
and compose voluminous odes
to valiant veterans,
inspired by this napalmed noble,
vanquished by the vicissitudes of suburbia,
yet still erect,
defiant, like the flag at Iwo Jima,
a Wagnerian Valkyrie
hovering over my vacuous Valhalla,
its wizened arms
and withered needles
pointing at me like a
burnt orange Jacob Marley,
a violent, ever-vigilant emblem
of my ongoing death!"

The landlord gives me a vacant stare
and asks me to
vacate the premises.

      — Doug Westberg