Bad Survivalist Poem: “Let nothing touch the ground” by Sam Rush

Bad Survivalist: Sam Rush

Let nothing touch the ground

The best way to treat bedbugs scream while screaming wait until you die / The best way move drive fast enough to outrun them they can’t fly if you run out of gas scream while you scream wait wait until you die let nothing touch the ground / The best way to treat bedbugs diatomaceous earth diatomaceous earth is ancient microscopic sea creatures body parts in a fine powder spines enough to latch on to your new ancients crawling backs and suck the moisture right out of their bitey bedbug souls the best way to kill bedbugs surround them in death until they die / The best way to treat bedbugs existentialist deism remember we are all part of god’s mouth tooth tongue and asshole you are feeding the needed masses of the divine’s body kingdom stop being so greedy with your blood / Best remember when god is dead bedbugs make atheists go crazy if god is dead you sleep covered in a gnash and crawling graveyard / The best way Tea Tree oil Tea Tree oil comes from Maleluca trees in 3rd grade I watched Maleluca trees suck dry the everglades outside my classroom window while 38 classmates and I swished pink wax-tasting fluoride in our mouths crowded around an egg-timer set to thirty second count down and we finally silent could almost hear the slurp and slurping up through Maleluca roots Great Blue Herons chalk and choking thirst deadfalling from the sky / Maleluca trees arrived in South Florida on the backs of European colonists looking for a stronger sucking tree drain the swamps plaque make way for the white stucco forts two hundred years the grass river with anemic dry mouth trees living their own damn lives leaves to the sun never once realize to some they smell something like killing The best way to treat bedbugs douse yourself in tea tree oil 3 times a day every room you walk into will smell like minty-pungent accidental orchestrated destruction and vegan mouthwash the best way to kill bedbugs is to stink like survival of the fittest reproduction of the fittest growth of the strongest fittest one stop doing crunches on the floor / The best way to treat bedbugs grow the fuck up clean your room look at the piles of filth posturing unconvincingly as genius consider whether you have bedbugs or the bedbugs in fact have humans think of the many squares whose tight assholes you scoffed at as they designated clothes for bed wear only washed refused to place pursed-face purses on the ground let nothing touch the ground the ground is constructed entirely of tiny sticky bedbug eggs you can’t see them because they are your future and you can’t see the future stupid human human asshole stupid tasty human asshole tie your hair back bag your clothes up floss wear sunscreen clench your asshole Asshole buy a vacuum cleaner and a polo shirt not used new dye in the rivers hours in the factory new built on the backs of a blue heron nation plastic wrapped and clean new you just some thread without a history to trace now meditate on god or death or blood and levitate while you do let nothing touch the ground grow up go to work clean your room remember you are part of nature and this is how nature changes itself

Sam Rush is originally from South Florida and began writing poems after developing progressive hearing loss and realizing how many words each word could be. They were a finalist in the 2016 National Poetry Slam and are the author of Swallow (Sibling Rivalry Press, September 2020). Their work has been featured in The Offing, Muzzle, The Journal, and elsewhere. When the snow is gone they work in ecological restoration and education.


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