Volume 13 • Number 1 • Spring-Summer 2021

Lisa St. John

DIY Apocalypse

Thinking about getting a swimming pool in my yard, I realized that I would be better off buying weapons. If society starts to erode further, I might even have to learn how to cook. That’s unacceptable. So, weapons it is. I’ve only shot a gun once, it was a handgun, and I never want to hold one again. The friend who had been trying to convince me to get gun training asked what was wrong. “You told me that no one should have a gun unless they are willing to use it. I’m not willing.”

I am not skilled in knife fighting, and I think knife-fighting must require a great deal of skill. I wonder if “How to Survive in a Post-Apocalyptic World Using a Knife” is on YouTube. I’m nervous about checking. Ditto for a bow and arrow. It would take too long to learn. Besides, my friend Jude uses a bow and arrow, so that box is checked off. I think homemade is best. I could fill a sock with change or old keys. That’s fairly close-up. How strong would the sock have to be? How long would it last? I could dig a moat.

I don’t think people would go rampaging through the rural area where I live, but I do worry about people just getting…meaner. Do they still sell mace? Rape whistles? I have a baseball bat by my bed. I don’t have a reason except that it’s fun to say, “I have a baseball bat by my bed” like I’m in a movie. What about a nail gun? Just like in Lethal Weapon 2, I could probably hold and shoot it like Danny Glover did in the movie. I wonder how much a range it has. How close would I have to be? I wonder how much they cost? Definitely less than a pool.

What about a squirt gun loaded with bleach (or something more toxic I can’t think of right now)? A portable blowtorch? How heavy would that be? What if I ran out of gas (or propane, or whatever)? Damn. What about losing electricity? My weapon will have to be solar powered if powered at all. No. Wildfire smoke is gumming up the sun right now.

I could chlorinate the moat! Anyone willing (and able) to swim across will be met by my baseball bat, sock of loose change, or (if they can cook) an offer to play Scrabble.

Lisa St. John is a published poet and former high school English Teacher. She is currently working on a memoir. Her first chapbook, Ponderings, was published by Finishing Line Press. She lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley of upstate New York. Lisa has published her poetry in 2Elizabeths, the Barbaric Yawp, Bear Creek Haiku, Misfit Magazine, The Poet’s Billow, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, The Ekphrastic Review, Albany Poets, Eyedrum Periodically, Light, Entropy Magazine, The Poetry Distillery, Poets Reading the News, and Chronogram Magazine. The poem “There Must Be a Science to This” won The Poet’s Billow’s Bermuda Triangle Contest and “Mowing the Lawn” was shortlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize and later published in Fish Anthology 2016. 'Particle Song' was a finalist for the 2017 Rash Award in Poetry by Broad River Review. Her poem “The Whens of Now” was selected as a finalist for the New Millennium Writings 44th Literary Awards. “Where is Ophelia’s Mother?” won second place in the Poetry Society of Virginia’s Sarah Lockwood Memorial Poetry Prize. Her memoir excerpt, “I Still Exist,” was published by Grief Digest Magazine. Lisa also writes two blogs, Random Mind Movements and Widows’ Words. They can be found on her website at