The Destroyer Dreams about the Bonfire of the Welcome Mats

Martin Ott

The Destroyer lives in an indoor apartment complex and cannot believe the plethora of welcome mats. There is no rain in LA and no reason to wipe feet. The Destroyer would invent an unwelcome mat if he would, the harmony of a castle not visited, a verbal approximation of wall pounding. The Destroyer cannot stand the designs, the floral excesses and baby animals, the animus of prompting the monster into the nest. The Destroyer stocks up on lighter fluid and has chosen the perfect spot in the courtyard. The smoke will undeniably be toxic and unwelcoming. The Destroyer is too in love with his animus to follow through, relishing when the mats are knocked askew, a sign of his lonely passage through life.


Martin Ott is the author of nine books of poetry and fiction, including Underdays (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015), Sandeen Prize Winner and Forward Indies Finalist. His newest book Fake News Poems (BlazeVOX Books, 2019) takes the headline of a news story from each week as a jumping off point to explore political and personal turmoil in the first year of Trump’s presidency. His work has appeared in twenty anthologies and more than two hundred magazines, including Antioch Review, Epoch, Harvard Review, North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and Zyzzyva.