Did you know that bats are a biohazard? Well, actually it's the bat doo-doo that is dangerous. Yes, bats themselves carry rabies (oops, I initially typed rabbis, which is a different thing altogether) and apparently they also occasionally create bat-bug infestations in house. "Bat bugs," the exterminators, "go look them up on Google." I use Google for shopping and finding poems. I do not employ Google for forms of research that are likely to lead to insomnia. In other words, no bat-bug investigation for me.
Yikes. The idea of bedbugs already keeps me awake. Now I have to contend with another alliterative pest? But beyond the rabies and the bat-bugs, it's really the bat's poops that are the problem. Bat droppings--nay, bat guano, to use the correct nomenclature--must first be disinfected used a medical-grade cleaning solution before it is vacuumed away. Without correct treatment and disposal, dangerous, fungus-y particles are released into the air. That last thing I want is to be a patient with a mystery disease on an episode of House.
And speaking of better uses of Google, here's a link to a poem by Claudia Emerson that I love. It's called "The Bat" and first appeared in Blackbird. By the time the poem makes its way into her Pulitzer Prize-winning Late Wife, the ending has evolved into something even darker and more ambivalent (in the version from the book, she cuts the last sentence, "I have never forgiven you"). Still, this version is pretty great too.
And did you know that a search using the keyword "bat" on the Poetry magazine website produces 315 entries? It's true that some of those bats are baseball bats, but still. Impressive, no?