In the first documented reference
to Friday the 13th, it is already
described as an ancient superstition,
but the ancients had much more
complex methods for detecting
an inauspicious day. They might’ve noticed
for example how those three crows
skimmed low & landed in the field
to reunite with their shadows.
They might’ve seen the wild
columbine next to the sidewalk
thrusting its red lanterns where
they don’t belong. Our ancestors preferred
hot jets of revelation to the patient
& dispassionate sifting of evidence
and you & I are the eventual result,
with our missing 13th floors
& our boardrooms full of Judases.
Ten million Americans won’t get
out of bed today because
nothing bad can happen as long
as your eyes stay closed.
In an otherwise empty morning sky,
what can possibly begin with
our dead moon’s fish-belly of a C?

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


  1. I’ve seen a different word for fear of Friday the 13th, though I can’t recall it right now.


    1. Evidently some people use “Friggatriskaidekaphobia,” but mixing Germanic and Greek word-roots is kind of dumb, I think.


  2. “Our ancestors preferred
    hot jets of revelation to the patient
    & dispassionate sifting of evidence”
    Love this passage, Dave! We are not at all removed from this today..and it has little to do with black cats etc. We are all too willing to follow the guys who claim to be having those ‘hot jets of revelation’ right over a cliff.


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