Today's poems are by Jon Woodward

A Seahorse Loop

              A stupidity, a soup
in a shutdown, stand-
              still, stunned spect-
atorship of a
              dried seahorse

              kiss, optical
oscular, telescoped
              together, too
close to
              counter—this (the

the incorporation of the brain-chunks of
              & kiss hiss back into
a 16-second tape loop
              of the Chinatown

              one stands too long in) stands
and looks too steadily into
              the store window,
the bowl of
              dried seahorses there

              it's maybe going
to buy one of
              to carry around with it a while,
stands there
              thinking that.


The janitor asked me how
to pronounce the creature's name
& I said salamander for him.

He looked at it on the screen
and I looked at him.

Slide your legs into its tail I said.
I can't he said as he did.
Dish your guts there into its cavity

of guts, I can't he said (manifestly untrue
for he did so). Mash the thing's
name and yours I said together into

that irreversible hole I know you keep
and he did & it broke over his face

& flowed, water from the earth,
I can't, I can't, he said.

Copyright © 2006 Jon Woodward All rights reserved
from Barrow Street
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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