cycle of the moth

reposting this from my old blog to my new blog, rediscovering some of these old poems is kind of fun

so this moth sits on the back of my hand, examining my substance
and the circumference of all things
			human, and with or without comprehension
of the odd shaped man-contraption, will drop dead
living but a single day

weeds grow in the fields below cool shades of sky
and worms play with ideas of immortality
(mortally wounded flied dangle from spider webs
like spider snacks in spider traps in a way that only dead flies can)

the mortally wounded chevy nova sits flat against the gravity
of dirt road, uncertain of motion
			suspended in summer
				wandering in thought

becky and mick in the backseat talking, i am in the front
stevie ray plays little wing on some distant frequency
she crushes out a cigarette and lights another
then opens her mouth to let her confusions flutter:

	how come violets and blue, and not violet?
	How come the ocean is blue, but rain is gray?
	if the eye in the sky sees everything, can it see itself?
	is everything watching everything? 
        when dogs dream, do sleeping cats awaken 
                       screaming with nightmares?
	and we’ve been waiting here for hours
	if the tow truck never comes for us, does it still exist?

		we consider this

and suddenly hear the sound of one hand clapping
			blam!
as i slap another bug crawling across the dashboard
(it all comes back to me, the primordial memories 
like buzzing swarms of bees, or bees that swarm buzzingly 
swarming memories of primordial buzzing that comes back to me
like hot kilowatts of bees)

it all comes back to this moth, a dusty paper god 
	who lives but a single day, and spends it
				banging against the windshield

2009

Published by

phillip woodruff

i live in colorado, i love poetry and fishing, i've never been to kentucky, i own 5 pairs of shoes, sometimes i drive too fast, i like craft beer, i own 37 fishing poles, i've never been to iceland, sometimes i drive too slow, right now there is a black bird outside my window, i stare at him and he stares at me

15 thoughts on “cycle of the moth”

  1. Perspective is an interesting thing. I often wonder if insects regard humans as eldritch horrors when they come across us. Maybe they think our long lives make us mad. Maybe they aren’t wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. my favorites:
    “examining my substance
    and the circumference of all things”
    “worms play with ideas of immortality” (This is so funny! You know, because they’re literally gobbling up the idea-matter.)
    “the mortally wounded chevy nova sits flat against the gravity
    of dirt road, uncertain of motion” (love, love, love this—so much)
    “like hot kilowatts of bees”
    the last line—the innuendo, all the embedded suggestions about what this piece could mean; there are a number of possibilities

    Like

  3. What a wonderful write, Phillip. Just absorbing from start to finish. I love all the sensory sounds and smells, they add such depth to the whole scene. The opening lines are stunning and then the way the poem opens out to show you the rest is really wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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