Paul Hoover

My Dog is Wild

He scratches the earth
to bury his bone
as others do paper
to bring up a word.

My dog is pleased
when I scratch his head,
but has a wild insistence
that he is the master
and I’m his servant.

He sleeps like a bog,
but now and then
he runs in his dreams
after something.
I can see from his teeth
the excitement.

I sit on the bed in my house
on a street they forgot to name.
My red dog runs through the night
until he breaks through.

It’s then the night brightens,
In truth and in trial,
as if it were in flames.
My dog resides in a world
that dims and flares and dims.

We do what we must do,
in and out of the cycle.
We stand together, howling,
at the bleeding station
on Peephole Street.

We’re mirror-image beings
of a post-philosophical age.
Our summers are loud with bees.
Our winters crack to pieces.

We are not distracted
by the traffic of sun and moon.
In the palace of our retirement,
my dog whispers to me,
even the earth is passing.

The Urgency

                   “The ghosts with names and the ghosts with none”

                                                                          Michael Palmer

the tree in heat
the burning tree

the cat on fire
the urgency

shadow hat
hat worn flat

dust in advance

carry me home
beyond the bone

dolls on the bed
one playing dead

they are not,
and they are air

float on up
or take the stairs

minds are windows
winds have rows

the word false
is also true

kill me twice
shame on you

why the night
and light go under

speaking from
the heart’s penumbra

standing tall
is not a science

what’s a color
why’s a sight

torrents, pools
a fool’s forever

first the image
then the rain

light of science
scent of pears

the sun is raw
the moon is new

first the marriage
then the weather

push the car
and crash the carriage

hysterical cleric
untold tale

bearing witness
names are blameless

crucifixion or
a game of tennis

cross the valley
swim the ford

flesh has answered
bone’s on hold

did we ever
when’s undone

in Fargo, in
the Target store

                To a Poet | Delores Peffley

                To a Poet | Delores Peffley




PAUL HOOVER has published fifteen books of poetry, most recently Desolation:  Souvenir (Omnidawn, 2015) and the bilingual edition En el idioma y en la tierra (In Idiom and Earth), translated by Maria Baranda (Mexico City:  Conaculta, 2012).  He teaches at San Francisco State University.