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Jon Woodward

about Rain, Ocean


A good friend came through town a few years ago when I was working with the form these short poems share. We decided to take a trip to Gloucester, and that’s what this section relates to.




from Rain, Ocean


a man in a gray

T shirt is under a

boat the boat is not

in the water he’s sitting

like a little boy and


turning a propeller on the

boat it’s too rusty to

really want to turn anymore

a noise is produced I

think people are frowning at


Patrick and me because we

are ourselves frowning although not

because we’re unhappy not five

minutes ago we were saying

how happy we are today



here in 1625 Gov Roger

Conant averted bloodshed between contending

factions one led by Myles

Standish of Plymouth the other

by Capt Hewes a notable


exemplification of arbitration in the

beginnings of New England two

black dogs are staring at

me and Patrick is dead

again and these dandelions which


obviously just came up are

dead too what we were

looking for was a big

rock into which a tale

of realized bloodshed had been


carved something along the lines

of here on this spot

in 1625 contending factions carved

each other’s throats out you

can still see the stain



I had feared it I

was sitting in one crack

in the sidewalk when I

heard him ask me a

question from the most adjacent


crack he asked how is

your chowder we were both

eating chowder I was finding

mine uncomfortable but had gotten

used to it and managed


to convey that somehow then

we stood and walked not

exactly toward the ocean but

I would say that that

was where we ended up



the water was where my

headache was before it was

passed on to me the

water was a recording of

a voice saying you’re welcome


by that time he’d spat

his cigarette out and lit

another and spat that one

out after smoking it this

is Patrick I’m talking about


the water went about sicking

up the water had climbed

down stairs the water purchased

me a seagull I’m a

trained seal I can’t laugh



although I didn’t once fear

being pushed into the water

as I almost always do

when standing next to a

body of water with almost


any other person



guy at a gas station


walked up to the car

began cleaning the windshield saying

as he did so Sic

Transit Gloria Patrick goes Sic

Transit my Chowder Shitting Ass

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